30 July 2007
"Big Brother/Texas" (Black LGBT Writer Edition)
...or as poet Marvin K. White (shown at right posing for the paparazzi) called it, "Survivor, Lake Buchanan"
Back from an incredible few days outside Austin, Texas, at a retreat initiated by Redbone Press publisher Lisa Moore. Together with a reading at the Victory Grill in Austin, the weekend allowed a number of the authors she's published over the years to get together to meet, talk, share work, and bond (aka eat, drink, and live together), in a house overlooking the magnificent Lake Buchanan in the Texas Hill Country.
So often we hear: black men and black women don't get along. Gay men and lesbians can't work together. Get a bunch of black people together and they'll snipe and tear each other apart.
Artists and writers feud with each other all the time. People from different disciplines don't share a language with which to talk to each other....We all 'know' these are stereotypes, but sometimes it takes something as powerful as a weekend like this to bring home how wrong they really are. And also how there can be 'another way' for all of us to relate to ourselves and to each other. It was also wonderful and rare that artists from across so many different disciplines were able to talk and share work: poets, fiction writers, academics, visual and performance artists, critics...we really are the world! Most of the people there fell into more than one of these categories.
The venue was comfortable (even the couch I crashed on was wonderfully fluffy) with a stunning view of Lake Buchanan. My only caveat about the whole thing was how far FAR back in the hills the place was, and the two-lane highway => dirt road => goat path we had to take to get there. You know you're not in the city any more when a rabbit sits in the middle of the road and refuses to move for an SUV!
Otherwise, it was magnificent. And much too short. More, please, Ms Moore! What do you say: Same time next year?
Lisa and Eunice record for posterity