Staying in tonight, although two groups of poets invited me to join them going out. I've been extraordinarily social this week, and felt the need for a quiet night. Also I want to start revising a poem of mine that was workshopped yesterday -- the critique I received made me realize that a) the damn thing needs more work than I thought it did & is much farther from being finished than I'd hoped it was, and b) it probably has more potential -- if I can revise it well -- than I thought it did. So, I guess that's a good situation.
One thing that's happened this year that didn't happen last year is that I've been socializing not only with people from Powell's workshop but with a number of Carl Phillips' students as well, which has been lovely. This has come about largely, I think, because I already knew two folks in Phillips' class (who were in Powell's class with me last summer) and so by way of "hey, this is so-and-so from my class, we're going out, wanna join us?" the two classes have been intermingling a bit. Several of us are planning to do our best to get the majority of both classes (and both teachers, we hope!) to go out together after the student reading tomorrow night.
I have been enjoying the social aspects of it all this week, getting to know some really neat new people and getting to know better some of the people I met last summer. I've been to other summer workshops/conferences, and have returned to a couple of them more than once, but I've never felt as welcomed as I have felt here. It's nice.
That said, I wrote a poem for today's assignment that made me feel very uncomfortable, that dealt with material that was unaccountably difficult for me. It's good for me to be pushed outside my comfort zone, but I've had a bit of a lingering sense of unease ever since a) writing the damn thing this morning and b) reading it out loud in class. I do believe that most of the time if you write a poem & it makes you feel like throwing up, you're probably tackling something that you need to tackle. And so I'm glad that I wrote this piece (I'm not actually sure it is a poem yet, maybe more like notes for a poem) but it has left me feeling odd all day.
So I'll write a bit tonight, and sleep relatively early, and get up in the lovely morning and write some more. And tomorrow night is the student reading, which was such a fabulous experience for me last year -- so that's something to look forward to & then some.
Seriously, people -- if you've ever even remotely considered taking a summer workshop out here (or teaching one, for those of you with books and teaching experience and what-not!) -- it is just a wonderful, wonderful place, staffed and visited by wonderful people. If I don't end up in an MFA program by next year, I will find a way to come back here ... somehow. It would make me very happy to spend a week here every single summer for quite a long time. (Or more than a week, but let'$ be reali$tic.)