Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tupelo Press 30/30 Project

Dear Reader,

I am undertaking the challenge of Tupelo Press' 30/30 project, writing a poem a day in the month of January. The poems will be posted daily on the project's website. Stephen King says that the draft of a book should only take three months and there's something in that -- an invitation to move beyond perfectionism, dig deep, and play fast and loose. I don't normally write much more than 30 poems in half a year, so this is a way to plow toward a final manuscript. I invite you to be a part of my writing this month, first and foremost through reading. And get in touch. Writing can be a lonely pursuit and encouragement, thoughts, or even heckling would be a welcome word from the outside world.

You can also be a part of my month-long writing adventure by supporting Tupelo Press. 30/30 provides poets with a challenge and unique publication venue. As a part of the project, poets agree to attempt to raise a certain amount of money for the press. My goal is $350. Donations to the press help projects like 30/30 continue along with book publishing and the Tupelo Quarterly, which published my poem Tea for Jelena earlier this year. I'm very much averse to asking friends for money, even for a great cause, so I'm not. Rather, I'm offering an exchange. Below are what you'll get for your donation depending on amount. Please consider pitching in, even a dollar or two.

$1+ -- A letter or postcard
$10 -- A handwritten poem
$20 -- A poem on a prompt of your choosing
$35 -- A limited letter-press print of my poem Cicada by the artist Marie Kinscher (see above)
$100 -- A private reading

I'll be posting about my progress here and linking daily poems on Facebook and Twitter. I can't think of a better way to kick off a resolute new year than 30/30. I wish you a fair 2015 and hope we'll meet again and often in it. .


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Updates and Miscellany

It is often the case that good times, though remarkable don't need remarked upon. The last months have been a flurry of good things -- catching up with old friends and translating new authors, warming up with rum punch and and enjoying long walks on still winter days -- and I haven't written here. I've had the proud pleasure of accompanying students at vocal recitals and the joy of fellowship with thirty friends cozily packed into my cottage for carol singing. A few things:
  • I received an anonymous bunch of Faroese children's magazines in the mail for no apparent reason. It is always nice to get Faroepost though and I enjoyed reading about Iphones and potatoes. Any clues on the sender?
  • My translations of my dear friend Kat Müller's Gernan poems came out in Fjord's Review last month. It was a great moment as a writer to walk into Barnes & Noble and find the issue on the magazine rack.
  • My best Bennington friend, Brett Jenkins, sent me her manuscript. In it was a poem dedicated to me I'd forgotten about - These songbirds chattering us awake / were rocking the truths of the morning / gently into us, that each rock shook / from your shoes that first Vermont summer/ was preparing your body for loss... I'm so lucky in my friends.
  • Paper Darts published an illustrated version of my poem "A Trip to Jerusalem.
Last year, this time, I had Geoffrey Brock's "Alteration Finds" stuck in my head with its refrain of changing life. Since then, life has changed and for the better. I've experienced friendships built over jenga and theological discussions, the beauty of a voice rising in the swelter of summertime, cold seas and warm hearts. Merry Christmas, dear reader. Let's drink of cup of kindness for auld lang syne, the good old days. May these be those days.

Sigh No More