Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peeking out from under

Sorry I haven't been around. I'm way behind on email as well, so if I owe you one, please be patient & accept my apologies... I've had a lot going on, to be honest, some of which won't see the light of this blog, some of which will.

What I've been doing

Well, partly, I've now got a working draft of my second (!) book manuscript. (The firstborn is out there in the world, visiting editors and trying to make nice. Imagine it like some ever so slightly questionable hippie hitchhiking and couch-surfing, hoping somebody will ask it to just move in...) I was actually up until ahem-ahem-A.M. one night last week pulling together the initial draft, from which I've since pulled out a bunch of poems and added a couple of new ones. This one has been a very different experience from my first ms., in that this has consciously been A Project almost from the beginning, just over a year ago. I won't say that makes it better or worse than the firstborn, just different. I'm at the dangerous stage right now of being a little bit in love with the thing. I need to get over that before I start giving it to readers (got the first one lined up).

Now that this ms. has gone from being a disorganized pile of poems to being A Thing, I may be in a better position to go back to the firstborn and revisit it; I haven't looked closely at it for a few months. They're very different projects, but maybe I've learned a few things. I actually want to write at more length about the differences between the two, though maybe talking too much about a manuscript before it gets accepted anywhere might jinx it.


The Indiana University Writers' Conference is going on this week. As always, the evening readings by conference faculty are open to the public. I can't make most of them this week due to work & other commitments, but I did get to see Aracelis Girmay and Manuel Munoz the other night. I heard Aracelis Girmay last year at the Indiana Review "funk reading" and really liked her work, so I was glad to see her again; she read a lot of new work that was just phenomenal. (Seriously, there was a poem involving a green dress which alone was worth the price of admission -- well, the reading was free, but if there'd been an admission price, this poem would've been worth it. It got spontaneous mid-reading applause, too, which is always nice.) I enjoyed Manuel Munoz as well; fiction readings often leave me a bit cold, especially when the writer races through paragraphs & pages like they were being paid by the word & need to get in as many as possible in their allotted time, but he read at just the right pace & had a great reading voice. I'll have to check out his work.

Road Trip

I seem to have planned a quick trip out East in late August (yes, there are concert tickets involved). I haven't yet booked a flight, so I'll throw this out there: if anyone knows of a possible reading venue in or near Boston, MA or Providence, RI on August 20 or 21, drop me a note. If I could sell a few chapbooks, it'd be worth my while to extend the trip by a day or so.

You Know You're Really Truly Middle-Aged...

... when you find yourself reading an article about one of your favorite rockstars, not in High Times or Rolling Stone, but in Arthritis Today.



Here's one of the newest poems from Manuscript #2 (aka The Project That Pretty Much Ate My Brain This Year). The protagonist has been on the road and is well on the way to becoming a successful touring musician, but there turns out to be a price...

(I'll take this down in a day or two)

[gone again, gone again]


Pamela said...

I really like this, and I think the second stanza needs to be longer...
There are some breathtaking line breaks in stanzas 1, 3, and 4.

Word Verification: Mougals (don't know what this is but like the word!)

Collin Kelley said...

You are one busy lady. Have fun!

Jessie Carty said...

wow! this feels so different from the material in Breach and in a good one (but I do love Breach :) i think you should condense the first two lines because they seem a bit wordy compared with the very kewl momentum you build as the poem goes along.

Awesome! I've loved hearing about your developing projects. I just sent out the first copy of what i thought would be my second manuscript but became another chapbook :)

good luck with everything!

Anne said...

Thanks, guys! Pamela & Jessie, thanks for the feedback. :) Yeah, pretty different from the Breach poems - pretty different from most of the stuff in my first full-length ms. as well (which is a lot like Breach only more so, really). It feels pretty good to have a project where it's very very clear which poems belong to the ms.! I guess it's sort of a "concept album"... to stick with the musical metaphors.

Lisa Allender said...

"...but in Arthritis Today...."

Re. the IU Writers' Conference:
I attended in 2004. Loved it, learned from/listened to/worked alongside the greats(poets Bridget Peegen Kelley, Maureen Seaton, Li-Young Lee, writer Thomas Glave)and made lasting pals, too.
You have a great institution there!