March 10, 2010

Here and Now(ish)

Alison Stine has big book news. Congrats, Ali!

While I am thinking of it, another amazing poet you should know about: Heather Hartley.


Next week I'm looking forward to a whole lotta Writer's Center. On Sunday the 14th, a Board meeting. On Friday (March 19), Story/Stereo featuring amazing Seattle-based poet Kathleen Flenniken, Anthony Varallo, and the musical guest More Humans. On Saturday (March 20), the "Writing the Future" Conference cosponsored by Lee Gutkind and the recently redesigned Creative Nonfiction. (I have no idea how I crept onto the schedule for this, as I am speaking alongside so many people--Nick Bilton, Richard Nash, Peter Ginna--way more important than I am. It's not too late to sign up; details here.) If you come for the conference, be sure to stick around for CNF's "relaunch" party that night. On Sunday (March 21), an Open House for spring/summer workshops and a 33rd Birthday Celebration featuring readings by Carolyn Forche and Pagan Kennedy (rescheduled from February snows).

All of this is just a prelude to the challenge of April, when I begin teaching my first multi-course workshops at the Writer's Center. I am offering two, both on Tuesdays, six sessions each beginning April 20 and running through the end of May.

The first (daytime) workshop is called "From Heart to Page: Writing About Family." It addresses the needs of folks with a variety of experience. I am mindful that for a lot of us, me included, our families are our first subjects. The description: "Those around us cast their shadows on the page; it's natural to write about loved ones. But where is the line between life and art? Which of the 10,000 details from memory makes it into the poem? In this workshop, we'll focus on building poems from the material of family stories, and look at relevant poets such as Stanley Kunitz and Sharon Olds. For the first meeting, bring 15 copies of a draft."

The second (evening) workshop is called "Poets Teaching Poets: Theory and Practice." It's intended for more advanced students, and I approached it by asking what I wish I could get out of a workshop, right now, if I enrolled in one. This is what I came up with: "Good poets become great poets by embracing a theory of their craft that pushes them to aim beyond clever word choices and line breaks. In this workshop, we'll frame our discussions using engaging and inspiring essays on craft from poets such as Gregory Orr, Eavan Boland, and Tony Hoagland. For the first meeting, bring 15 copies of two poems: a poem that you love, and a draft of your own."

I hope they go well. I hope enough people sign up that I even have the chance to find out if they CAN go well. If you know someone who might be interested in enrolling in either one, please spread the word! I know, budgets are tight these days. But if you break it down, the per-week cost is no more than a night's happy-hour tab. Trust me, we will make these two hours happy enough to justify the trade!

Okay, that sounds a little more salacious than I meant it to.


Issue 3 of Cerise Press, which includes my poem "On the Occasion of Your Wedding," has gone live. I've always harbored the dream of having a poem of mine read at someone's wedding. Mind you, I don't want to write it FOR their wedding. That would make me terribly self-conscious. Weddings already make me very self-conscious; everyone's eating cake, which means that no one can kiss or touch me without setting off my allergies. It's bad enough being the only 30 year old trying to catch the bouquet, without being covered in hives. When I get married, we're using one of those fancy silver knives to cut a giant Swedish Fish in half instead.


I had some friends over last night for wine and board games. The subject of Facebook came up. We all admitted: we find it creepy when you use a profile picture of his your baby in lieu of your own face. A shot of you holding the kid is fine. But you are not your child. There's some kind of weird subliminal-life-priority thing going on there.

Can you tell none of us were parents?


Collin Kelley said...

I hope you'll make it to my reading with Susan Tichy on March 28!

Jessie Carty said...

i absolutely love this idea for an advanced course :)