Monday, July 24, 2006

Sewanee--Day Seven

Back in full swing today after a slow Sunday.

The scholars reading at 9am were Jen Chang, Nicola Mason and Cliff Garstang (that would be me). I had changed my mind several times about what to read, but finally settled on a scene from my novel, where David begins to show Fletcher around Bangkok and teaches him about Buddhism. It felt pretty good and the comments from people all day were very good--not that anyone would make a bad comment, but I suppose they'd keep their mouths shut if they really didn't like it. So that was nice.

Right after that we had an Editors panel, with Deborah Treisman from The New Yorker, Roger Hodge from Harpers, James Wood and Glyn Maxwell from The New Republic, David Barber from The Atlantic, and Megan O'Rourke from Paris Review and Slate. Talk about a powerhouse--these are the magazines that really matter. But, they didn't really say anything new, as interesting as it was to listen to them.

Next was a panel of publishers: Gary Fisketjon of Knopf and Elisabeth Schmitz of Grove/Atlantic. Again, not much new although there was some discussion of Grove's new Black Cat Press which is doing paperback originals.

Randall Kenan gave a reading in the afternoon--a story in progress that was serious but, especially with the voices he brings to a reading, also very funny. The evening reading was Dave Smith, whom I'd heard before. He does a great job of mixing serious poems with humor.

Another good day!


Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting. Who's Jen Chang?

Clifford Garstang said...

Jennifer Chang is one of the scholars here, a poet whose work has appeared in a number of great magazines, including, recently, The New Republic.