Writer Anna Journey

Writer Anna Journey was recently interviewed for VCU News. A VCU creative writing alumna who now teaches at University of Southern California, she is becoming well now for her poetry and essays. Her latest work, “An Arrangement of Skin”, is receiving a lot of praise.

In the interview, she is asked about her time at VCU-

Living in Richmond, too, profoundly influenced my development as a writer. I moved from Northern Virginia to Richmond when I was 18 and left for my doctoral studies in Texas just before I turned 27. So I came of age in Richmond, became more of my adult self there. I don’t think I recognized how thoroughly the character of the city shaped my sensibility until I’d moved away. I lived for a number of years in Oregon Hill, just three blocks down from the Sothern Gothic sprawl of Hollywood Cemetery, so that landscape — of mortality, of lavish visual and historical density — lodged itself in my consciousness.

Illegal Parking From RiverRock Crowds

Despite previous complaints and subsequent meetings with City, police, and Venture Richmond, Oregon Hill is still experiencing some issues with illegal parking during the annual Dominion RiverRock festival.

The problems are most evident around Riverside Park and the southern portions of the neighborhood. The City acquired the land which became Riverside Park in 1889. Neighbors don’t want historic Riverside Park to become a de facto parking lot the way Monroe Park was before being privatized.

‘Dirtwoman’ Documentary Benefit

There is documentary being filmed for one of Oregon Hill’s most infamous progeny and Richmond’s most famous drag queen, Donny Corker, aka ‘Dirtwoman.’ In order to raise funds and capture memories, the Sound of Music studio, now in Scott’s Addition (1710 Altamont Ave.), will be holding ‘Dirtwoman Toast’ on Sunday, May 21, at 7 pm. The admission cost is $10.Part of the proceeds will go to producing the documentary and part of them will go to Corker to help defray medical cost hardships.

Excerpts from recent Style article:

Everyone over a certain age has a Dirtwoman story. Corker’s antics as Richmond’s most well-known 400-lb. drag queen are legendary, from the 1993 pin-up calendar to running for mayor, to his years as Mrs. Claus at the annual Hamaganza. Just as noteworthy is Corker’s pre-Stonewall role-modeling: He’s been unabashedly out as gay since he was a teenager.

In the works is a documentary about Dirtwoman that began 15 years ago on the occasion of Corker’s 50th birthday with an event at Caffeine’s featuring go-go boys, drag queens and people sharing their own Dirtwoman tales. Now at 65 and with major health issues, Corker’s life story is on track to finally be completed by local video producer, Jerry Williams.

“This is the culmination of my 45 years as a video producer and director,” Williams says of the passion project. “I’ve never had a story that I was willing to commit a year of my life to making, but this is it.”

For those who missed Dirtwoman’s glory years, the Toast is also an opportunity to hear anecdotes from a life so colorful that even John Waters’ biggest star, Divine, was a fan. And for those curious about how the name Dirtwoman originally came about, let’s just say it involved some inappropriate behavior in the back seat of a cop car and leave it at that.

From the FaceBook event page:

The TOAST is being held to compile stories from Donnie’s fans for the documentary. Everyone who attends will be invited to spend a few minutes on stage with Donnie to pay tribute and share their favorite memories. There will also be a special “private” studio for people who would prefer not to go on stage. People are encouraged to bring any pertinent photos or other memorabilia.
To have an idea of timing, Williams requests that people who want to speak, please email him at TVJerry@TVJerry.com.

‘Oregon Hill’ Author To Speak At Crime Novel Talk Tomorrow

From Kelly Justice, proprietor of Fountain Bookstore (in Shockoe Slip):

Join us for a night of conversation about what goes on behind the scenes of writing successful and award-winning series crime fiction. I will be moderating Swinson and Owen (two very charming gentlemen in addition to being very talented) about their books.

I paired them together because they both have so much in common: both have main characters on the more serious side of flawed, both employ the blackest of humor to great effect, both write with a deeply rooted sense of place. Swinson’s books take place in D.C., Owen’s in Richmond.

This is a good opportunity to ask Owen questions about his ‘Oregon Hill’ novel as well as his more recent works.

“Boogie Wonderland ’17”

Earth, Wind & Fire is at the Altria Theater tonight.

The band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1969.

The band’s music contains elements of African music, Latin music, funk, soul, jazz, pop, rock, and other genres. The band is known for the dynamic sound of their horn section and the interplay between the contrasting vocals. The kalimba (African thumb piano) is played on all of the band’s albums.

Although they lost founding member Maurice White last year, the band is carrying on, spreading not just entertainment, but also inspiration.

Solving The Middle East This Saturday

Well, that may be overselling it, but the Richmond Forum is hosting a program entitled “PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST: PROSPECTS AND ROADBLOCKS” this Saturday at the Altria Theater. It’s probably already sold out.

Ehud Barak has served as the Prime Minister of Israel and, more recently, as Defense Minister. Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and was a leading figure in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. For the first time anywhere, these two respected voices will sit down together for a discussion of their differing views on Middle East peace prospects in a conversation moderated by longtime journalist, author, and foreign policy analyst Robin Wright.

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Drumming Tonight

The bucket street drummers will have some competition tonight.

From Modlin Center for Arts webpage:

Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese taiko drum, Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant, living art form. In Japanese, the word “kodo” conveys two meanings. Firstly, “heartbeat,” the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko is said to resemble a mother’s heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations. Secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean “children of the drum,” a reflection of Kodo’s desire to play the drums simply, with the heart of a child.

“Equal Means Equal” At The Main Library Thursday

From the Facebook event page:

Thursday, March 9 at 5:30 PM – 8 PM
Richmond Public Library

Women-Matter & ALO Community Strategy Requests YOUR PRESENCE @ THIS Women’s History Month FREE Screening Of The Award Winning Film “Equal Means Equal”.

ABOUT THE FILM

“EQUAL MEANS EQUAL” is an unflinching look at how women are treated in the United States today.