Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This place...

foggy harbor beach 2
Originally uploaded by land mammal
This place is under my skin for good, I think. I woke to fog this morning, walked down by the harbor for a while, stopped at the Portuguese Bakery for a croissant filled with linguiça and cheese. Then four hours of class, talking about poems, being in a room where nobody thinks it's weird if you spend five whole minutes talking about whether to put a comma at the end of a line or just rely on the line break to dictate a pause. Then walking down Commercial Street for a while, running into a fellow poet, sitting at a picnic table near the harbor talking about the old "to MFA or not to MFA" conundrum. Going out to dinner with two other poets, talking about teachers we've known, books we've read; stopping at the new dessert café on the way back. Going to a reading and a slide talk, stopping by the computer lab to print out a few poems, stopping by the bulletin board to put my two-sentence bio for tomorrow's reading in the envelope labeled for same.

A couple of you have said things like "hey, next year I might apply." I want to disabuse y'all of the notion that one must apply here. They have in the past had individual advanced workshops for which one had to submit an application (though I don't think that was the case for any this year), but for the most part, you just register and plunk down your deposit. Even so, the caliber of students here is astonishingly high. This is my third workshop and pretty much everyone in all three workshops has been a serious, committed poet, not a weekend dabbler looking for ego strokes. Judging from the folks I've met and what I've heard at the student reading every year, the same is true for most of the workshops here. We've got people with MFAs in our workshop, even one who's already had a book accepted by a good press. Somehow this place manages to be at once noncompetitive and yet selective.

So if you're the sort of person who likes summer workshops, or might consider liking them, I highly encourage you to consider FAWC for next year. (Heck, there are probably spaces open in some of the workshops remaining this summer.) And if you're the sort of person who teaches in summer workshops, or might consider teaching in them, I don't know how one goes about getting oneself invited to teach here, but if you're interested I would encourage you to inquire.

It isn't perfect here. It's expensive to come here, and the mosquitoes are large and hungry. And fabulous as the FAWC staff is, they have yet to figure out how to give us more than twenty-four hours in a day.

Other than that, it's pretty damn grand.

Also also: from Free Will Astrology for the week of July 12:

The German word selig can mean both "ecstatic" or "blessed." It implies that profound bliss can be a divine gift; that deep pleasure may generate or come from spiritual inspiration. The English language doesn't have a term comparable to selig, maybe because our culture regards ecstasy with suspicion. Religious people tend to believe that the blessed are those who are good and kind, certainly not those who are skilled at cultivating ecstatic states. People who worship rationality, on the other hand, like intellectuals and scientists, often think of ecstasy as at best an irrelevant state, and at worst a non-productive or deluded indulgence. Personally, I'm in alignment with the values embodied by the word selig. It happens to be your specialty this week.

[Above: Provincetown harbor beach in fog. Click the image to enlarge.]

1 comment:

aka Leonardo Likes Gulls said...

Thanks! I've been enjoying each of posts. And the foggy photos. That is my perfect world--beach and fog.