Tonight I'm delighted to be participating in the annual Maundy Thursday reading of Dante's Inferno at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Last year I was a last-minute replacement for one of the scheduled readers; this year I was invited to be part of the regular program under the auspices of poet in residence Marilyn Nelson.
It was particularly cool for me last year because I had just joined an Episcopal church and was soon to be confirmed--so in addition to the wonderful literary history of this institution, it was also "my" cathedral!
The three-hour reading starts at 9pm and covers fifteen out of the thirty-four cantos. I've been assigned the second half of Canto XXI, which will occur sometime between 10 and 11 pm. If you're inclined to stop by, know that you're not required to stay for the whole three hours....judging by my observations from last year, attendees sneak in and out as the spirit moves them.
Today is also, of course, April Fool's, and I've had a fun gmail exchange just now with my friend Greg who works for The Company Currently Known as Topeka. He said in their Chelsea offices they had fake "surveillance cameras" in the restrooms and (uncracked and thus inedible) coconuts in the cafeteria's fruit baskets. What a bunch of kooks!
It's also the birthday of my wonderful father. Happy Birthday, Daddy!