I’ve found that keeping a reading log is mostly an exercise in grief and despair, but at least it attests to my trying. It’s hard, especially at the end of the semester. Had to bargain internally for way too long before I let myself finish Allison Seay’s excellent To See the Queen in bed last night.
But my lack of time right now doesn’t keep me from buying books and stacking them up in my study. May 17th, and I’ll have time again. Fifteen days until:
Robert Graves, The White Goddess
Brenda Shaughnessy, Our Andromeda
Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon (I have no words for how excited I am)
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
Adam McOmber, The White Forest (our May book club book!)
C.D. Wright, Steal Away
…as well as everything else on my reading log page. Bounty.
Are you watching Eastsiders, on LogoTV? You should. It’s hilarious, and really, really dark, and it’s written by-directed by-starring the inimitable Kit Williamson, who you can also find on Mad Men this season. Or in my apartment, tomorrow night, which I am really excited about.
Just found out I was a finalist in this year’s Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition. Congratulations to the two winners!
At this point in the semester, if you are not my grading, my seminar paper, or my novel, we are officially not allowed to talk or hang out. I’m sorry, blog. But we can still pass secret notes and maybe even do some tin-can telephone later.
As it’s spring break, C. and I are up in Door County. It’s snowing. I should be working on the novel. Instead I’m eating sweet potatoes and thinking about Mad Men.
It looks like sometime in the night a deer nosed its way up to the back glass of this cabin. There are lots of apples under the snow for it to eat; I wonder if it found any.
My review of Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s My Love Is A Dead Arctic Explorer is up at Devil’s Lake. Short version: it’s a terrific book, go read it. And I have new work forthcoming from Iron Horse Literary Review and Salt Hill — thanks so much to those editors!
We’re in the home stretch of this academic year: less than two months. And then the giant spaceship that is prelims will come down and announce its absolute takeover of my summer.
This has been the best night ever! First there’s you taking me to ice cream, then there is the ice cream, then that monster jumps out of the freezer and you’re all brave and “Fred, watch out!”, and then we get to chase it down into the sewers, which are just so bleak and oppressive and…homey. And, and I could build a condo down here.
File under: found prose poetry. Or, reasons to rewatch Angel.
I’m gearing up for AWP. This might take some doing, as my history with this conference has been problematic. Or rather, with getting there. In the past few years, I have been variously stranded in five states after encounters with (a) freak snowstorms and (b) giant raccoons who crawl up into our car’s radiator to die, and yet I look forward to it every year because, of course, AWP has the trifecta: amazing bookfair + amazing readings + all my writer friends ever. Having said that, if my flight this year gets redirected to Khartoum, I won’t be particularly surprised.
If, however, the syzygy necessary to get me to Boston actually occurs, I’ll be reading for Ink Node on the night of Thursday, March 7th. I have a major crush on Ink Node; it’s one of the ways I’ve discovered a lot of my poet crushes (and then bought their books and then crushed harder). They’re put together an amazing lineup, and I’m honored to be invited. If you’re interested, you can read my poem “Liebestod” from the most recent Tin House at Ink Node here.
I’ll also be participating in a panel on Women Poets on Mentoring, talking about my experiences working with the incomparable Rebecca Dunham with Allison Joseph, Shara McCallum, and my dear friend Tyler Mills. You can find us on that same Thursday, at 4:30, in room 108 on the plaza level of the hotel. Here’s a description:
R251. Women Poets on Mentoring. (Allison Joseph, Rebecca Dunham, Brittany Cavallaro, Shara McCallum, Tyler Mills) Women poets today have a wealth of literary models to turn to in their reading. Cultivating relationships with other female poets during key stages in their development is, however, equally important. Female mentors can fill a crucial role in helping other women reflect on writing, pedagogy, professional development, and even lifestyle choices. Panel members will reflect on their own mentor-mentee relationships as well as discuss how individuals and writing programs might foster such connections.
Hope to see you there!
"...That's why the movies are
such a disaster. Now there's a form of popular culture that
doesn't have a clue. Movies should be five minutes long. You
should go in, see a couple of shots, maybe a room with orange
draperies and a rug. A voice-over would say, "I'm having a
hard time getting Raoul from the hotel room into the eleva-
tor." And, bang, that's the end. The lights come on, everybody
walks out full of sympathy because this is a shared experi-
ence. Everybody in that theater knows how hard it is to get
Raoul from the hotel room into the elevator."
from "The Politics of Narrative: Why I Am A Poet" by Lyn Emanuel
Not safe for work. Or life.
I’m beginning to notice that my taste in music is either precious/ethereal instrumentals or the most obnoxious songs on the radio. I’m just slotting this in between We Are Never Getting Back Together and, like, all the Kanye West.
File under: spinning chicken.
Good things, late January 2013 edition: box pleats; Tazo cucumber white tea; having taken the horrible hour to clean out the vacuum (therefore, no longer needing to have done); Dustin O’Halloran’s Piano Solos Vol 2.; hand-proofing the novel manuscript; Madison dinner with all my girls-with-bangs; this paleo diet, which is so great it’s threatening to make me an evangelist; Gustav Davidson’s A Dictionary of Angels, and rereading Timothy Donnelly’s The Cloud Corporation; all the books that keep arriving to the house, for pleasure and for prelims and for coursework, and my getting to read those too.
Excited to have work forthcoming in Barrow Street and Poetry Northwest – thanks so much to those editors. Excited, too, to be Poem-A-Daying in February again, because I think I’m finally seeing the whole shape of this second manuscript.