90º ~ bright sun, high humidity, small breezes ~ while no one wants a hurricane, I'm crossing my fingers that Isaac's rains reach this far inland and west ~ we have gone beyond dry into dessication
Those busy days I told of in the week before school have come true and been complicated by a terrible cold. I swear the sickly speaker haunts me. Honestly, I eat vegetables. I eat fruit. I drink water by the gallons each day. Ok, I could maybe exercise a bit more. Still, my immune system seems bent on failing me. Sigh.
Here are some events unfolding during the days of classes and of sniffles:
Cold and all, I was honored to be the guest speaker at last Thursday night's reception launching the University of Central Arkansas' new Arkansas Writers MFA Program. Stephanie Vanderslice, the director of the program, kindly invited me to give a short poetry reading at the end of the night's program. It was a delight to meet some of the faculty members I hadn't yet met, to reconnect with those I know, and to meet the students in the inaugural class. The festivities made me nostalgic for the Fall of 1999 when I entered the MFA program at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
At the reading, I just did a few poems from Blood Almanac, then some saints and tales from The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths, and finally four sickly speaker poems. It was awesome to have the chance to hear her voice out in the world for the third time. I read a few of her poems in March at the University of Northern Iowa and a few at AGS in June, but I hadn't completed the sequence then and so was unsure of her outcome. It felt much better reading her poems last week now that I know what happens to her.
Heron Tree, the online journal I'm helping to edit, will begin accepting submissions on Saturday! We will read from Sept 1 through December 1, so please polish up the best you've got and send them our way. At this time, we accept all forms of poetry but do not read for fiction, non-fiction, or drama.
As editors, we created a list of poems that inspire us and make us say, "Yes!" Hopefully that will help you get a sense of our aesthetic before we accept our first poems. Poems will begin being published online in January 2013, with a new poet published weekly. In the fall, we will offer a print annual as a print-on-demand publication.
I'm super excited to see what comes over the transom and to try out my new role as a co-editor.
The Big Rock Reading Series is underway at Pulaski Tech. Our first event will be Tuesday, Sept. 18, with poet and singer/songwriter Marck L. Beggs. Like us on Facebook or check out our blog for more information.
If you live in central Arkansas, I hope you can make it out on the 18th!