After picking up the ticket, I had an hour to kill. I should have gone to Borders to get a rewards card. I have points from market research surveys and the best prize is Borders rewards - but you need an existing card to do it, and the card must be obtained in person. I talked myself out of Borders because it was "too far away" and there's an author event coming up (I'd canceled this event from my list, but now maybe...). So I went almost the same distance in the other direction to B&N, where I looked at the crossword section and moved the "Wordplay" book to display it prominently (my sister also does this).
Then back to Avery Fisher. No matter how many celebrities I see live, I still get starstruck with "Wow, that's really ___ and he/she looks just like her/his pictures!" thoughts. After an intro where we were told to hold our applause until all the readers came out, Meryl Streep walked out and everyone applauded. She waved us down and we then restrained ourselves as the others filed in.
There was an empty seat onstage. Humph, wasn't Katie Couric supposed to come? She has some nerve for blowing them off. But duh, they wouldn't have just left the chair empty. Sometime during the proceedings Couric slipped in since she was busy doing a national newscast when the event started at 6:30.
As the readings proceeded, I realized something about poetry: it's not always easy to understand! In school, poetry often demanded close study and discussion in order to ferret out its meaning. Here, the words often went right over my head. Still, I did appreciate Graydon Carter's selection by Dorothy Parker. And Dianne Reeves (a singer I hadn't heard of) wowed with sassy interpretations of Gwendolyn Brooks' "Queen of the Blues" and "A Song in the Front Yard." Meryl Streep read the hell out of Wallace Stevens's "Sunday Morning" but I have no idea what was going on.
We had to exit out the side because the balcony in back was hosting a fancy reception for participants and high-level ticketholders. It was only 8:15 so I went to the NYT and got the puzzles done. They're early this week because Will is out of town. I hadn't eaten so I got soup, grilled vegs, and a roll in the cafeteria. And of course checked out the giveaway bookshelf, which hadn't changed much (great new arrivals probably get snapped up immediately), but I took 4 more ARCs.
I finished "Elbowing the Seducer" (1984) by T. Gertler. I need to stop reading novels about promiscuous men, because I hated these New York literary/academic womanizers as much as their West Coast counterparts depicted by Herbert Gold and Darryl Ponicsan. There was one passage I related to: "Matty didn't like nature; she was suspicious of its unruliness, its lack of toilets, movies, and museums." According to the paperback cover and an NYT article, the book was supposed to be made into a movie, but I don't think it ever happened.