Honore de Balzac wrote "I am a galley slave to pen and ink." I wish I could say this was true for me all the time. But I write in fits and starts. I've learned to accept this over the last years and I've also found ways occasionally to chain myself to the galley bench of my desk and do some writing. Last January, I wrote a poem a day for Tupelo Press' 30/30, a writing experiment in which a writer is subjected to the pressure of writing a poem a day for public reading. It was difficult and grand and scary and exhilarating. I pushed past my limits, living poetry for a month. And the results were amazing, work I'm most willing to hang my hat on.
I'm undertaking the challenge again this month (February, 2016). Here on the brink of it, I feel that uncertainty, the knowledge that I will be tested, that the next month will at times hold panic and despair and at times (I hope) triumph and beauty. I invite you to pace alongside me for the next 29 days -- February is short, even in this leap year, so I'm spared one day -- and see where poetry takes us.
There are three ways you can support me during this coming marathon of writing.
- Read. The best way to support my journey to read along. Last year, so many people were kind enough to follow my daily progress and to get in touch with messages of encouragement and appreciation. Just knowing you're out there means a lot. And get in touch with my fellow 30/30 sprinters if you like what they're writing.
- Collaborate. My friend Laurel got off to a head start on this one dropping me a postcard with a great poetry prompt on it. Many of my poems last January came from reader suggestions. Others doodled out lines from my poems in art/word drawings. One friend sent a postcard from her honeymoon in Grandada with my poem Granada written on the back.
- Donate. 30/30 helps raise awareness and funds for Tupelo Press. For the last fifteen years, Tupelo Press has been publishing and supporting work from a diverse array of poets from around the world. They're innovative and creative and maintain a wonderful community of poets through projects like 30/30. My goal is $350 dollars. That's just a few donations of ten and fifteen dollars. If you choose to donate, I have some perks I'll throw in.
- $1+ -- A postcard
- $15 -- A handwritten poem from the month's work
- $35 - A copy of my chapbook, The Lonesome Savior - translations from the Faroese
- $50 -- A limited letter-press print of my poem Cicada by the artist Marie Kinscher
- $100 -- A private reading at your home or any venue of your choice