New Essay up at Literary Mama…and Leaving…

Hello, Friends,

First, I’m thrilled to tell you a brief essay of mine on writing, singing, and Jan DeGaetani is  up today at Literary Mama. I hope you’ll take a look.

And second, today is Wednesday Oct 19; I will be leaving Vermont Studio Center early Friday morning and driving to Rochester, NY (!) for all things Jan and Eastman. So looking forward to seeing Joanie and Gerry Floriano, Barbara Staropoli, David Raymond and all the archival materials at Sibley Music Library. I will listen to a recording of Jan and Phil’s Cole Porter concert (among other pieces) with Peter Bay–a never-released recording– and stand on the stage in the Eastman Theater, remembering the first time I heard Jan sing Mahler live with RPO the fall of my freshman year, imagining those four days in May, 1989 as she sat to record Mahler and Berlioz, her final recording. I will walk the sidewalk of East Avenue, remembering Dagwood’s subs and late nights in the Annex and snow so deep, I once had to trudge down the middle of the street–snow at my hips–under the eerie lamplight glowing through a raging storm. [I tried to write a short story about that memory, a long time ago. Called it “Moonwalker”. Just this week, remembering this moment and this story, I thought, I have a place for this now.]

All this to say, my trip to Rochester launches my five-month research tour, and I am so happy and grateful and excited.

But, in order to embark on this, I must first leave here, Johnson, Vermont and these 50 artists who have in a month together changed my life, my thinking, my work. I wanted this residency to catapult me, welcome me back to the book on Jan after the brief hiatus my personal life insisted I take, and it did. Thank you Vermont Studio Center. mountainriverimg_2750


About dhaines54

Dawn Denham (formerly Haines) lives in the hill country of North Central Mississippi where she's writing a book about her mentor at the Eastman School of Music mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani and teaching writing at Oxford High School. Her work has been published in Poets and Writers magazine, Brevity, Zone 3, Literary Mama, and WILLA. Her book with authors Jacqueline Raphael and Susan Newcomer Writing Together: Transforming Your Writing in a Writing Group was the first book of its kind published in the US. Her essay Aleatorik about her mother’s death won the 2012 Solstice magazine Creative Nonfiction prize chosen by Jerald Walker and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She received an MFA in Nonfiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Arizona, and a BM in Voice from Eastman School of Music.
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