Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Throw Another One on the Pile

Honestly, this was supposed to be a quiet week because my boss is out of the office, but it turns out that the pressure of my deadlines is still there. I'm actually kind of looking forward to my class next week (despite thinking that a "business management for government" topic isn't all that relevant to me) since it'll get me out of the office.

National Poetry Month didn't lead me to write as much as I wanted, unfortunately, but I did read a lot, including Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey. A great book, each poem with a voice interesting in its own right, and a good learning opportunity for me on how a book is put together. It has such cohesion as a group of poems, even though there doesn't seem to be a direct relationship between any as individuals. It's still difficult for me to think about which of my poems would go together into a book, or if I'm putting something together from scratch, what direction to go. It is useful for me to think about writing a book that I would enjoy reading. I feel like all the poems I've written are a haystack of disorganization, though, so it's tough to find any direction at all in them.

I did finish my book for the 2011 TBR Pile Challenge, The Best American Poetry 2003, edited by Yusef Komunyakaa. Yes, that book was sitting on my to-be-read shelf since 2003, and I'm glad it's off. I can't say it was the best poetry collection I'd ever read, mostly because I don't think I care for Komunyakaa's taste. There were a few poems I enjoyed, though some of them I had read before (the problem with reading a collection of poems that were new in 2003). I have the BAP collections for 2009 and 2010, and I do have the goal for myself of reading them in less than 6 years.

For the Poetry x 12 challenge, the requirement for April was to read a favorite poetry collection from childhood. I had intended to reread some Blake, but it didn't get done, and right now I think I'd rather go on to new books that I'm more excited about. The challenge for May is to read a poetry collection from another country. I do have a book on my shelf that fits that requirement, so I think that will be easier to accomplish than last month's goal.

I have been thinking a lot about how much I would like to go on a writer's residency. There seem to be a lot on the coasts and not many in the Midwest, though, which makes it tougher financially to plan on paying the residency fee on top of airfare. I'm thinking of using AWP as a residency of sorts, though. It'll help me justify paying for the hotel, and AWP is such a crazy, intense experience, I think I would appreciate hiding out in my room for an hour or two, without making me feel guilty that I'm missing stuff.

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