Sunday, February 28, 2010


A busy week out of town playing caregiver, then two of the busiest work weeks I've had in recent memory; as a result, I'm behind on everything online. Sorry to be such a half-assed blogger lately.

I'd hoped to throw my hat in the ring for an NEA this year, but with the deadline coming up fast, I think that hope is going to become another victim of this hectic month. Oh well. I doubt I had much of a shot at it anyway. Best of luck to all my friends who are applying this time around!

* * * * *

Upcoming poetry events in the Bloomington, IN area:

Gerald Stern, Thursday, March 4, 7:00 pm in the Neal-Marshall Grand Hall on the IU campus

A Benefit Reading for Partners in Health, Haiti Soleil, and the People of Haiti, Tuesday, March 9, 6:30 pm, Rose Firebay, John Waldron Arts Center. Featuring poets Catherine Bowman, Richard Cecil, Debra Kang Dean, Romayne Rubinas Dorsey, Ross Gay, Eugene Gloria, Joseph Heithaus, Maurice Manning, Alyce Miller, Maura Stanton, and Crystal Williams.

* * * * *

Many thanks to blogger Lyle Daggett for his kind review of Breach!

And while I'm in shameless self-promotion mode, my prosepoem "Flyover Country" is up over at BLOOM's website (and will also appear in the print edition to be released at AWP in April). Nice to see this journal making a comeback.

* * * * *

Sending thoughts & prayers out to the people of Chile. If you'd like to make a donation to help them out via cellphone or online, here are some options (via Mashable).

Friday, February 05, 2010

More than flurries

Here's hoping that any of you who are affected by the current blizzard are in a safe place with plenty of food, good company if you want it, adequate heat & light, and something good to read. It's pretty impressive out there! Here in south-central Indiana, we are just on the far edge of it; we had freezing rain, sleet, regular rain, falling slush, big fat wet snowflakes, and regular snowflakes at diferent times throughout the day. Currently it is snowing like a snowy thing out there and I hear there have been a lot of slide-offs and fender-benders around town.

Indianapolis, a little ways north of me, is expected to get around 8 inches of the stuff overnight. I'm hoping they get the highways cleared quickly, as I need to get up north to deal with a family situation - I'll be spending about a week with my mom while she recuperates from a bit of unexpected surgery.

* * * * *

So, poets & writers, what do you do with the occasional actual check that you receive for a piece of writing? I mean, those of us who don't get paid enough for it to make up a significant percentage of our living wage. Thirty or forty bucks here and there, that kind of thing. It's always nice, even if it doesn't add up to minimum wage when all's said and done; there's something about getting money for a poem that says "this counts for something." (Yes, contributor's copies and nice notes and even acceptance form-letters count for something too, the nice notes perhaps most of all. But, you know, we live in a culture that values cash. So.)

So what do you do with it? Do you:
  • Sock it away in a special savings account and let it add up?
  • Purchase a little something special for yourself with it? (I will admit that on the day I got my check from Field, I spotted a handmade journal on Etsy that costs just about the amount of the check... and I'm sorely tempted.)
  • Turn around and spend it on po-biz stuff, reading fees or postage or supplies? Or sock it away towards a workshop or an AWP trip?
  • Turn around and spend it on poetry books or journals?
  • Treat it like any other income and spend it on groceries or rent or whatever?
Just curious what other people do...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The best news

I've had quite a lot on my plate for the past few days. So this will be brief.

But I just found out some fantastic news! (Thanks to Patty Paine for linking the article on Facebook.) D.A. Powell, brilliant poet and the best teacher I have ever worked with (two summer workshops in Provincetown), has been awarded the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award! (That link goes to general info about the award.)

Here's an article from the L.A. Times announcing it. Big congratulations to him - this prize is well deserved.

And if you haven't seen these yet, he's got two poems online from the February issue of Poetry: "Pupil" and "The Fluffer Talks of Eternity." (Thanks to Eduardo for linking the latter of those two poems on his blog, thus tipping me off to their existence.)

In the midst of a rough week, it's so nice to hear good news.