A WRITING WORKSHOP: My agent passed along this link to the Hurston/Wright Writers' Workshop. (Thanks J.) I, personally, know 4 people who have attended the week-long workshop and they all rave about the experience. The deadline is April 20, 2007. Only serious writers need apply. A few scholarships are available.
POETRY: Did you know April was "National Poetry Month?" The folks at Knopf do. In honor of the occasion, they will send you a free poem (and other extras, like audio clips and info about your favorite Knopf poets) every day through the month of April if you visit their site and register.
CLASSICAL MUSIC: My friend MR sent me a link to a site that showcases and explores African American heritage via the world of classical music. The site--http://www.africlassical.com contains audio links and other informative tidbits.
A NEW PUBLISHER: Have you heard? Tina McElroy (author of The Hand I Fan With, Ugly Ways, & You Know Better ) has launched a new publishing company. DownSouth Press won't start accepting submissions until July 1, 2007. Check the site for details.
A NEW LITERARY FORUM: Mat Johnson (author of The Great Negro Plot, Hunting in Harlem and Drop) has launched a new literary discussion board. Niggerati Manor Forum is the name of the spot.
ARETHA FRANKLIN: Currently, I'm working on a novel that incorporates the title of one of my favorite Aretha Franklin song's "A Natural Woman." In the course of my research about the Queen of Soul, I stumbled across this brilliant piece by "the literary thug" that delves into Aretha, her music and her demons. "The Portrait of An Artist As A Young Woman" is essential reading for any serious R & B and/or Aretha fan.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO, "Hmm . . .": I wish I could remember where I saw this comment about the whole Michael Richards and the "N" word incident, so I could provide the link. But essentially, someone pointed out that we, as African Americans, appear more upset with Richard's repeated use of the word nigger than we are by the fact that he also openly suggested his African American hecklers be sodomized with a fork and lynched. And all I can add to that is, "Hmmm . . . "