Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018
This weekend has been unbearably hot, even in the city near the lakefront, let alone in Rockford, where I spent the weekend about two feet from the a/c celebrating father's day and organizing EXQUISITE DAMAGE, which has about 20 existing parts, into something like a cohesive whole to determine what still needs to be written. As such, I have landed back in the city exhausted from poor sleeping in the heat and not really feeling like I had a weekend at all.
I've been doodling flowers in my sketchbook much of late. Twice in the past week, I have inhaled cottonwood seeds on the sidewalk and am any day now expecting to grow a tree. Tonight, huge spats of rain and some cooler air, but I am still very tired. My new responsibilities (not only learning a system new to me, but transitioning to a system new to the library) also has me anxious and restless during working hours. It will settle no doubt, but there goes some of my low-key summer @ work working mostly on programming. (which will still get done no doubt, just with a little less focus.
My manuscript news last week was that Black Lawrence has indeed picked up SEX & VIOLENCE, the contract of which has been signed, sealed, and delivered and the release date set fir April 2020. This will be the third go-round of working with BLP and I'll most likely be furnishing the cover on this one which will be fun (GIRL SHOW was all me, but SALVAGE was an artfully modified stock image.)
As I mentioned on facebook, it still always surprises me that I managed to publish one book, let alone 8 of them. About 15 years ago, I was just beginning to send out the first serious incarnation of a book (we won't talk about the one before that) The book that eventually, with a large amount modification over the next couple of years, would become THE FEVER ALMANAC. About half of it ripped out and reformed with new work I was doing in my first year or so of pursuing my MFA. There were a million blog entries then lamenting my book fever, how I felt like it was never going to happen for me. And really, that first book changed nothing. But then again, it felt like it changed everything. (Even if the publisher went under and it's out of print.) There was something formative about the experience of releasing it out into the wild. It's very serious bookishness--glossiness and slick spine. The heft of it (well as hefty as slim poetry volume can be. ) How I used to go into the Borders (the only bookstore around with a decent selection of contemporary poetry at the time( and run my fingers over those spines and imagine myself among them (of course, Borders itself would be gone before I even had enough books to really occupy a shelf.) Even still, at home, every once in a while I line them all up on the shelf with their shiny covers and am amazed that it not only happened that first time, but all the times since...
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Plans are under way this week for our fall focus topic, which (surprise surprise) is devoted to women in horror, which means soon I will be posting artist calls, arranging panels and readings for all of October (which I will probably blink and it will be here before I know it. I've spent the last few weeks working on setting the schedule for fall zine nights and Book to Art activities (we are choosing War of the Worlds, as a potential tie in to our spring focus topic Strange Fevers: Mass Delusions, Illusions, and Obsessions. Since one of our staff members are leaving, I've now also landed interlibrary loan duties in my corner, which will tighten up the reigns on planning time, but hopefully my tighter schedule will have the usual result of being more efficient than usual. So we'll see...
As expected, the topic intentionally ties in perfectly with some of the concerns feeding my own recent work, particularly EXQUISITE DAMAGE--and the whole idea of the feminine and the gothic bridging horror movies and literature...
Saturday, June 09, 2018
Yesterday was probably the closest I've ever gotten to bittersweet. I had some really amazing writerly news about manuscript #8, SEX & VIOLENCE (which I will spill particulars as soon as contracts are signed and details worked out.) I was sitting at my desk in the library when I opened the e-mail and then spent a good 10 minutes sobbing quietly to myself that the first person I probably would have told, would have been my mother. Sure there's my dad, who I will talk to tomorrow, and most likely I just would have face book messaged her instead of calling, but still it was weird. And there are friends and J, who I will tell when I see them in the next few days, but it's somehow different.
It's also weird that this particular book was the one that I focused my energies on pulling together all last November in the weeks after her death. The poems already existed, having been written from about 2015 onward, , and while I was still waffling over ready they were read through the early fall and finishing up the last of them, but I decided I needed to keep busy to keep from slipping deeper down the depression road, to get it done in time to submt to an open reading period ending at the end of the month. The book itself pulls in the blonde joke pieces, the love poem series, some slasher movie pieces and poems about Salvadore Dali, as well as the shorter version of the Plath centos. It's all about male/female power dynamics and love and sexuality.
So far it's a rainy weekend, so I am determined to do some more work on the latest longer book project in progress as well some editing on the EXQUISITE DAMAGE pieces I've been drafting this week for my daily writings. But despite having drank a bunch of coffee and eaten 2 blueberry muffins the size of my head, really all I want to do is take a nap at the moment, so I may do that . Also, tomorrow, some monotypes with some floral detritus I've been collecting this week. And finishing Riverdale and Picnic at Hanging Rock, which I have been switching back and forth between. (mostly becuase I'm pretty sure IZombie and Supernatural have new episodes available.) Part of me always feels like I waste my summer by staying inside way too much, but the rain somehow gives me permission to not feel so bad about it at all.
Saturday, June 02, 2018
After a few rather swampy days last week, the clouds have moved in, the wind off the lake, and it feels like fall more than the beginning of June. So thus, I am staying close to home and making soup. I have spent most of the day organizing problem sections manuscript #9, which despite my hesitation a few weeks ago, seems to be becoming more and more likely a thing. #8 is still out there in the wind, of course, and I've only sent it to one place, but the idea of another manuscript in submission seems too much work at then moment, so I may wait and let it settle a few months before sending it out, especially since there is the impending LITTLE APOCALYPSE release and a million other small projects making their way into the world. (and also, since there are about three projects that may turn out to be full-length--the zodiac pieces, the horror stuff, and that long neglected roadside motel book). I've been very diligent about writing daily, but there are alot of fits and starts and random beginnings of other things in there to keep things buried, but digging in is a challenge.
Yesterday, the dgp summer reading period opened and already my inbox filling with manuscripts I look forward to reading in about a month. I am still working on catching up on orders and author copies and getting things to a manageable calm during June that has alluded me since last fall. I am still going back and forth on the open studio I'd planned for this week. I have a lot of prints and zines and such, but am woefully understocked on paper goods and out of linen stock to make them. But then again, I really just need to do it. Especially since I have a lot of originals I'd love to move..
At the library, things are aflutter due to a staffing change, but I am determined nevertheless to have most of our fall programming locked & loaded before the end of summer. I'm also working on a promo poster for the library in general..something visually cool enough for students to want to hold on to it and possibly hang it on their dorm room walls. With the new student center on the horizon, we've been thinking about ways to make it clear what the library is for and how it differs merely from the de facto student center some people consider it.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
"Dear Reader. I write you a small bird in a box. I write you a box with only feathers inside. I write thrashing and wild with hoarfrost and heavy cream At the beginning, the dream of foxes. The scream of rabbits in the middle of the night forming out of silence. I was born in a time of and black velvet paintings. Of kidnappings and nightly suicides. The world was drunk with hope, though, all the drawers emptied and the house swept clean. Clean enough to eat an egg off the floor and swallow it whole. Clean enough to take a bar of soap to your mouth and polish you you shone bright like a god."
A couple months back I decided to try out Tiny Letter--not merely as a newsletter, but as something more on the creative side. I've been chipping away at a little lyric fragments project focused around the idea of the gothic, and by extension, horror movies and victorian novels Right now, it's a bit fragmented and disjointed, but you can get a little bit of it delivered weekly right into your inbox, old school subscription style. I've been thinking about how social media serves poetry in new an interesting ways, and have been using instagram to post the zodiac pieces. I am still unsure of what possibilities Twitter holds, both for work and just in general. But some mediums seem to work better than others. (unless I were writing really short poems, or visual poems, maybe, which tempts me to dig in on that diagrammatic project I've been toying with the idea of.)