What I Read When I Avoid Wrapping Christmas Presents

Cynthia Marie Hoffman's book, Sightseer, won the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry in 2010. She speaks about the experience of creating a book of poems in this interview. She's also spoken to (emailed? typed with?) Brian Brodeur about the creation of a single poem on his blog, How A Poem Happens.

I haven't managed to get any writing done over the past few days. The closest I came was yesterday, when I sent out a bunch of emails to different publishers withdrawing a manuscript from their consideration. This was, by far, one of the strangest-feeling tasks I've ever completed. I find it bizarre requesting that someone not read and consider my work for their publication/contest. I've spent so many years doing just the opposite that the composition of those emails felt like driving a manual transmission car down the wrong opposite side of the road with the stick and the steering wheel on the opposite side of the vehicle (opposite meaning the side you're not accustomed to). Which, by the way, I've done before. Because I'm an idiot.

As one might gather from its title, I began this post sometime before Sunday, and never finished it. So go the holidays. Today I'm up after roughly 5 hours of sleep to squeeze some writing in before I go to Virginia with my kids. We're fitting in a whirlwind trip to see my parents, and my uncle -- who's visiting the US for the first time in 10 years -- before New Year's. Me, two kids under the age of ten, an SUV coated in cracker crumbs, and the New Jersey Turnpike. I live a glamorous life. Don't pretend you're not jealous.

P.S. Oh, and while you're reading the interview with CMH, peruse Devil's Lake. I like especially Casey Thayer's poems.

P.P.S. (12/29/11) I edited this entry because I just realized that writing after 5 hours of sleep doesn't necessarily result in cogent or coherent sentences. And honestly, I'm not sure I helped things here.


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