July 12th, 2009


A birdie told me...

I had a wonderful weekend up at McGrath State Beach, on the border of Oxnard and Ventura. Although I was slightly disappointed that it turned out to be more difficult to walk to the beach from the campground than expected, the reason for the obstacle was rather cool. The Santa Clara River dumps into the ocean here and the reason the ocean used to be an easy 400 yard walk from the campsites was because they used to dredge the river. But dredging destroys the natural wetlands and estuary that has rejuvenated itself, making it a great place to birdwatch.

So, we drove to the public beach around the corner from the campground and had a great day on Saturday. While I was there, I got the anticipated call about the Rhysling Awards.

Short Poem:
Winner - Amal El-Mohtar - "Songs for an Ancient City"
2nd Place - Samantha Henderson - "Spell"
3rd Place - Billy Collins - "The Future"

Long Poem:
Winner - Geoffrey A. Landis - "Search"
2nd Place - Samantha Henderson - "Hungry: Some Ghost Stories"
3rd Place - Amal El-Mohtar & Catherynne M. Valente - Damascus Divides the Lovers by Zero, Or, The City is Never Finished

Mike Allen reports that it was a fantastic Rhysling Slan. I can't wait to read the full skinny. (I've heard reports of as many as 80 people in attendence!) Amal and Cat were present, so it was wonderful to have some winners in the audience this year. I called Geoff and Samantha, since they weren't there. (I don't have Billy Collins' phone number - lol).