Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"In my younger and more vulnerable years..."

As always, I’m thrilled to make any sort of announcement or offer even a scrap of commentary that involves one of my favorite books, The Great Gatsby, which I believe is the (almost) perfect novel. It’s the novel I studied when I was trying to learn how to put together a novel, and it’s the novel I most love to force my students to read. (Not sure how they feel about this, but, oh, well.)

Be forewarned: my current novel workshop at Johns Hopkins is reading the book for an upcoming class, and I’ll be rereading again, along with them. Expect some (many?) "Gatsby is perfection" posts in the near future!

Anyway…on to the news, which is passed along courtesy of poet Kim Roberts
and Beltway Poetry Quarterly:

Beltway Poetry Quarterly invites you to BE PART OF THE STORY – Volunteer for THE BIG READ –D.C.

Learn more: Saturday, March 8 at 2 PM, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW

Your can be part of the story for the city read of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The month-long BIG READ – D.C. event kicks off April 24th with a celebration and continues through May 24, 2008. Kim Roberts, editor of Beltway Poetry, has compiled the walking tour of the Dupont/Kalorama neighborhoods, "Jazz Age Stories of the Rich and Scandalous!" The tour will be offered as a brochure (which you can download from the Humanities Council site beginning in April, and take on your own), as well as two guided tours that Kim will lead on Saturday, April 26 and Saturday, May 10, from 10:30 am to noon. These popular guided tour programs are free but reservations are needed (since we limit the number of participants); reservations will be taken beginning in mid-April. The tours are just one of over 40 Big Read – D.C. activities, which will also include book readings, discussions, films, parties, and dance lessons.

For more information, call 202-387-8391 or email

The Big Read – D.C. is presented by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in collaboration with local community partners as part of The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. For more information about the national Big Read visit


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.