Behold some residents of the 2015 writers' conference at Napa Valley Community College. That was when I last attended, with my sweet husband before his diagnosis of lung cancer. We both had a good time; he always got on well with writers and hit it off particularly well with Brenda Hillman, whose mother was born in Brazil.
I'm looking forward immensely to taking part in a workshop given by Robert Hass (yes, that Robert Hass) on translating poetry. So far, the languages of the source material proposed by other attendees include Tagalog, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and my own German. I want to come up with an English translation of Schumann's setting of sixteen of the poems of Heinrich Heine, Dichterliebe--A Poet's Love. I have loved this piece of music ever since I was introduced to it 50 years ago, and I've been fooling around with translating Heine ever since I first read him. What I'm trying to say is that this is indeed my idea of a good time.
So, this year will be the first time I'm attending a writers' conference solo. I've never before attended one of these conferences without my husband. I'd attend the workshop in the morning and we'd get lunch and I'd tell him all about it and then go write and we'd get dinner and I'd tell him how I wasn't sure if what I'd written was even a poem and he'd support and encourage me through all of this and even claim to have had a good time reading or walking or lying out somewhere and looking at the sky. I still expect to have a good time talking with other writers and attending events, but--I'll miss my sweetheart too.