Back in November, when Patti Smith’s sweetly nostalgic memoir, Just Kids, won the National Book Award for nonfiction, Jacket Copy mentioned her New Year’s Day reading at the St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project in New York. Smith’s participation in the reading is a longstanding tradition, and I’m sure with that kind of steady backdrop it’s tempting to check in and gauge the emotional temperature of the year to come. On January 1, 2010, she said,
I think we’re going to have a really great year. I think it’s going to be really magical. Why not think it’s going to be magical?… Every year, I think, this year is gonna really suck. I worry about our political situation, or I worry about the world. This year, I’m not going to worry about anything. I’m just going to be happy, and believe that we’re going to have a really magical year.
It was definitely a magical year for Smith—whose birthday was yesterday; happy birthday, Patti!—who realized her dream of being a published author and received all sorts of good recognition for her efforts. And it was a terrific year for Like Fire. Last January marked the beginning of our association with Open Letters Monthly, which has proved to be a wonderful relationship, hopefully all around—I’ve very much enjoyed being part of the team and working with the fine folks there. It was great fun being part of the Open Letters Monthly Anthology reading at Housing Works last summer, where I expounded on the Dog’s Bollocks and had the lowest-tech audiovisual aids of anyone there. 2010 was also the year we were listed as one of the 50 best blogs for creative writing students by Best Colleges Online, an out-of-the-blue honor that was much appreciated. Mostly it’s been a year of making contacts and meeting all sorts of excellent people—bloggers, publishers, readers, and writers. You know who you are, and it’s been a pleasure.
So since it seems like Patti Smith’s got the touch, here’s hoping she’ll bestow her beneficial wishes on us all for another year. Or if not, I’m going to have to appropriate her words—I’m seeing her speak next week at the 92nd Street Y, so I can apologize then—and predict a really magical year for us all. Thanks for reading, thanks for writing, and here’s to 2011.
(For friends of Like Fire in the New York metro area, on February 3 I’ll be doing a blogger/author event at Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore with Hannah Pittard, author of the upcoming The Fates Will Find Their Way. It should be fun, so if you’re in the neighborhood I hope you can stop by.)
(Turn-of-the-last-century French New Year’s postcard courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery.)