Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Dialing for Dollars is trying to find me

No poets received MacArthur grants (you know, the "genius awards") this year. But one librarian did. I know which of my professions is most likely to pay my bills. (I was going to link to the MacArthur Foundation website, but darned if it isn't down right now. Maybe they need to hire one of their genius people to keep their website running? Just a thought.)

My poetry group met tonight -- mainly worked on planning our annual reading (October 8th, details are over there in the right-hand margin somewhere in case anyone is within driving distance and wants to hear some poems) (but if you do, please don't leave at intermission, 'cause I don't read until the second half). The group is called Five Women Poets but we have eight readers this time around, seven group members and one guest. Hey, we're poets, not mathematicians. (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a...)

The reading is called "Not the Foggiest Notion" (we always have a title for our readings, though I've never been sure quite why it's necessary) so I guess I will have to read my fog poem from Provincetown. Okay, okay, I was gonna read it anyway. I have two Provincetown poems to read, and that should be about 3-4 minutes, which gives me another 4-5 minutes to fill. Maybe I will sit down this weekend and figure out tentatively what to read. Nah... I'll do it the week of the reading like I always do. Last year I actually read a poem I had just written that day, which I would advise against doing 99.9% of the time, but it went over really well and I actually still like the poem. So who knows -- maybe I'll write something new between now and then.

Our "special guest" is Shana Ritter, who was in my first writing group that I started twenty years ago and which met regularly for over ten years. I'm looking forward to reading with her again; she's a terrific poet and a fine reader. She got a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission this year, which she used to take Martin Espada's workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center in July; I'm going to hit her up for advice in a couple months (though she doesn't know it yet *grin*) because there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to afford to go to a workshop next year, probably not even the IU Writers' Conference right here in town, unless I can get a grant. (Vet bills. Dentist bills. Donations to hurricane stuff, which I got maybe a bit too carried away with. And today, a lovely car-repair bill of more than one week's take-home pay. Sigh.)

So yeah, MacArthur people? I'm right here waiting.


Lyle Daggett said...

Anne, your comment about not being mathematicians made me think of Carl Sandburg's poem "Arithmetic," which I've always found amusing. Don't know if you know the poem -- I found it online here.

Hope the reading goes well.

Anne said...

Lyle, I didn't know that Sandburg poem, but I love it -- thanks!

C. Dale said...

There was a thing on NPR about the new MacArthur fellows, and I did notice there were no poets. But there have been years where three poets have been among the list of Fellows, so who knows? The genius grant thing is so weird. A mini-version of it is the Whiting Awards.