The other day, someone mentioned that my newer work is much different than my previous work. Not much to say about that, other than "thank you," and "I hope so." I mean, heavenforbid all my books now and until the duration of my writing life wind up being inter-related, character-driven prose poem collections.
Really, to be honest, I get bored. I get bored of a particular style. I get bored of "doing what I'm doing." So I wind up doing something differently from project to project.
My students are so concerned about sounding like themselves. And that's okay. I was concerned about sounding like myself for such a long time. And then I changed. My interests changed. Stuff happened.
I like to think that the assignments and exercises that I give the students who take my workshop allow them to find their own "voices" on their own terms. Sometimes, though, there's just no telling. I get e-mails from concerned students who ask whether they're "doing the assignment right." This weird desire to "get it right" so often occludes the real progress that should be occurring in a workshop--experimentation, risk, discomfort . . . So often my students look for immediate praise. And sometimes I do praise them. And sometimes I tease them. Sometimes I shrug. Sometimes I scold. Mind you, I'm never mean and I don't intend any meanness. I just believe in being direct, but doing so in a tone that's effective for an individual. I think I'm pretty good at perceiving who can handle what type of response.
You know, if you include when I was an organic chemistry TA during my undergraduate days, I've been teaching at the college level for 16 years. Wow.
My Brightest Diamond. A song for my Sunday chill-out.
9 hours ago