This week was more prosey than poetic, but writing is writing, and sabbaticalling is sabbaticalling. Amirite?
The amount of reading I’ve completed so far in this few weeks’ time measures about, oh, I don’t know, triple what I’ve read in the past few years. Seriously. This week, I finished reading one poetry collection andread another full one, one of collected works, I might add (which means, pretty long). Granted I didn’t read every single thing in the collected works, but I read most of it. I also continued to read the book I bought (it’s Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast).
In between these books, I scanned through the fairy encyclopedia, taking notes on different kinds of fairies and other magical creatures I might find poetically pleasing. I’m not sure who might publish an entire collection of poetry devoted to gnomes and crones, but it sure is fun to jump into a world of magic.
Speaking of magic, I watched Labyrinth for the first time this past week, encouraged by my workshop partner to do so. It is fantastic in that unrealistic corny sort of way.
Additionally, I began to plan a soon-in-the-future visit to Poets House by researching their holdings for all the contemporary collections I want to read. They have most of them. I’m going to have to visit a few times to cover all the books I want to read.
Also reading-related, I checked out The Rumpus, Booth, back issues of Fence and This, and of course McSweeney’s. I could spend days at a time reading through McSweeney’s. It’s really dangerous. This is why I’m happy I don’t quite get Reddit. If I really understood what exactly I was supposed to do on Reddit, I think I’d live on it.
Oh, wait a minute. Hold everything. Reddit. Read it? Is it called Reddit because after you visit the site, you’ve read it? Have I uncovered something miraculously punned-in, or am I the last one to realize it?
Lots more online work—cleared out all my saved links on Facebook that related to writing and readings, and then did the same with the bookmarks on my computer.
Still online, I corresponded with Jessica Piazza over at Poetry Has Value, and just like that, I became a guest blogger on her Tumblr. I wrote my introduction post and then submitted it. Poetry Has Value is her project that reveals the world of publishing for free versus publishing for a fee versus getting paid by writing and submitting poetry that journals accept. She cataloged a year of activity, and now a bunch of poets are doing the same this year. I’m included!
Keeping with the prose, and back to McSweeney’s because it is ubiquitous, I tidied up three pieces and submitted them.
The weekly workshop with my artist friend once again opened poetic doors. Getting a second opinion on a poem proves to be invaluable (that means so great you can’t put a price on it, right? I’m too lazy to look it up. More on my writing laziness here).
Flying high on the motivation of workshopping, I started two poems, revised a bunch of poems in their third drafts, and then revised my current full manuscript, replacing poems that make me go meh with poems that make me go yowza.
I didn’t submit individual poems this week because I focused on submitting my collection. Sure, I keep changing it around, but I still think it’s strong enough to be published. I submitted it to seven presses. Received on rejection already. What speed!
As a counter to that, I got a piece of prose accepted by YourTango. Here’s where the prose comes in once again. I pitched a personal essay about drinking in college versus not drinking as a fully-formed adult. Then I learned to navigate their platform for publishing. I plan to pitch more in the future.
I finished off the week by blogging right now, listening to a new episode of PoemTalk, and then heading out to the Morgan Library to see the Hemingway exhibit that I just learned about the day before. Since it closes on 1/31, I simply picked myself up, put myself on a train, and went to see it, all the while carrying A Moveable Feast in my bag. Seeing this exhibit worked in lieu of attending a reading. The one I wanted to attend at the beginning of the week had been canceled, and after continuing to plan a few readings, I kind of got reading-ed out this week.
Anyway, back to Hemingway. Poppa was so dead on about the whole moveable feast business. I kinda feel like that’s why I’m tracking my sabbatical like this. It is, indeed, a kind of moveable feast. For those who have an academia-inclined palate.