Showing posts from January, 2013

Post-Boog-City/DA Levy Lives Reading Post

Photo of me reading courtesy of A.P.  Due to the glare from the stage lights and my pregnancy roundness, other photos from his perspective made me look like an atomic blueberry. So, this pic of my boots will have to do. Bernadette Geyer graciously tagged me for the "Next Big Thing" Series/meme that's hit the interwebs, and I think that technically I was supposed to post my answers on Monday, but due to the rather frenetic week I'm going to save that post for Saturday, February 2. Instead, I thought I'd post about the loveliness of the Hyacinth Girl Press/"Boog City Presents" poetry reading on Tuesday.  As I told a friend over Facebook yesterday, there's something about delving into the writer-world for a few short hours for events such as this reading that leave me feeling really happy and content. I guess it doesn't take much to make me happy -- although there was a lot to be happy about on Tuesday evening, I must admit.  So

Reading Tonight

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 D.A. Levy lives: celebrating the renegade press reading series featuring the authors of Hyacinth Girl Press Sidewalk Cafe 94 Avenue A (@ E. 6th St.) The East Village 6:30 p.m.  Tonight, much to A.'s chagrin, I'll be trekking into the city and participating in this reading. A.'s a little concerned about his eight-months-pregnant wife traveling two hours away. Into a city that he loathes. But, after much discussion last night, he's given me the "do-what-you-want," which isn't exactly a blessing, but isn't a complete and definitive "absolutely not." It allows me to travel into NYC for a reading I've been looking forward to for months. One, because as I've said before, I don't often have the opportunity to participate in readings -- and I like them! Also two: It's kind of my last hurrah before the baby arrives. The midwife has already told me I'm not allowed to travel to Boston for A

Spring (Semester) Cleaning

A photo-essay, of sorts: The paper material I cleaned out of my filing cabinets last week and took home to place in the recycling, since we don't have a recycling program at the school. (Lame, I know.) On the left, recycling that still needs to be brought home (a pregnant lady can only carry so much down three flights of stairs and across a parking lot to her car) along with a stack of papers that remains to be sorted through. Another stack of papers that remains to be sorted through (on top of the filing cabinet) One of those file organizers that I am OBVIOUSLY using correctly and efficiently. The good part of last week. Newly organized file drawer! These are most of my committee-work files. See that big spiral-bound book? That's the Leadership Academy notebook. (It weighs more than a small child. I'm surprised the filing cabinet hasn't tipped over from its bulk.) And another! These are most of my class materials -- I'm only half-way t

Holy Hoc-a-Moly

So sayeth The Boy. I think he's trying to say, "Holy Guacamole," and I'm not quite sure where he heard this expression, but I share the sentiment. Being 32 weeks pregnant and teaching is tiring , yo. This has been a good but long and busy week. I have a list, already, of emails I need to send out, and tasks that I have to accomplish. I have quizzes to grade. Recommendations to finally, finally , write (my poor students). I have phone calls to return. I have that damn Leadership Academy report to write (yup, I missed the deadline). And I have an office submersed in about 2 tons of paper because I decided to clean out my filing cabinets. (And yes, this is a task that doesn't really scream out Important! Must be done now! unless, of course, you're me, and particularly sensitive about the fact that you've hoarded about eight years of paper scraps that you barely look at anymore. Everything must go ! scream the cells in my body. I think this is a preggo-

My Morning Reading, and The Beginning of a New (Half-of-a) Semester

I sat down to write and started reading instead, which is okay, I suppose: (I half-heartedly forgive myself for trolling the internet because I found these:) The Journey by Yvor Winters. This interview with Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco. (Can I just say how disappointed I am in both asshole journalists and even fellow poets in their reaction to Blanco's poem ? Writing occasional poetry is wretched work, and Blanco made good work of a wretched assignment.) Last week brought three rejections, two of my manuscript, and one from a literary journal. Two rejections even arrived on one day! ( Good day .) I think I need to steel myself for this -- all the stuff I sent out in the fall is going to come rushing back now as magazines begin their prep for spring issues, and those book contests have to choose winners. It would be nice to receive a little bit of good news, though. The new semester begins today. I have office hours before teaching my first class at 12:30 p.m., and

Super Flu 2013, or The Lost Week of 2013

As you may have guessed from this post's title, a rigorous bout of the flu kept me from posting on the blog last week, or from doing anything of substance, really, until Sunday. My son, my husband, and I all came down with some form of the illness around the beginning of the week, and so our household barely functioned for seven days.  Yesterday, after waking up and feeling vaguely human, my husband and I went on a massive disinfecting bender, assaulting almost all surfaces in the house with Clorox wipes, changing sheets and towels, washing said sheets and towels, washing all clothes that may have had a remote chance of being sneezed on or coughed at, vacuuming up all of the dog hair that we'd ignored all week, and then collapsing into two piles of sniffling, coughing lethargy because, dammit, cleaning is exhausting when you've spent most of the week comatose from the flu. In fact, every normal routine task feels monumental. I just put Little Miss Talkalot on the

New Year Reflection and Resolution, Part V: Focusing on Family

Last year I didn't publish my resolutions publicly, or post such lengthy reflections, either -- but I did do the reflecting, and I drafted some resolutions, too, and wrote them down on an index card which I kept at the front of a file holder on my desk, which occupies one corner of our living room. I thought that each time I sat down to write or check email I'd see my little index card and be reminded of the important things, the things I'd deemed important enough to write down, and that I'd work (more) actively to stay true to those resolutions. Of course, one of my resolutions should have been to "keep a tidier house," but it wasn't, and as I only really act when my actions have been dictated by an official list, my desk stayed buried under several inches of piled paper (miscellaneous pages of catalog, things identified as "to read" but rarely read, misplaced bills, and returned school/artwork from the kiddos), and so I didn't use my

New Year Reflection and Resolution, Part IV: Writing

While there is, of course, plenty of room for improvement, and while I could certainly use a little more discipline here and there (particularly when it comes to idly staring at effbook when I could/should be getting to work in the mornings), I feel as though I've traveled miles when it comes to my work habits as a writer. I'm not even sure I had what could be called habits as a writer, for decades -- if I had any, they were bad habits -- despite having attended graduate school for writing, despite having some brief luck with publishing a poem or two, despite naming myself a writer even though I certainly didn't, by my definition, act like one. Since the inception of this blog -- since the summer before my sabbatical -- I've developed the habit of waking and making some movement toward my writing -- be it through the act of writing itself (working on poems, or writing a post here), or reading (which, as my students will tell you, because I beat it into their head

New Year Reflection and Resolution, Part III: Academia, Yet Again

Okay, this post should do it for visiting the "academia" part of my life. After surely boring my audience with all of that technical stuff that focused heavily on the aspects of academia that don't really include teaching, I thought I'd write today about, you know, my teaching. And bore you in a slightly different way! (My purpose of these posts, of course, is really not to bore you. But since this blog is primarily for my own edification, and less about creating a "brand" or developing a fan base, I have to sometimes use these posts as a way of deducing where I stand on certain issues, ergo the last two posts.) Finally, after approximately 10 years, I've become more satisfied and confident in my teaching abilities and methods. My biggest struggle has been, and continues to be, balancing the demands of an instructor with those of my personal/writing life. So I'll address that, now, as a way of segueing into the next post, which will (hopefully

New Year Reflection and Resolution, Part II: Academia, Again

And you thought I'd shut up after yesterday's rant! No dice. I have more to say! Lucky you! Remember back in August when I attended that week-long Leadership Academy Conference? Yeah, I barely remember August, either. Anyway, I attended a week-long Leadership Academy Conference with approximately 30 of my fellow Stuffolk faculty, and we kumbaya'd and held hands and talked about our feelings for 5 very long days , and when it was done we were supposed to have come up with a list of practicable, easily-achievable goals that would get us moving in the right direction . . . the right direction being, of course, toward Leadership Roles at The College. Hey! WAKE UP!  I know, it sounds pretty dry, right? It is/was, to some extent. In other ways, it was actually quite productive . . . only I think it was more productive for me on a personal level, and I'm not sure it made me better-suited to become a leader at our institution. If anything, it made me quest

New Year Reflection & Resolution, Part I: Academia

The web-world is filled with New Year's Resolutions as well as reflections on the past year, and I might as well put forth my own contribution to this electronic, public Literature of Good Intentions, since I'm going to be doing it anyway, whether it's public or private, and perhaps other people will find my own list helpful/interesting, as I find the lists of others helpful/interesting. 2012 was a relatively good year overall. I feel more confident about my teaching than I've ever felt, but I've loathed the other parts of being part of academia this year -- particularly the politics of department and administration, and to some extent, union, and I find the whole business draining and soul-sucking and I don't think I'm going to engage in any of that nonsense much more. If I can help it. I probably CAN'T help it, by virtue of my nature and by virtue of the nature of the job, but if I can keep "STAY OUT OF IT" ringing inside my cavernous h