July 29, 2009

What I'm Up To

Oh my lordy, the comments section on my last post overflowed with great reading suggestions. If you're interested in the genres of food writing, or memoirs, check it out. Thanks, everyone, for chiming in.

I've already got a couple of books on order as a result. But in the meantime I have immersed myself in Kathleen Rooney's Oneiromance (an epithamalion). It is a physically lovely object, with an elegantly whimsical cover (evocative of a Chagall painting) and a unique trim size (appropriate to the long, columnlike poems). The poems are fun and surprising and rich, which is especially remarkable given that the thematic hubs--dreams, and a wedding--have been responsible for so much verse cliche over the years. Lots of internal rhyme and wordplay, flexing between male (groom) and female (bride) speakers, roaming everywhere from Brazil tot he midwest to over Niagara Falls. Rooney herself interests me, as someone who seems to migrate effortlessly between the genres of criticism, poetry, and nonfiction. Read it! Read it! It refreshed my love of what we do.

Part of the reason that book landed in my hands (it has been on my shelf since AWP) was that I was taking the metro for cocktails with a writer friend. I had not ridden the Red Line since the terrible crash that took place my first week in Wyoming. As the doors closed, there was an overly elaborate message that warned of a possible delay: "Riders should plan for an additional 30 minutes in their travel time, while Metro continues to investigate The Incident." Unnecessarily macabre, and similar to announcements they ran after the Madrid bombings, warning about unattended packages. Usually I protest the loss of institutional memory, but in this case I do not want to see a onetime tragedy turn into a tattoo of shame.

I am in hiding for the next few days, making some decisions about a few part-time gigs this fall and trying to fine tune three chapters to send to my editor at Crown. But the rumors are true: I will emerge from my cave long enough to serve as the Guest Judge for Week Seven of Project Verse. Onward!

No comments: