Showing posts from May, 2012

Two Diana Mini Photos from Sunday's Reading

HGP Editor Margaret Bashaar reads at the Strange Animals Open Mike. Niina Pollari and Juliet Cook listen to Margaret read.

Road Trips & Strange Animals

This weekend A. and I jumped in the car and drove to Pittsburgh.  That sounded too spontaneous for a couple with two highly active children and a neurotic 80 lb yellow lab. Let's try that again: This weekend, after packing two suitcases, one for ourselves and one for our two children (who required multiple outfits for multiple temperatures -- "just in case" -- and a menagerie of stuffed animals), and after packing up the dog, who requires his crate and food and his new favorite bunny toy, and after depositing the children and the dog with their respective care-takers (Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt A.L. & Uncle B, respectively), A. and I finally hit the road on Saturday. Niina Pollari The impetus for the trip was the Strange Animals Literary Reading Series held at Hambone's Pub in Pittsburgh, curated by Sara Emily Kuntz. Sara asked Margaret Bashaar, editor and publisher at Hyacinth Girl Press, if the HGP authors would consider doing a feature o

My Morning Reading, Summer Break Edition, Part Two

I could listen to Glyn Maxwell read me poems all day. What a lovely voice , and a fantastic poem . I have a long list of summer reading. I'm going to stop playing on the computer soon so that I can get to it: Glyn Maxwell's Plays One Glyn Maxwell's Plays Two (Might as well begin with Glyn since I'm reposting his poem above. And yes, I began Plays One ages ago. Now is the time to finish it) The Boys at Twilight by Glyn Maxwell (poems) Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabakov (A.P. and I are going to read it at the same time -- he'll reread it -- in a kind of ultra dorky book club that consists of just the two of us) Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot The Sacred Wood by T.S. Eliot (essays, criticism) The Uses of Literature by Italo Calvino (essays) The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone De Beauvoir The Second Sex by Simone DeBeauvoir The Bounty by Derek Walcott Words in Air (Lowell & Bishop correspondence, which my mother bought me as a present ages a

My Morning Reading, Summer Break Edition

Rebecca Lindenburg lost her husband, the poet Craig Arnold, in 2009 when he went hiking in Japan. Here she writes about Arnold and his work very eloquently. I read Arnold's Shells when it first came out (the winner of the Yale Younger Poets Series), and I liked it, but I haven't yet read Made Flesh . I think I might do that this summer. *** When I attended college as an undergraduate, my parents paid my tuition. My father asked that, in return, I treat college like a full-time job -- give it forty hours a week, and then whatever I did with the rest of the week's hours was my own business. I never formally accounted for those hours, but his request stuck with me ... and shaped my attitude towards school and studying. So I think it's unsurprising that I find this article from The Washington Post depressing, but I know its truth too well -- my own students would probably bring these survey results far lower than they currently are. Too many of them work full-

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The Cost of a Semester Spent Teaching: Colonization (and, of course, Squidginess)

This is the last week of classes. Two days of classes, to be specific, and then a few days saved for grading. Grades are due Friday. Graduation is Sunday. I am so glad it's almost over. It's been rough, this transition to teaching from writing. I've tried to keep in mind this article from a Chronicle of Higher Ed blog (I linked to in an earlier post) about writing during the semester. Like the author, Claire Potter, I've spent some time this semester comparing my old writing habits to the new habits I gained over the sabbatical. Potter writes of her old habits:  . . . why were these all such bad plans? Because they made writing instrumental to the trauma of tenure and promotion processes, a habit that is hard to break. Furthermore, in one way or another, I was accepting as a given that all writing must in the end be motivated and controlled by other people’s rules. My own creativity could only be activated in time that had yet to be colonized by someone,

Stuff I Find When I Should Be Grading . . .

I found this while trolling the New Pages site. Kinda nice way to end the week. (I'm going to be blindly optimistic at 5:49 a.m. and pretend that the rest of the day will go well.)

Post-Mayhem Post-Hysteria Blog Post

Writing and anything related to writing crawls to a standstill during the last days of school. I'm still getting up early, but unfortunately the quiet time by myself has been spent doing other things, so I haven't made much progress.  Or actually, I guess I've made some . Somewhere in the madness of the week-long events of the SCCC Creative Writing Festival , I found time to revise one or two lines a day of the fairy tale. And I read the first six scenes of Walcott's The Ghost Dance (very good, and I think better than Walker , the first play in the book, which feels -- dare I say it -- a little clunky compared to Ghost Dance .) Also I gave up (for now) losing more precious minutes searching the stacks of paper around my house for the pages A. kindly wrote feedback on, the first half of the fairytale, up to Chapter Five, and instead I printed out the entire fairy tale in a double-spaced format (47 pages like that! That shit is long !) so that I can methodicall