I was 12 months into an 18 month trip around the world. So far, I had bowed before shrines in Nikko, Japan, drunk vodka with Russian "little bosses" on a ship to Vladivostok, ridden the Trans-Siberian train across Russia, seen the 83-year-dead body of Lenin, walked inside the Rhone Glacier, swam in Como Lake and the Adriatic, oggled at Jose Plecnik's architecture in Ljubljana, hitch-hiked across the Albanian border, walked around the Acropolis, sipped coffee inside the walls of Dubrovnik, visited the Aphrodite temples on Cyprus, and driven a donkey cart through the Siwa oasis in Egypt.
On this day last year, I was counting animals in Tanzania.
Poets House will host a Centennial celebration of the life and works of George Oppen, 1968 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Of Being Numerous. The event begins at 3 pm with a panel discussion, "Biographical-Historical Continuum", followed by "Literary-Philosophical Spectrum" at 5 pm and a reading at 7:30 which will include more than a dozen poets. If you're in the city and can make it, I'll see you there. If you can't make it, let me know and I will offer up reverence to the great ghost for you.
If you're anywhere near Woodstock on Saturday, April 12, stop in to see Cornelia Hediger's work at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, 59 Tinker Street. The opening and artist's talk are from 5 to 7 pm.
The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America will be published by Beacon Press in February 2016.
I'm a writer (and hospice volunteer) living in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and writing primarily about the nexus of death and religion for publications like Guernica magazine (where I'm a contributing nonfiction editor), Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Bookforum, The Baffler, The Guardian, and The New York Times.
I am a Visiting Scholar at The Center for Religion and Media, NYU, and a contributing editor at The Revealer, the Center's publication (where I was editor until June 2013). I write the monthly column, "The Patient Body."
You can find my articles at annneumann.com.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @otherspoon