Seeking actors for Frontera Fest

Hello, readers!

I’m thrilled to announce that my one-act play, Hand in Unloveable Hand, will be going up as part of Frontera Fest this January. I’m excited to be taking on the roll of director as well as actor. To that end, I’m seeking actors for two speaking roles and one nonspeaking role.

Speaking Roles: 1 man and 1 woman, middle-aged, any ethnicity

Nonspeaking Role: 1 adult, any age, any ethnicity

If interested, email literaryaustin@gmail.com. Include payment requirements and whether you’re willing to work for barter.

Good Things Coming to an End

I started Literary Austin in 2010 as a way to engage with the local literary community when I didn’t feel that I yet had a place in it. When I was still trying to find my place as a literary citizen, this blogging project allowed me the chance to explore events and connect with people. For a while, it sustained me.

Now, however, the blog is sitting dormant. I haven’t updated since March. The list of regular events is out of date. And while I keep saying I’m going to work on it again, the fact is that my writing life has taken me in other directions. I’ve found other projects. My energies never come back to Literary Austin.

The domain needs to be renewed in November. It’s all through WordPress, and I think it’s something like $26, so it’s not a huge chunk of change. It’s not about the money; it’s that this blog has not been at the top of my priority list in months, and when I think about it, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It was great while it lasted, but it’s not where my focus is anymore.

That being said, if someone wants to take the reigns, contact me. I’d be happy to pass it on. If not, no worries. It was great while it lasted. But sometimes, even the stuff we love has to come to an end.

Poet About Town: August Open Mics

I’m excited to be the featured poet at two excellent open mics this month.

First, I’ll be featuring at the BookWoman Second Thursday Open Mic on August 8th. The reading starts at 7:15, and is followed by a round-robin open mic, so bring poems to share!

On August 22nd, I’ll be one of the co-features at NewWorld Deli (Guadalupe location). We’re kicking off at 7, with an open mic to follow.

Both events are free and open to the public (though please consider making a small purchase to help support the venue), and I’ll be selling books at each. Hope to see you there!

Feminist Friday: Austin Voter Registration Round-Up

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If you’ve been following the news around Texas (and many other parts of the country), you know it’s been quite a week. Rick Perry signed new abortion restrictions into law yesterday morning. I couldn’t make it, but I watched a live feed online, feeling sick the entire time. When Jon asked why I was torturing myself watching it, I glibly replied, “masochism.” Then I less-glibly responded that denial and disengagement won’t solve anything.

There are a number of ways to experience political disengagement. One of the worst? Not voting. Especially not voting during midterm elections. (You know, those elections people forget about because nobody is running for president and shoving ads in your faces everywhere you look that has a screen.) And it’s not just about registering yourself. There are ways to help to ensure that all people get registered and get out to the polls.

Do you need to register in Texas, or update your registration? Do you want to become a deputy voter registrar to help out with the election process? You’re in luck. There are events, both upcoming and ongoing in Austin that will make sure you’re set for the next election.

Saturday, July 20th: Austin Music People Deputy Registrar Training

The training will be immediately followed by a brief press conference with Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Travis County Tax Assessor & Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant, Austin City Councilmember Mike Martinez, and special guests.

Sunday, July 21st:  Austin’s Concerts in the Park Voter Registration
It’s a win-win; listen to the Austin Symphony AND register voters! Join us in front of the Long Center on Sunday evenings in July and August to listen to music and register voters. All you need to bring is your orange VDR card, and we’ll provide the rest. Feel free to bring a blanket so you can stay
Wednesday, July 24th: Austin Blues on the Green Voter Registration
http://join.battlegroundtx.com/page/event/detail/voterregistrationdrive/wrvl

Saturday, August 3rd:

Ongoing: http://www.traviscountytax.org/goVotersVDR.do
Travis County Voter Registration offer day and evening training the first Tuesday of each month at their office at 5501 Airport Blvd. And if you have ten people or more, they will also come to you!

Looking for other opportunities? Battleground Texas has a cool web site that lets you do a geographic search by zip code of upcoming events, and most of them are voter registration:http://battletx.bluestatedigital.com/page/event/search_simple

You can also access the Texas Volunteer Deputy Registrar Guide here.

Feminist Every Day

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Last night was rough.

I arrived at the Capitol just before 8. A security guard told me I wasn’t allowed to bring my water in, which was ridiculous, because I could look into the rotunda and see people with water. But given the number of people already arrested for ridiculous things, I wasn’t about to push it.  I gave up my water, went through the metal detector, and went in.

(The irony that I could bring a gun into the Capitol but could not bring my own water is not lost on me. At least I didn’t need a tampon!)

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I spent just over four hours in the rotunda, chanting and screaming. Because some security guards were not being helpful, I decided to just stay on the first floor. Most of the time, we were all corralled in the middle of the room. There was a brief period where I joined a group marching and chanting around the outer circle, but eventually we were all herded back into the roped-off area.

I stayed until the final verdict was reached. I didn’t leave to try to find water, because there came a point that if I’d left the rotunda, I wouldn’t have been allowed back in. I didn’t go to the bathroom. I stayed after my throat was hoarse and my knees and ankles started to hurt.

Our energy waned, and then it came back. We fought and we fought and we fought.

And we lost. There’s not much more to say than that. I have spent today trying to synthesize things with more depth, but what it boils down to is this: Feminism is not dead. Activism is not dead. We came together. We fought. And too many of our elected officials are spiteful misogynists unwilling to listen.

And this isn’t over.

I was born into a time and place with reproductive choice. I will be damned if I die in a time and place where that doesn’t exist.

And I still love Texas. Because Texas is not the sum of its legislature. This state is so much more than that. Texas is full of brilliant, beautiful, creative, wonderful people. It is an incredible place. Texas enriches me. I love Texas, and I will fight for Texas women.

Just like I fight for all women.

I was raised to be a strong, independent thinker. I was raised to stand up for what I believe in. I was raised to persevere, to keep going without giving up. I was raised to work hard. These were the values my parents gave me. I am tough, I am a fighter, I am stubborn.

I am not giving up. I will not let bigots take away my agency and autonomy. I will fight for the state I love and the people I care about. Because this isn’t just about Texas. It’s about women all over the world. 

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Poet About Town

June is going to be a delightfully busy month. I’ll be staying local, so Austinites, come on out!

On June 3rd, I’ll be reading at Austin Salon Poetic, hosted by Michael Aaron Casares. The event takes place at Metal and Lace on 720 Red River. Reading starts at 7:30 p.m., though it might run on poet time…..

On June 15th, I’ll be the feature at the Midnight Special Gong Show at Coldtowne Theater. I have never been in a gong show before, but I think it will be an interesting change of place from the usual poetry venues.

June 16th is the big day! At 4:00 p.m. at BookWoman, I’m officially celebrating the release of We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are. I’ll be reading and signing copies of the book, and of course, there will be food. Come join me for a fun celebration!

Finally, on June 20th, I’ll be the featured reader at Thirsty Thursday, held at the New Life Lutheran Church in Dripping Springs. The reading starts at 7. Admission is free, but food pantry donations are encouraged.