May 30, 2010

Holiday Weekend

“Be arrogant and vain when you’re young. That’s the only time it looks appealing—and it’s also the only time it’s forgivable.”
                                                                             —Jamaica Kincaid, on writing

Got written off as a "dead-tree poet" this week, by none other than Bill Knott. That was exciting. I admire his poems, so it stings a little. One of his bones of contention was that I don't distribute my poems for free via PDF; which would be a blatant violation of my press contracts. I'm all for web-based journal publishing, as can be easily Googled, but does that mean we now have to be anti-book?


Like most Washingtonians, I love it when the city clears out on holiday weekends. (Except, in the particular case of Memorial Day, for the influx of bikers. But they're a good bunch.) I am home, anti-social, clad in cropped jeans and a thin red t-shirt decorated with virtually the same falling-cat image as the cover of Theories of Falling, and barreling down on the deadline for the memoir. 

Before that...Went to Miami, lectured at the Rubell Family Collection, read at Books & Books, and sipped a ridiculously overpriced Johnnie Walker neat while staring out over the city lights from a 50th-floor rooftop club. 

Came home and hosted two dozen folks at my place for a Writer's Center fundraiser starring the Great Lakes Brewing Company and Kathleen Rooney. We raised $1,200. $1,200! 

Went to Annapolis for the celebration of "The Corner of Poetry & Main"'s five-year anniversary and took part in a reading that was one part euphoria, one part marathon: six featured readers, umpteen open mic slots, and a musical guest. 

Also, made more broccoli slaw than can be consumed by one woman. 


Check out what happens when a great poet misreads "Another Failed Poem about Starlings"...


I've been listening to the Good Will Hunting soundtrack quite a bit as of late. The new Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings album is also a winner (enduring goal: to hear them play a New Year's Eve show, which they've done at the 9:30 Club in several years past).


Ready to get these thousands of words written, head on down to Oxford, and write a sestina or three. June! June. June. 


佳俐 said...


Giulia said...

Well...I guess I'm out of it as I didn't know who he was (is)...he's a bit too bitter for me to want to spend time over on his site. (I just visited.) Lots of people do not understand contracts, etc. I'm sorry that he didn't check it out before he decided to rant.

No, we don't have to be anti-book & I won't be - ever. I will barely put a word of anything I've written, published yet or not, on my sites or anyone else's. And I don't even feel guilty about it--wow, for once.

Like Jamaica's quote always & it's so true. I head her say it once many years ago at AU & I knew it but I was young. Now I really get it. Ancient as I am.

Have a good month.

Kathleen Rooney said...

Thanks so much for hosting me last week! You put the fun in fundraiser, are the hostess with the mostest, etc.

knott said...

it's hardly writing you off to simply note that like most "poetry bloggers" you don't publish your poetry on your blog . . .

I don't see how my observation about that fact can be seen by you as negative criticism—

your poetry is obviously of a very high quality, as proved by the prestige of your publishers and by the journals where your work appears. . .

lesser poets like me who must self-publish our vanity volumes can only envy such success——

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i saw you at busboys and poets on 5th&k tonight! you were great! :)
keep doing your thing girl!

Anonymous said...

oh and i forgot to mention that out of all the poems you presented at busboys and poets that night, my favorite was the one that went like "you were you...." and the one about vocation was another one i really liked to! good luck in all you do and keep writing! :)