|Photo credit: Sejal Shah|
So TRAVEL is on my mind. I'm just back from a trip to my alma mater, the University of Iowa, where I reunited with members of our 9-year-old Travel Writers Group, participated in the biennial NONFICTIONOW CONFERENCE, and - get this - ran into pals from the UK and Kenya: the truly international Laura Fish and Billy Kahora, managing editor of Kwani?, who is helping to coordinate PILGRIMAGES, an ambitious travel writing project (where actual African writers write about - imagine - Africa!).
The star of the conference was easily the brilliant and hilarious cartoonist/graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel, though the soulful and witty John Edgar Wideman was no slouch either!
I sat on a panel called Wayward Women: Gender in Travel Writing that was organized by the whirlwind phenomena that is Stephanie Elizondo Griest. I was excited to present with her, along with my old grad school classmate, the supremely eloquent Michele Morano, and my long-time shero Mary Morris, who is a hoot!
While I was gone, my students (I'm teaching a graduate course at Mills on Women Travel Writers) were off traveling on their own as part of their final projects.