Friday, June 18, 2010

Free stuff/exciting stuff!

Hey guys! First of all, hello! I've enjoyed reading everyone's summer entries. It's cool to see what your interests are and lives are outside of the MFA world.

I've been having a lot of "non-MFA" stuff happen lately-- I got engaged, and I'm getting married in August. I've been writing music reviews and interviews for my college hometown's paper, the Evansville Courier & Press, and some of that has translated to my other blog-- I got to talk to Art Alexakis from Everclear (a favorite band from my teenage years-- I still think Songs from an American Movie is my favorite narrative album of all time), and more recently, Mary Gauthier.

Mary's latest album is autobiographical-- The Foundling is about her own adoption, her search for (and later, rejection by) her birth mother, and processing all of that. It's really good, and if you listen to any kind of folk or indie music, you ought to get a copy. I've got one for free up at my website right now (which is the reason I mention any of this)-- if you want to win, just go to Katie Darby Recommends.

I've also been in contact with a lot of my favorite writers, which is partially because: I've decided to defer from the MFA program for a year. Right now, I need to get things settled in my personal life: I want to focus on building the strongest marriage I can and on figuring out what I want out of writing (since lately, I seem to be doing almost all music writing). I'm still technically enrolled at SIU, and I'll actually be teaching a comp and lit class at a local university in Indiana in the fall. I'm still part of the MFA community, but now I'm the fringe guy.

This summer has already been the most exciting one of my life, though. I wish the same to all of you. Hope your lives are going well!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer writing projects

Hey y'all,

I hope everyone is enjoying some kind of summer break, if not from employment, at least from academia. And writing! (But not in any kind of a hurried way, necessarily...)

Today I was working on two old poems, glad now that I could get a new perspective on them; they were retail poems originally (I used to work in a grocery store), and now they still are, but with a little more differentiated view of working in the service industry (waiting tables).

What struck me in working on these poems was the question of what is salvageable as an idea or a spark for new work, that may no longer be salvageable as a poem. Both of the old poems were almost two years old. Both hadn't been touched in as much time. Both I felt pretty good about when I wrote them, but soon seemed not as good as my new work.

In revising the poems, one seemed to spring to new life, and the other seems still to cling stubbornly to its origins. What's worse, I worry that my own habits atrophy in the act of revising that latter poem as is (I.E. using revising practices I have since abandoned). So I thought I'd put this question out to the blog:

At what point should a poem be given up on?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Norman Mailer Writers Colony

I've been at the Norman Mailer's Writers Colony for the past few days taking a poetry workshop with Dean Young. It's amazing. Mailer's house is right on the water in Provincetown, MA. Beautiful. Everyone is kind and smart and Dean Young is super cool. We're writing a poem a day.

Consider applying. They offer scholarships for housing and tuition.

Mailer's House

View from the back deck.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Intro: Chelsea Querner, UNC-Greensboro (class of 2012)

Woo! New faces. And their accompanying (awkward) introductions.

Hello, all! Just taking a quick minute to scoot on over and introduce myself. My name is Chelsea Querner and I will be attending UNC-Greensboro's MFA in poetry this fall. I graduated from Roger Williams U in Rhode Island last May and earned a BA in creative writing. One year in the "real world" was enough to convince me I needed to be back in school, haha. Among other reasons.

It's hard consciously trying to be interesting but here's my best effort:
- I love the power of free verse. Big fan of manipulating line breaks and the relationship between blank space and stanzas via isolating words, repetition, narrative, punctuation (lack thereof). Two thumbs up.
- My work definitely has an emphasis on the human body; its abilities to communicate without language, its inherent metaphors, and its value/threat for different speakers.
- I cannot write metered or rhyming poetry. Sincerely, when attempting it, it's as if my fingers go into temporary paralysis and I'm forced to look at a blank screen. No good. It's on my to do list for grad school.
- I'm from New England and I'm thoroughly looking forward to having a break from grueling winters, frozen car doors and potholes. The worst.
- In certain areas, some might accuse me of being a Masshole, only while driving!

I'm truly looking forward to getting to know all the incoming and of course, the established bloggers on here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, wit and adventures. Good luck to all and enjoy your respective summers!

Related Posts with Thumbnails