I have been remiss. Already. And during National Poetry Month, of all months. But…there are reasons. Some positive reasons; some negative; some just…reasons. But I have been writing. I am 18/23 in an attempted 30/30 for April, I have finished two book reviews, and spurred on by a request from a journal I love, finally completed an essay that I have been thinking about writing for months. The poem drafts are stronger than I imagined they would be, assuaging some of my fears about having lost my poetry mojo.
Reading books of poetry has been a big part of my little sabbatical. In no particular order, digging in to these collections has brightened, enriched, and inspired my April.
- Valerie Wallace’s House of McQueen (Four Way Books)
- Fady Joudah’s Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Editions)
- Melissa Stein’s Terrible Blooms (Copper Canyon Press)
- Jenn Ghivan’s Landscape with Headless Mama (LSU Press)
I am reading aloud a wonderful YA novel in verse called House Arrest to my sixth grade students. They are completely engaged in the short, poetic journal entries that make up Timothy’s story, and it will be a good way to bring us to the end of the school year, which seems ever so near and yet so far away. (Unlike all of my college professor friends, I do NOT finish teaching at the end of the month – June 6 for me. Keep me in your thoughts…)
And this week has brought GPN – good poetry news, for those not in the know. A poem of which I am quite fond is featured in the newest issue of Juxtaprose here. And another poem is in the current issue of Poet Lore, one of the first journals I started to read and aspire to when I came back to writing seriously around 25 years ago. It has been a while since any new work has appeared in print or online for me, so it feels like coming home.
I do have to say it’s a little embarrassing to have other bloggers continuously link back to the post where the Revival Bloggers are listed when I hadn’t posted anything in two weeks. Some ringleader I am. But this is about writing, right? And I HAVE been doing that.