Okay, rather than expecting everyone to scroll back through all my P-town posts to find responses to your comments, I'm just going to put them here in a big pile -- shuffle through them till you find yours. :) If I miss any, pester me here or in email....
Peter, re: It sounds wonderful. Tell DA Powell I *heart* him.
You can thank Carol, who was also in the workshop & noticed your comment, for this:
(He said it was sweet. *grin*)
Lorna Dee, re: Anne, check your email. I sent you some "drafty" type reframings of what I think are two good poems here.
I thanked you in email, but here too! I've already started reworking them (I'm pretty sure I've worked on both at this point), but I'm intrigued by your ideas too, & pleased that my drafts inspired you to play. You know, I've never loved revision, but this week, I couldn't wait to launch into it. It's like a connection finally happened in my brain about it.
Ginger, re: It's made me think about this whole blogging thing, and how I sometimes feel for bloggers the way I do for characters in a good novel.
LOL! Yes, I feel the same way, except that with characters in a novel I think "I wish I really could meet so-and-so" and with bloggers there's always some chance I may actually meet them at some point. (Case in point -- sitting around chatting with fellow workshoppers on the first day and mentioning blogging, only to have Carol say "wait! I know you!" That was startling at first, but turned out to add a neat extra layer to our interaction.) And yes, I did go out on a second whale watch -- Monday after class -- and we saw 3 humongous basking sharks (thirty feet long!) and got a nice close look at a finback whale. I normally see more than that when I go out, but I think it was just Somebody's way of reminding me that I wasn't there to see whales, I was there to write poems!
Sarah, re: it's so funny that you saw John Waters! living in baltimore, we saw him once at a bar in baltimore that he allegedly frequents. a kind of seedy, really dimly lit, always-packed-on-the-weekends, bar with a really fabulous jukebox. kind of a perfect place for him, i think.
Hee! Provincetown is a perfect place for him, too. I didn't see him to say hello or anything, just saw him going by on the street. And, glad you enjoyed reading the posts. It's kind of weird to have people who know me in "real life" reading these posts (though I submit that last week was the reality and the 8-to-5 job is the fictional construction...), but kind of nice too. :)
Rebecca, re: I'm enjoying reading about your conference. I only went to one, (twice) and even that was difficult for me. All I wanted to do was ride around on my bicycle, and, come to think of it, that's pretty much all I did. The poems didn't come until a year later.
I usually figure I've had a really good summer workshop if I get one decent poem out of it -- but always, always what I've learned comes back months or a year later and the poems come then. I'm amazed at how productive I was able to be this week -- and I bet there will be more as everything I learned filters down to deeper levels. This workshop was difficult for me -- in the sense that it stretched me & pushed me on both intellectual & emotional levels -- but it was a good difficulty.
Diane, re: How it takes you out of yourself and brings you back to your core, how it shakes all your dead leaves from your tree.
Yes, yes!!! Although in this case it felt like it didn't take me out of myself so much as bringing me to my best self. And yes, it will stay with me. I won't be that best self every day, but knowing that core is there will probably sustain me.
Emily, re: Anne, I LOVE this, LOVE this. It is making me cry. I think we have the same taste in women. [sad grin]
Awwwww, thanks. So you like the slightly salty ones too, eh? *grin* You know, I like that draft myself, though I think I wrote two this week that were better. But I'm definitely going to work with the Race Point one, and not just because I want to say big ass mola mola. :) Here is one of the things I learned as I wrote that draft, though: when I'm in a truly joyful and peaceful place, when I'm in the middle of falling in love with myself again, that's when I feel safe enough to access the sense of longing that I think peeks its little head out in that poem. I think that's why the week was risky (in a good way) for me -- and I think learning how to handle material that feels risky is one of the things D.A. Powell teaches best, even if he doesn't say it in so many words.
Suzanne, re: This is a keeper. This one you keep and redraft, Anne. I have some suggestions for you, but I'll wait until it has time to dry--it's still wet. I'm so happy this weekend is getting under your skin. :-)
Thanks!! Sure, send along your suggestions -- though I've already done some mucking around with it and suspect a major rewrite is already going to happen. I feel like I learned so much about revision this week & understand the process so much better -- I'm not nearly so afraid of it anymore. In a way that has freed me to write stuff I probably wouldn't have tried to touch otherwise. And yes, the week got under my skin -- waaaaaay down in there! It really was almost a physical sensation. Odd, that. But so good.
Carol, re: I didn't make it to the good-byes, Anne, but I can't bear good-byes, and why should we? It's hello.
Yes, exactly. That whole group bonded so tightly in just a few days -- I do suspect we've all entered each other's lives on a long-term basis, even if it just means each of us has the happiness of knowing the others are alive on this planet somewhere. Okay, that sounded REALLY sappy. Oh so what. :)
Jenni, re: He sounds wonderful. If I ever have the oppertunity, I'll definately take a class with him.
You should! I think you'd enjoy him a great deal. He would certainly have no trouble with your more "risky" material, and he'd probably give you a lot of good poets to read as well. (I swear the man has read everything!)
Jilly, re: glad it was productive and you got to meet my friend Carol. :)
Yes!! Meeting Carol was fabulous. Definitely get her to show you some of the new material she started working on there, too. Burning temples and so on. Amazing stuff.
Eduardo, re: Thanks for posting about your time in P.Town. I think I'm the only queen who hasn't visited the town yet. Sigh.
Oh honey. You must. You would be in hog heaven. (Okay, maybe I spent a bit too much time drinking at the Squealing Pig.) Provincetown isn't what it used to be -- it's way too expensive and too much new construction and too gentrified -- but it is still one of the Great Good Places in the world. And the Fine Arts Work Center does wonderful things. What I love about FAWC -- well, one of the many things to love -- is that, being a part of such a queer community, it is a completely safe and queer-friendly place without having to make a big deal out of it. It just is. I think that's part of why it is such a good place to write -- that level of honesty is pervasive & contagious. I haven't found that atmosphere at other summer workshops; I've never felt unsafe about coming out in other workshops, but at FAWC (and in P-town), it's like "coming out" isn't even an issue. Everyone just is whoever the hell they are -- whether that's a grizzled old Portuguese fisherman or a sparkly drag queen on rollerblades. Hell, it was even okay to be a librarian from Indiana there. :)
Gina, re: hope the transition isn't too jarring.
Yeah. *sigh* Going back to work is going to be hard. I fully expect a big emotional meltdown within the next ten days. In that workshop I felt simultaneously so totally vulnerable and so totally empowered -- and neither of those is necessarily a safe place to be on a day-to-day basis. It was worth it, though.
For everyone else who just posted good wishes and agreement -- thank you -- it felt good to share such a mind-blowingly good experience, and I thank you all for being there so I had someone to share it with. I like the idea of all that amazing energy somehow filtering out into the world! I do feel changed by the week. This happened to me once before with a summer workshop (at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, over ten years ago, with the poet Michael Carey) but this feels even deeper, stronger. I guess I must have really needed it.