Oil and Water… don’t mix, but we did.

I had such a good time on Sunday reading — and spending time — with Oil and Water…And Other Things That Don’t Mix Editor Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson-Brown and contributors Laura B. Gschwandtner, Ginger McKnight-Chavers, and Maureen Doallas, who graciously coordinated us. (The book is available from Amazon and benefits Mobile, AL charities. Read well and do good at the same time.)

It could have been supremely awkward — meetings of writers often are. And these are not just any writers. These are writers I’m already intimate with, people whose work snuggled up next to mine between the covers of our anthology. I’ve already spent lots of time with their words, so of course I wondered, what would they be like in real life? Would I like them, really like them? Could the be as fab as their poems/stories/essays?

Not to worry — they were.

We did have a friendly lovefest, listening to these ladies’ poems/stories/essays in their own strong voices. I get so much from hearing writers speak their words aloud, from hearing the inflection, the additions and the contractions, the humor — an increased intimacy.

Oil and Water may not mix, but Oil and Water contributors definitely do, and I hope we will again soon!

Thanks to Judith HeartSong for the photo (from her blog) and for hosting us at her lovely gallery. 


A secret between a man and a woman from the time of a catastrophe shadows a young relationship in our time of a secret war. (Excerpted in the Brooklyn Rail.)

June 7th 2011,

Asia Society Presents a reading of Modest Productions

by Rehan Ansari

A Reflection On The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

The calamity. How will you know it?
That day when men will be scattered like moth.
And mountains will fly like wool.
Only he will thrive thereafter who is burdened by good deeds.

Al-Quran, Sura Al Qariah (The Calamity, 101:1-11)

Modest Productions
Performed by
Sa’ad Shah, Hirsh Sawney, Bina Sharif, Dania Rajendra & Saniya AnsariJune 7th, 2011; 7:00-9:00pm
Asia Society
725 Park Ave.
New York, NY

I’m reading on March 1 in Manhattan

Spirits writer Kara Newman hosts the second drink.think, readings all about beverages, on March 1 at Jimmy’s 43 (43 E 7th St., at 2nd Ave., NYC).

Kara kindly calls me a “bright young thing” here. Come by for a drink at 6:30. Readings begin at 7. Don’t forget to RSVP. (It’s free but space is limited; email Kara DOT Newman AT yahoo DOT com to save yourself a spot.) Cheers, slainte, salud, l’chaim!