Saturday, August 19, 2006

Disconnected ramblings

"The sex is better at Yaddo but the work is better at MacDowell." Well then. Guess which one I want to go to! (Thanks to Jilly for the link.)

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I got satellite TV yesterday, with a DVR, and have been amusing myself by hitting the "rewind" button while watching something live. Now if I blink and miss something, I won't miss anything. I want that button for my life.

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I'm sitting on the couch (sitting the long way with my feet up and my back against the arm) and there's a kitten on his back against my leg, all stretched out as long as he can possibly stretch with his two front feet stretched out over his head towards my feet, and his two back feet nestled by my butt. He is as long as my leg when he stretches out like this. I guess I can't really call him a tiny baby kitten anymore. When I skritch his tummy he stretches out even longer. He's like a slinky. An orange and white slinky that purrs and sheds.

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I had thought about trying to take Maurice Manning's W513 class at IU this fall semester (that's the only graduate-level poetry writing class here that's ever open to non-MFA students). But the course description I found online makes it clear that this time around, it's really intended only for the MFA fiction students and is going to focus primarily on "how poetic craft differs from the craft of fiction." When I took the same class with Cathy Bowman a few years ago most of my classmates were MFA fiction students, but it wasn't exclusively for that population. Oh well. It's just as well -- if I can discipline myself sufficiently, I can get a lot of work done in the next few months without having to be in a class.

You'll note that big old if in there. I really gotta work at that one.

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I was talking with one of the graduate assistants in the library where I work, and the topic of poetry and MFA programs came up. She mentioned that one of her friends had recently finished her MFA at Vermont College and had just won some contest or other for her first book. The name sounded vaguely familiar to me, like I'd read a press release about the contest, but I couldn't place it, so I asked the GA to send me the details in email. Turns out the friend was the winner of the Sawtooth Prize, which was judged by D.A. Powell. Sometimes the world is very, very small. I actually kind of like it that way. And now I have two reasons to be curious about this book & to buy it when it comes out.

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I need to start sending out publicity for the Five Women Poets reading at the end of September. We are in a new venue after having used the same location for quite a few years, so it will be interesting to see whether we draw a slightly different audience at Boxcar Books -- which is a nice little lefty-punkish-indie bookstore with a small but surprisingly good poetry section. Always nice to read in a bookstore, surrounded by words & all their echoes.


Ross White said...

Though it's hardly salient, this seems as good a time as any to get this thought in print somewhere: Maurice Manning is awesome.

jenni said...

That is neat that there is an MFA workshop that is open to all poets. I wonder if there is something like that around here? Only one way to find out . . .

I'd be interested in that class on fiction craft -- even though I don't write fiction, or rarely do. It seems like prose is prose no matter the genre --fiction, memoir, nonfiction, etc.

Sometimes I want a fast forward button for my life!

LitByFire said...

I tell you: Vermont College rocks!!!

Montgomery Maxton said...

Can you get one of those rewind buttons for life at Best Buy? I shall check promptly.

Anne said...

Ross: You know, I've actually read very little of his work. I should check him out, since he's here and all, even if I don't ever get to take a class with him.

Jenni: Well, it's offered about once every 2 years, and if you're not in the MFA fiction program you have to apply for admission; when I took it from Cathy Bowman, I think there were only 2 or 3 of us who weren't MFA fiction students. And they don't publicize it outside the university or anything. But it was a nice opportunity.

Also: the older I get the less often I find myself wishing for a fast forward button. :)

C: You may yet see me among the throngs of Vermont College applicants!

MM: Let me know if they've got them on sale for cheap. You know, back-to-school sales and all.