Thursday, August 30, 2007

August poem-a-day


The poem writing extravaganza is over. Thanks to all those poets who joined in. Having peers really helped the process along, especially on the tough days.

I'll be sending out some of these drafts during the fall. Hopefully they'll find homes. I'll definitely fiddle with them before that, though.

To you blog readers, thanks for your patience and for reading along.


Today, cookout.

New Book Inspiration!

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
How about, the "Practical poet's guide to homeownership"?

Roof repair's one of the many things they don't teach you in MFA programs. Maybe I need to teach classes.

Homeowner's Blues

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Yes, that's me on top of the garage roof. The seam between the plastic panels and the flashing had gaps that needed to be filled with silicon sealer. So . . . there you go.

Really, though, I didn't want to be inside writing poems. Not on a gorgeous day.


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Rick shrugged off my advances . . .


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Despite her ailing right arm, JHG was in her full glory. Later, she would twist rebar into pretzels.


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Rick read from a third manuscript collection. Quite amazing.

After, he played the bongo drums and shook some maracas.


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
The lovely and talented Jeannine Hall Gailey and the lovely and talented Rick Barot, both at tthe SoulFood Bookstore.


Yes, it's ridiculous to catch a cold in the middle of a summer heat wave. And yes, I caught a cold sometime during the past week. It started Sunday in my throat, then migrated down to my chest over the past few days.

The cold did, however, provide me with a good excuse to sit at home and do nothing but read Harry Potter books. I basically read books 6 and 7 straight through during these past few days. Quite satisfying, I must say. Yes,J.K. Rowling isn't the most gifted writer, but she knows how to move a plot along. It was especially interesting to see how far she must've planned in order to pull off the series. Also, the movies are so engrained in my brain that I was visualizing scenes with the actors as I was reading. Crazy bit.

Anyway, I'm glad I took the time to pour through the books.


SIU Press somehow managed to get advanced copies of Furious Lullaby. Big grin. I thought it would've taken them a bit longer, but they're ahead of schedule.


It's time to start planning my school year in earnest. Two classes coming up this fall: my usual intro to poetry and an advanced multi-genre workshop. For the advanced workshop, I'm looking at fiction, non-fiction, and poetry collections that are steeped heavily in research or are strongly associated with a historical time period. Should be interesting as a seminar, but tricky as a workshop . . .


Quick thought on the poem-a-day thing I've been doing all this August--as I was telling Sue in the comments section of the post, I've been composing by ear lately, and the couplet's the best way for me to "hear" the language. I can't "hear" what I'm doing if I wrote in tercets, quatrains, or any longer stanzaic pattern.

This is a new development for me and I think it's pretty closely related to my attempts at purging the prose poem form from my head. I'll think on this more and perhaps come up with something more eloquent, but until then, I'll probably continue composing in couplets.


Throwing a party here on Saturday. You're alll invited. BYOB.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

SoulFood Books Reading

Edit: Thanks Jeannine, for hosting this wonderful event! Rick's new stuff is incredible. The crowd was lovely. I even had a heckler.

My next reading'll be on October 15th at Village Books. Details to come.