Friday, October 24, 2014

Good morning, Dodge



This is a picture of my all-access Dodge pin. *smile*

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Last night's Poetry Sampler was a buffet, if you will, of poets. And I feasted. On stage: Jan Beatty, Richard Blanco, Eavan Boland, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Camille T. Dungy, Cathy Park Hong, Marie Howe, Yusef Komunyakaa, Rachel McKibbens, Anis Mojgani, Aja Monet, Sharon Olds, Alice Oswald, Robert Pinsky, James Richardson, Alberto RĂ­os, Patrick Rosal, Tracy K. Smith, Gary Snyder, Brian Turner, C. Dale Young, and Kevin Young. 

Each poet read about five minutes. Simply amazing. My heart was full.

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I'm up early figuring out my schedule for a full day of poetry. The rain has moved out, for the most part.
Today, 4,500 high school students from across the state will be a part of a multitude of discussions on the art and craft of poetry. 

Some of the discussion topics:
Going Public with Private Feelings
Poets on Poetry
Present Imperfect: Poets on Poetry and Disability
Poetics of War: Writing the Militay Experience
From Homer to Hip Hop/Poetry and the Oral Tradition
Poetry and Performance
Saying the Unsayable

It's going to be a terrific day. How could it not be?  

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Misery Islands should be in the Dodge bookstore this morning. I'm guessing the shipment was delayed due to weather. But I'm told copies will be here today. *big smile*

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Misery Islands!

Hello, Misery!


On Monday, I read with the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, and lo and behold, copies of Misery Islands arrived. Yay!



My thanks to Andrea Cohen and Porter Square books for arranging to get books direct from the printer. I had to buy my author copy, which was weird to say the least. I'm just happy Andrea let me know getting the book was even a possibility. Fortunately, Misery will be available for Dodge!

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Thanks for CavanKerry Press for supporting book #2! You can preorder copies from CKP's Website
and save 20 percent!

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Dodge, baby! I'm out like a scout. I'm headed down to Newark to participate as a reader at the Dodge Poetry Festival. I will try to blog and tweet on the go. And if you're in Newark, please stop by and say hello.

Jan

Friday, October 17, 2014

Taylor Mali: Typography



I have been showing this poem to my classes all day. It makes me happy. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Confession Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, folks! Time for your confessions. Share a bit of yourself with us and we promise to do the same.




Here we are at the Topsfield Fair. It's been a while since I'm taken a photo with the kids in the background. They're getting so big. "Time keeps on slipping into the future," as the song says.


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I'm reading at the Blacksmith Poetry House on October 20, and if all goes well, copies of Misery Islands will be there! The scheduled release date is November 4, but the bookstore is having copies shipped from the printer.

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I am trying not to be too hard on myself for not writing a poem. It’s been a series of fits and starts lately. The harder I try to hold onto a routine, the more disappointed I am in myself. Makes me wonder how grounded I am in the practice of writing.

That being said, I crave the oomph that comes from staying open. Sometimes writing is like turning on an old faucet—it takes a little time for the waters to run clear. And clear waters—or good writing— require patience and grit. Really, that means focusing on me more. Nothing beats that sense of achievement when I get a draft down. I know this. I know this. I know this.

Yeah, I’ve been missing that feeling. Hoping to grit it out over the next few days.

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When I stay open, all is possible.

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Sometimes these blog posts are my own personal pep talks.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Moving Poems



How much do I love Moving Poems?

This is a perfect example of what happens when you put a poem into the world, and you're pleasantly surprised when it comes back to you.

Dave Bonta has taken my poem, "Prayer," and "The Ethics of Mothers" by Rachel Barenblat and combined them into one video. The images are striking, and I love the cosmic treatment at the end. Never envisioned my work in this way, which is both humbling and cool.

Also thanks to The Poetry Storehouse for giving my poems life after life.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Confession Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, folks. You know the drill.




This week, Oct 6-10, I’m guest blogging for Best American Poetry! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share a few thoughts with a larger audience.

My first post: Welcome to the Poet Party

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That being said, I’m doing a ton o' writing this week. I don’t think I can focus on poetry until the weekend. Between the blog post, a book chapter I'm writing (I’m a contributor), and grading, I’m spending a lot of energy—not as efficiently as I would like. I’m OK with that. In fact, it’s been challenging in a good way. Maybe I needed this surge in output to keep me motivated.

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The time map is still in effect, but I’m a little off track. Again, if I can get all of my grading done, I should be fine. Much of my day is spent quelling the feeling that I have an overwhelming amount of stuff on my plate. The time map helps me keep it in perspective.

What's the first thing to fall off the list? Exercise, then poetry. *sigh* Hoping to get lots of writing time in this weekend. I'm still sleeping, that's the most important thing,

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My baby boy became a pre-teen this past weekend, 11 years old. When the first nurse put his little body in my arms, I thought, “Who is this stranger?” Now, he’s a young man. I spend all this time getting to know him, an in a few years I have to let him go.

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Short but sweet today. Have a great week!

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