Picture from the Philip Levine Birthday Reading

The reading in which I participated in celebration of Philip Levine's birthday was great, one of the highlights of my writerly life. I read The Simple Truth, one of my favorite poems of Phil's, and then I read one of mine, My Father, Reading Neruda.

Once Phil went up to the podium to read a few of his poems to close the reading, I got to be on the stage with almost all of my Fresno State poetry writing professors. Since we read in alphabetical order, I also had the great honor and pleasure of introducicng Peter Everwine, my very first creative writing professor and one of the poets who wrote a lovely blurb for the back cover of my book.

Luckily, Sam Pereira's wife took a picture of us just after the reading ended. Sadly, Phil had already left the stage, but it's still a picture that I'll hold dear. I'm at the far left, standing behind C.G. Hanzlicek, the person who put the reading together and whom I thanked especially on the Acknowledgments page of my book because he was a kind and generous and insightful teacher and mentor to me.