You Like Me, You Really Like Me!
I won the Literary Artist of the Year Award at the Angels of the Arts Awards sponsored by the The Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Yes, I am pinching myself to see if it weren't a dream, but no, I have my acrylic angel wings right next to my happy MacBook.
Actually, it is a pretty cool local recognition, and the celebration was warm and fun, a time for the good folks of Lee County to celebrate the arts. Jeanne Bochette won the big Lifetime Achievement Award--she's run a dance studio in Fort Myers over the last 58 years! And Berne Davis, who has helped save one of the best buildings in Fort Myers for an arts center, won the arts benefactor of the year award. It was also nice to see so many locals really decked out, and Kathleen Moye, the public relations director for the Alliance, did a terrific job in making the evening so successful.
Unfortunately, my Gerri was up for Arts Journalist for the year, which she didn't win--a local morning news show host won that laurel. Oh well.
My acceptance speech? I thanked the Alliance and Will Prather (rogue Democrat and owner of dinner theater which was the site of the evening festivities), mentioned how I was honored to be among all the nominees and how each was my own angel of the arts, recited Whitman's famous quote about great poetry needing great audiences, explained that great art required the imaginative gifts of great audiences, and finally how this award honored me and emboldened me to continue writing poetry worthy of this audience before me. It was along those lines, but no more than five sentences, seriously. Now, I'd say a word or two more if I were at the National Book Awards, and the Nobel? Heck, I'd be screaming a fit or two about American political slogans about freedom and liberty.
Alas, as I told my son, I can now die content, fully at peace. He wanted to know if that also meant I would no longer suffer stomach issues. Only if . . . .