1. PEN World Voices, easily the best ongoing literary festival in New York City, will take place from April 29 to May 4 this year. Writers I’m particularly interested in seeing include, alphabetically: Andre Aciman, Charles Baxter, Andy Borowitz, Ian Baruma, Peter Carey, Stacey D’Erasmo, Umberto Eco, Jennifer Egan, Deborah Eisenberg, Asli Erdogan, Peter Esterhazy, Jeffrey Eugenides, John Giorno, Arnon Grunberg, John Wesley Harding, Alexsandar Hemon, A. M. Homes, Uzodinma Iweala, Elias Khoury, Bernard Henri-Levy, Janet Malcolm, Colum McCann, Ian McEwan, Catherine Millet, Rick Moody, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Ondaatje, Dale Peck, Steven Pinker, Annie Proulx, Salman Rushdie, Mario Vargas Llosa and Eliot Weinberger. Well, these are my choices among the writers I’ve heard of, but the real benefit of an international event like this is that I’ll discover writers I’ve never heard of.

2. Ahh, the world. I’ve been following the news from Tibet, where they just can’t take the Big Lie anymore. And here in the USA, John McCain thinks he can run our foreign policy even though he doesn’t know the basics of who’s who in the Middle East. A slip-up? I don’t think so. He said the same thing several times in recent weeks. Ignorance is bliss, yet again.

3. “Tree of Human Smoke”. I just thought of that. There must be a good joke here somewhere, but I haven’t come up with it yet.

6 Responses

  1. That’s quite an impressive
    That’s quite an impressive line-up of writers for PEN world voices. I wish I could be there to see some of this event.

  2. If you talk to John Giorno,
    If you talk to John Giorno, ask him if I can interview him by email! His William S. Burroughs collection is my favorite spoken word recording.

  3. China high on list of EVERY
    China high on list of EVERY human rights watch dog group. A country that denies freedom of speech, pushes forced relocation (many Chinese now living in Tibet were forced to go there), pushing forced abortions on women and now dirtying the enviorment at an extemely high rate is on the Most Favored Nation list of internetional trading by BOTH political parties here. Nobody running has addressed China as a negative force in the world community. Has the recent events in Tibet opened political eyes? Probably not because the blinders for cheap products and business profits is very thick to look through.

  4. By only praising his
    By only praising his Burroughs recordings, I didn’t do justice to John Giorno. The man has done so much more. Among other things, Giorno is an accomplished visual artist, poet, writer, filmmaker, and AIDS activist; a pioneer in the use using modern technology, such as Dial-A-Poem, to bring poetry to more people; he worked with Bob Moog (Inventor of the Moog synthesizer), and starred in Andy Warhol’s first film, Sleep.

    Levi, put in a good word for me with the G-Man. And don’t mention that I badgered you into it.

  5. Bill, you crack me up! I
    Bill, you crack me up! I agree with you about John Giorno’s good works, but I don’t intend to talk to him because I don’t usually talk to writers at these things. But if he googles himself he’ll hopefully see your message right here.

  6. Well, it will be on your
    Well, it will be on your conscience that Mr. John Giorno might secretly wish for nothing more than to chat with me, and all he needs is a sign from you.

    But, no. You go ahead and have an espresso with Ed and your techie friends.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!