I just entered the grades for my classes this morning. While I do say that I'm "Done! Done! Done!" I'm not completely out of the woods yet. I still have a few comments to make on my grad portfolios. Shouldn't be bad, since I'll mostly be writing to them about what to do next with their long poems.
I've got a number of projects on my plate for the summer, which is great. I've now got time to assemble version 3.0 of In Defense of Small Towns. I've been sending out version 2.5 to publishers and contests, but 3.0 is looking to be a leaner more focused collection. I had been quibbling with myself over the inclusion of poems about illness in the earlier versions . . . those poems are out of 3.0 which, I think, is a smart decision, but in omitting those poems the manuscript now has a lot of gaps which need to be filled.
First off, it's interesting how Stephen Burt brings up Ronald Johnson's ARK. I could NOT get through that Johnson book. I tried, but I failed.
Secondly, I somewhat agree with Burt's "disagreement" with Tony Hoagland's assertion that the "narrative" will be the next successor to "Third Way." But I think, also, that there are some really spectacular historical narratives that are being written in contemporary poetry, particularly by minority writers, many of whom are not mentioned in Burt's article.
Currently reading: Almanac of the Dead. I'm a third of the way through it and I'm finding it really difficult to "like" the protagonist, Seese. It seems like it's the worst possible telenovela. So far, it's far flatter than Ceremony. Mind you, like I said I'm only 1/3rd through it. Maybe the pacing will pick up, but so far no payoff. . . and it's the first book of my 32 books.
Dinosaur Jr. From their new album "Farm."
17 hours ago