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Showing posts from March, 2012

"The best thing that we're put here for's to see;"

As my daughter used to say to us when we'd have friends over and the adults became too raucous with their laughter: "Be good girls and be good boys. LISTEN!"

ROBERT HASS: "Measure"

HAYDEN CARRUTH: "Notes on Poverty"

OLAG H. HAUGE: "Barley Field"

ROBERT FROST: "The Star-Splitter"

(These are some of latest from The Poetry Foundation's Audio Poem of the Day subscription. I'll share some of the finer work by women in a later post.)

March Has Been Rough

I'm a little behind in my blog posts, I know. Imma little behind in everything, frankly. Practically the second after I posted that last revision of my sabbatical report, and sent the real sabbatical report off to Stuffolk's Sabbatical Committee, I appeared on the radar of some angry and vengeful god who decided it was about time I pay for all of the past six month's writing productivity. Zap! And like that, I awoke to a world filled with all-of-the-stuff-I-haven't-done.

And I haven't written much of anything since then. Not a good sign.

This weekend, however -- the first low-key weekend in quite some time -- was good for getting some of that done. Mostly homefront kind of work like: paying past-due bills (our usually neat-and-orderly finances another casualty of the sabbatical); laundry; going through stacks of old mail and paper cluttering the kitchen counters; cleaning up the yard; and planting some peas in the vegetable garden.

Mostly, it was all stuff that I…

You May Fall Asleep: Longest. Post. Ever. NOW REVISED AND EDITED!

This may seem a bit extreme -- two posts in one day! -- but I'm going to post my sabbatical report here. One, it's my way of putting the sabbatical to rest and saying, finally, "I'm done." Also, I thought it might be of interest to anyone who is thinking of going on a sabbatical and/or anyone who struggles with the writing process . . . and in particular, with the process of writing poetry. WARNING: THERE'S LOTS OF SHOP-TALK HERE. YOU MAY FALL ASLEEP. THIS POST IS PROBABLY A GOOD SEDATIVE.

So . . . *deep breath* . . . here it is.
REPORT FOLLOWING SABBATICAL

Name: _Sarah Kain Gutowski_

Campus/Department_Ammerman/English__

Period of Sabbatical__Fall 2011__

Attach the Statement of Purpose as approved by the Sabbatical Review Committee.


A. Narrative on Activity and Findings

While my sabbatical started officially with the Fall 2011 semester, I began work on my sabbatical projects in July of last year. I took a graduate course titled “Meter and Form” at Stony Bro…

Lose Your Mind an Hour, Gain a Poem

And just when I thought I'd finished the Fabulous Beast: Poems manuscript, another poem appeared Monday. It was rather startling -- I was saying (to anyone who would listen) that there might be one more myth poem in the collection, but I thought that was just something you say to make yourself feel better about inspiration running out. Apparently, daylight savings knocked a poem loose from the tight, confused knot that is my brain (when it threw every other part of my life off kilter). So I'm not complaining about the loss of an hour -- although trying to get the kids adjusted to the new schedule is a test of my fortitude, to say the least.

A.P. and I met on Monday, too, to discuss his excellent new poems and the order of poems in my MS. I'm not sure he got anything out of it (basically I just babbled about how good his new poems are and drew hearts and checks all over the pages . . . because I'm a thirteen year old girl), but his feedback about my work was really hel…

The Final Stretch (And, Finally, Moving On to the Verse Play)

Well, I've officially begun work on the verse drama. (Two weeks before the sabbatical report deadline! I am GOOD!)) This past week I finished revising three scenes and putting the language right, to some extent. All in the all, the experience was rather like rearranging furniture in a room, and it made me realize -- or rerealize (sure, let's pretend that's a word!) -- that something written in meter does not a poem make.

Or something like that.

Anyway, writing a play with poetry is difficult (to which statement, my eloquent-as-ever-inner-critic says duh!) and will take me much longer than I anticipated. I don't see it as an insurmountable task, but I do see several drafts in my future. Right now, each scene is very brief, very sparse. I don't have that many extended speeches or monologues, and that's something that needs to change -- not simply because they'll help each scene last longer than a blink of the eyelids, but because there are moments that need t…

AWP Conference 2012

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Today marks the end of AWP 2012 and what may be a brutal return to reality. We're checking out of our hotel this afternoon and flying back to our children in Virginia (and rescuing my mother, who's been run ragged by them, I'm sure). Tomorrow bright and early we'll drive back to New York, and then Tuesday I'll jump right into the thick of things by beginning the day with a guest lecture at Stony Brook Southampton, followed by a 50 mile commute to Suffolk's west campus for our "Professional Development Day," which promises to be as exciting as the title portends.

But let's not start this post off on a negative note, shall we? The Wednesday-Saturday of AWP was filled with lots of interesting discussion, lovely moments and fun, unexpected events. I managed to see 2-3 panels per day, and even spend a fair amount of time walking around the Bookfair, where I picked up the following:

The Gray Issue of The Fairy Tale Review (I've already read two stor…