|one of my collages|
This week began with a bit of a frenzy of submissions. After having a pile of folders on my desk for the past two months, a pile from which I would pick and choose poems and journals, I decided it was time to get ALL of the sickly speaker poems out into the world. So I matched up the remaining poems with some journals and put the rest of the folders away. Love a clean slate / clean desk.
Then, there was the election. Like many Americans, I sat up as late as I could (and that's not as late as I used to be able to) to watch the results come in. I am happy with the results nationally, but disappointed in Arkansas, which seems determined to cling to a Republican platform with which I disagree. While we have a democratic governor for now, our state legislature is now in complete Republican control for the first time since the late 1800s. While President Obama leads the charge for health care, education, and forward-thinking / equality-based job creation, I'm fearful of what will happen here, especially for those first two categories.
It turns out that staying up late is not so good for productivity. Wednesday and Thursday required all of my focus to keep doing what I need to do as an instructor, with no time for writing/poetry. The reward for this was Friday's installment of the Big Rock Reading Series. We hosted Kathleen Heil and J. Camp Brown, both MFA candidates at the University of Arkansas. When I created the series, I marked off November as a time to host a grad student reading, and now with the addition of the program at UCA, it looks like we might expand our pool. We had the reading at 10:00 a.m., which made me a bit nervous. It turns out, we had 60+ folks show up, nearly all students. Three instructors brought their students (including me). This made me happy because for many of our students getting back to campus in the evening is a hardship due to jobs or family responsibilities.
As for Kathleen and Josh, well, they rocked the house. And after the reading, I got to take them to Vino's for pizza and not only talk about Fayetteville but also offer advice as they face the nerve-wracking future that is graduating from a grad program in a dismal job market. I've got my fingers double crossed for all the writers up on the hill about to head out into the world.
Yesterday, saw me sending out The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths and taking that big leap off the high board with Fevers of Unknown Origin as well. Once that was done, it meant that every single poem available for submission was out at one journal or another and both books were out there as well. Ack! This morning, I was rewarded with an acceptance from a journal waiting in my inbox. Wahoooooo! At the moment, I have high hopes for all things poetry and have recovered from the sting of the NEA rejection (finding out that a good poet-friend received one of the fellowships went a long way to soothing my wound).
Later today, we have an editorial meeting for Heron Tree to work through more submissions. If you haven't sent us anything, remember that we read through Dec. 1.