Saturday, February 18, 2006


Major props to Lucia Perillo, who just won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award ($100,000). I may have mentioned before that I took a workshop with her at the Indiana U. Writers' Conference a few years back -- in 2002, I think -- and enjoyed her a great deal. She kept talking about mystery, and wanting poems to have some mystery in them; I think this was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. Certainly it's one way to start looking at a poem, whether someone else's that you're trying to understand or your own that you're trying to revise: where is the mystery in this poem? how does the poem embrace or try to escape its own mystery?

Anyway, I'm tickled that she has won this award. Her new(ish) book, Luck is Luck, is worth a read (as are her others).

EDITED TO ADD: Here is David Kirby's review of Luck is Luck, from the New York Times.

Locally, all I can say is that it's damned cold. I know you people in Minnesota and environs have it colder, but I stayed in my warm bed (heated mattress pad, flannel sheets, down comforter, another comforter, and two warm cats) as long as I could stand it this morning, and it was still only 10 degrees outside when I got up. Now (almost 9 pm) it's back down to 10 again, though with lots of bright sunshine it wasn't too ungodly awful this afternoon at around 16 degrees. I ran around town a bit doing some retail therapy today (FOUR new pairs of socks!); had brunch at the Runcible Spoon, where I spent some time writing in my journal outlining a manuscript I want to put together -- taking a long-ass poem I'm having trouble working with as a cohesive whole and breaking it into fragments, which will be interpolated with other related and semi-unrelated poems. Could be interesting, I think.

But now I'm in for the evening, in my house which although cold and drafty is at least warmer than it is outside. I've got a heated throw blanket and a down throw blanket over me here on the couch, along with a very large fluffy cat on my lap who pretty much serves as a throw blanket all by himself, and a hat on my head (yes, inside the house -- it's cold in here, and my heating bills have been painful this winter so I'm not turning that thing up past 58). I've got the Olympics on TV, and a couple of books & journals close at hand, in addition to this laptop. I've been reading Floyd Skloot's memoir, In the Shadow of Memory, which includes some interesting meditations on personal/family history, brain injury (he suffered a viral infection of the brain that left him quite neurologically disabled), the nature of memory, the nature of self, and the way all of that influences language. It's quite a fascinating book. I'm not terribly familiar with his poetry, but after reading this book I think I will find some of that and read it.

Stay warm, y'all.


David said...

O.K...two posts in a row. FLOYD SKLOOT!!! He is one of my favorite essayists, and the essay in that collection, "Grey Matter," is one that I teach in my high school creative writing course.

Radish King said...

If I had an electric blanket (is that what you mean by heated blanket?) I'd never get out of bed. There would be trouble. I'd need servants. And lots and lots of money. And also a heated bedpan. First I'd get soft, then spongy, then body parts would just start falling off. Still, I'm considering it. If I can swing it.

Ginger Heatter said...

I hear you, Anne! It's 7 degrees here in New Hampshire this morning, down from 55 on Friday. Weird. Fortunately, we live in a third floor apartment, and even in this weather don't need to use the heat all that much. When I lived in a house with roomates, I used to sit under my comforter with a heating pad, because our gas bill was so outrageous. Spring can't come soon enough, eh?

Charles said...

My new local poetry buddy brought Luck Is Luck to our coffee talk time yesterday and we had a little chat about her work. I haven't read it yet, but it sounded interesting...

I totally had a dream that I visited you and stayed over at your place last night! Crazy. You were kind enough to buy Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast the next day and I was very pleased.

Anne said...

David: Cool! Your students are lucky. I've been enjoying Skloot's essays a great deal -- even more so when I think of the huge effort it is for him to write them.

Rebecca: Ah, that explains the little pile of toes by my bed this morning... :) Actually, though, the electric blanket I have is just a little throw blanket, not big enough to cover much more than my lap & legs, so it's the couch I have a hard time leaving. The bed has the electric mattress pad. Which is lovely and warm, but when I wake up in the middle of a hot flash, I can't just throw it off like I could a blanket. (Middle age is so much fun!)

Ginger: Got you beat -- it was FIVE this morning when I first got up! One thing I do miss about living in apartments is being able to mooch off of other people's heat. Spring, yes, anytime please.

Charlie: That's hysterical! Hope you didn't freeze too much. :) Sadly we don't actually have a Dunkin' Donuts around here -- hope Pop-Tarts are ok. I'd be curious to hear what you think of Luck is Luck if you get around to reading it.

Lyle Daggett said...

Since you mentioned Minnesota in your post, I'll just note here that in Minneapolis it was something like minus 6 in the morning on Saturday (the day you posted this), and I think it may have gotten up to a high temp of 12 degress that day.

Moderating somewhat today, supposed to be a high temp somewhere above 20 degrees. (I live in a second floor apartment which has been reasonably warm this winter, most of the time.)

Friday the 17th was cold here too, below zero in the morning, with wind. Damn near froze my face off.

And it's been record warm winter here.

Anne said...

Lyle: See, that's just Too Damn Cold. (Although not that much colder than it was here, actually; I think our high on Saturday was around 16.) I have an ex-girlfriend who grew up in Minnesota, the part over by Fargo, and she just laughs at people who think six inches of snow is a lot or 20 degrees is cold. Hee. But this is why I do not live in Minnesota. Too. Damn. Cold!