I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
~Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
On the first of each month,
a guest writer
how he or she spends the day.
May 1, 2021: Jeff G. Peters
Jeff Peters is a writer who is passionate about so much. He’s the most extroverted introvert I’ve ever met. And it’s difficult to find a photo of him where he’s not surrounded by friends he loves. Whatever Jeff does, he does with his whole heart.
He began writing and drawing at a young age and has had poems published in magazines and journals. For six years, he was president of Anhinga Press, the Tallahassee-based poetry press. Before that, Jeff served as Arts & Literature Editor for The Community News, a north Florida LGBTQ paper, and for The Pragmatist Magazine.
Graduating from law school in 1987, he went straight to work in the Florida Office of the Attorney General, where he stayed for ten years until he founded his own firm. He was President of the Florida AIDS Legal Defense & Education Fund and a Past Co-Chair of The National LGBT Bar Association. He has written legal essays for the ABA and Florida Bar & Human Rights publications, and he wrote one of the earliest books on AIDS legal issues, AIDS: A Comprehensive Manual of Legal & Policy Issue.
Currently, Jeff has a novel in progress: Lindo Gaumont Enters the World, a short story in final edits, a poetry manuscript in the works, and an essay he’s started on indie bookstores as a cultural hub.
I encourage you to click over to his in-depth interview with Cuban American poet Silvia Curbelo. Jeff elicits wonderful responses from Silvia, like these:
“When the poem works, it’s like opening a door, and there you are, right in the heart of the moment.”
“[W]hen it comes to making poems, I write at the kitchen table. Always have. Every kitchen table of every house I’ve ever lived in. Closer to the coffee and the wine, I imagine…”
Gilbert & George call their art, sculptures, though they may not appear in the manner you might think. The artists have presented themselves as living sculptures in museums, galleries, pubs, public streets and a host of other locales. So they aren’t traditional sculptures forever frozen in time, but instead appear as vibrant, real three dimensional art.
Jeff was also a writer and producer of Run Across Cuba, which was released in 2017. Run Across Cuba follows Alexis Garcia as he runs more than a thousand miles from the eastern most tip to the western most end of Cuba. This journey takes Alexis back to Cuba, which he had fled by kayak twenty-three years earlier. As part of the documentary, Marlene Guerra-Garcia interviewed people all across Cuba providing a window into the daily lives of the Cuban people, the power of the Cuban spirit, its natural beauty, and historical significance. It’s an inspiring story about hope, courage, and freedom.
But these days, Jeff rarely has time to write as he is the owner of the magical independent bookstore East End Books Ptown where he curates a collection of books in print, ebooks, audiobooks, vinyl albums, really cool magazines and journals. I swear he’s read everything in the store. Jeff is also an enthusiastic board member of the Provincetown Film Society.
As if all that weren’t too much already, Jeff has recently started East End Literary Arts (EELA), a literary nonprofit that will publish East End Arts Literary Review, a select list of books, and hold an annual East End Literary Arts Book Festival. This project is so new the website is still under development. Here’s the mission statement:
To bring together readers and writers to create diverse communities, and to expose participants to new ideas and authors in order to inspire a life-long love of books and reading.
If you’re looking for a good cause or an independent bookstore to keep in business, please consider making a donation to East End Books Ptown.
And I want to leave you with this event, which is Jeff personified. He has organized a private literary salon to benefit the Provincetown Film Festival that will take place June 13th featuring Christopher Castellani and Matthew Lopez. And there are a few tickets still available!
Come back on MAY 1st to read how JEFF G. PETERS spends his days.