>UTV Day 9

> The last official day of Under the Volcano was light. In the morning, since we had no workshops, I stayed at Las Golondrinas and worked on consolidating comments received from the participants on my manuscript, in order to lighten my luggage for the trip home. I then went into town and met Chuck, Breyten and a few others for lunch near the market and on the way home I stopped at the bookstore for a while.

The evening activity was brilliant, although it got off to a late and disorganized start. It was billed as Homage to Grace Paley and it was held in the Comidor of the ex-convento in Tepoztlan, a spectacular 16th century room. What a great place to consider Grace’s timeless prose. Magda Bogin, Chuck Wachtel and Breyten Breytenbach all read from Grace’s work–some fiction, some poetry, some non-fiction. Then Bob Nichols, Grace’s husband, read a couple of Grace’s poems. (Several of these pieces were also read in Spanish, since not everyone in the packed room spoke English.) Then Grace read a story and an essay, and I thought I really could have done without all that had gone before but it was worth it to hear Grace again. She looked quite uncomfortable being the center of attention, but it was an homage well-deserved.

We then adjourned to a wonderful private home for a reception (featuring tamarind flavored margaritas) and dinner (cecina, beans, rice, and a unique nut pie). That was it. The end. Time to say goodbye.

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