Saturday, May 08, 2021

notes & things | 5/8/2021

It's been the sort of chilly week where I found myself wishing I hadn't so hastily packed away my winter coats, but everything, nevertheless, is greening--even the stubborn tree outside my apartment that is the last to get its leaves and the last to lose them. We are coming into the final week of the semester and our Manifest celebration on campus (virtually this year and last) and I have been busy working on an online exhibit for a couple of our student staff artists and pulling some other end-of-year things together. 

Walking around campus is still a surreal business, even a year later.  This term definitely more populated than last, there are big hopes for fall if all goes according to plan.  We may even be opening the stacks fully for the summer. (right now, upper floor access is only via appointment.)  I've been plotting out the summer and planning some long weekends with the stack of vacation days I've wracked up during a time when it wasn't possible to really take vacations. It's looking like 3 on/ 4 off is a possibility, which will give me time for working on things at home--both poetry and housekeeping things like installing new bookshelves and caulking the shower, all of which have been on my list for awhile. I'm also planning at least a couple weekend trips to Rockford.  

I do know that summer is usually just this mirage I look toward for getting a jump start on next year, which seems itself to be a slippery thing.  I'll wake up soon and we are creeping on September. But I intend to at least try to make the most of it while it's here. We're working on programming for next fall's focus devoted to "bad art"--which includes things like kitch and camp and black velvet paintings, but also discussions on canon and who gets to decide what is "good" art (and how gendered and white that typically is.)  Also, the boundaries between "art" and "craft."  

For my own stuff, there will be time to get to the backlog of chap releases. I've been trying to stick to the schedule for 2021, but there are still a few things that were due out last year that are still due out.  My decision to take on less titles was good..bourn more from necessity and being able to keep up on orders and the chaos of late 2019 , but has also worked out for a pandemic year where I have not been fully functional when it comes to creative pursuits. So my behind is not quite as  disastrously behind as it would be in a usual year, so that is a good thing. 

As for poems, I'm treading a bit in the water still as I ponder where the bird artist series is going ultimately and also what is next--something new or a return to other things that remain unfinished. I will also be finalizing dark country and getting it ready for July release. There will be much to be done design wise (it's always trickier it seems with prose blocks that lineated poems when it comes to margins for me, and this mss. is mostly prose.) I'll be writing here a bit more about the process and design. which may be helpful to other writers hopefully if they are interested in issuing their own books DIY-style. 

Keep an eye out this week for the newest monthly zine, my extinction event pieces and photos taken during my time at the museum a couple summers back. I'll be doing a limited print version for the shop and books & objects subscribers, but also an e-version available for free. (I have another post I've been plotting about money and poetry and accessibility--ie.."why buy the poet when you can get the milk for free"  but also know not everyone has funds to spend on poems, especially right now. I also have a few more re-issues in the hopper, things that are now out of print, but will be coming your way as virtual content in the next couple months.  Also another round of video poems for another project provided I can brush up on some simple animation skills. All of this seems possible when summer stretches out like a sun-drenched field in front of me, but is actually highly deceptive in its vast endless.

This week brings a reading Wednesday on zoom, for The Poor Mouth Writer's Series, if you're looking for some poetry action--there's an open mic and I'll be the feature. I think I'll be reading from feed--maybe the imaginary daughter poems and some from swallow


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