Thursday, March 07, 2013

Sympathetically Not-Attending AWP from Afar

To celebrate this huge convention of writers, I'm giving myself a couple days of writerly retreat, reading, studying,  writing, and listening. Here's my favorite poem on writing, Stanley Kunitz' perfect and transcendent The Round, which captures the ecstasy that keeps us moving the words forward. Kunitz used a perfect contrast as the center of his poem's strategy in conveying this state universal to writers. He puts us writers in "the steamy old stinkpile" to which we must retreat to capture the sublime, suggesting that digging deep into the subconscious is what releases

Also investigated flarf, a new and anti-poetry poetry movement. Listened to a reading by flarfist Sharon Mesmer of a poem taken mostly from online texts and using the words in a hilarious, absurdist, pop cultured rant. The reading and a discussion of it on Jacket.

We are all at AWP, in that we are together in this crazy adventure on a raft in a wildly heaving ocean that we call writing.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

On Not Going to AWP (Associated Writing Programs annual conference)

It's all razzmatazz in the metaphor and slowslide down a jetlagged wall, the grunge and flash, the hugging, seeing, seen through windowpanes, and rapt, unwrapped, slapping silences after the end of the poem or the most absurd statement. And that's why I will miss it -- again.

Mostly I don't go to conferences and workshops. I loved the AWP I went to and swore never again. I made so many friends I still have and met ones I only had virtually before. And they always have it somewhere in deadest winter. Why not Hawaii? After receiving tons of kind invitations I have to decline I remembered why I'm not going. I have nothing to sell, only things to get published and write. Those things require silence and time.

For those of us staying home at our own private AWP's, here's a NON-AWP party Julie Brooks Barbour started on Facebook. Come on over and join in!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Next Big Thing - with Sarah Sarai and Barbara Ellen Sorensen

I did my NBT self-interview below, on the topic of my novel-in-progress, The Renaissance Club. Here's TNBT from poet Sarah Sarai on her blog My 3,000 Loving Arms. The Next Big Thing asks the author to answer ten questions about his or her current writing project -- could be poetry, fiction, or nonfiction.

Ren Powell tagged me, and I tagged Sarah and also Barbara Ellen Sorensen. Enjoy their interviews@ And stay tuned for more NBT blogs!