Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rod McKuen Saves the World!

As you may or probably may not remember, I posted a few years ago about my relationship with Rod McKuen. Well, those meditations evolved into an essay, "Rod McKuen Saves the World (Why I Write Poems)," which ended up in this fantastic anthology: Poets on Growth (notice how some of the best poets are in this anthology? Amazing, right?). If you want to know why some of your favorite poets do what they do, you should definitely own a copy. And if you aren't familiar with these poets already, you should get to know them.

My essay was also selected to be reprinted online. You can read it here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Among Other Things, I'm Pretending

For the first time in months, I woke up at 2:30am and remembered what I'd been dreaming. The ground is damp, the sunshine, the thunder. When we left the house yesterday, I damn-near wept with joy to see the cardinal singing in the empty tree across the street. It's been all crows and red-tailed hawks (and even an eagle, once, eating a crow--the murder circling him and cawing in the branches) for too long. It's odd, what the winter can do to a person. I mean, I hadn't noticed the longing for any of this, then there it was. I mean, surely it must've been awful, the winter, to feel all of this now that rain has washed the snow away? The sun has somehow warmed the bite from the air already. I wonder if the ground even froze?

This is the first year I didn't feed the birds. And I'm not sure why. It might have to do with living on the second floor? Or that things have been crazy, as my nearly-year-long silence might suggest? Carter will graduate from high school a year early and live in Belgium next year as an exchange student, and all of the applications & prep work & interviews & orientations have taken a lot of time. And all of the living, too, that has to happen when you know it's possibly/most likely the last year your child will live in your home before venturing out into his own personhood (and all of the unknowns and pride and sorrow that surrounds such an amazing happening).

And otherwise, all of this has happened since I've been here last: I quit my full-time job at the UW, I started staying home full-time with the toddler (and all that entails: potty-training, story times, play groups, just learning to run on and around her schedule, etc.), I started a new non-profit literary/arts center (Arts + Literature Laboratory) with some amazing artists & writers, I taught a bunch of poetry workshops, I read poems in some places, there was Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year, and, finally, I wrote a few poems & submitted a few poems, edited the manuscript & submitted the manuscript, completed a chapbook & submitted the chapbook, and I think I have just found that small seed inside myself that needs to write. I cannot contain the words. 

So, here I am, pretending I haven't been gone for so long, but, quite frankly, retrospectively, I'm happy to not have suffered a nervous breakdown this winter. On that note, I leave you with this article "Creative People Say No," in which I'm taking comfort these past few days and from which I am trying to learn. 

Poor birds. Hopefully they all made it south and are on their way back home.

Friday, June 19, 2015


I'm so excited to be heading up to Rhinelander again this year to teach at School of the Arts! The program format has shifted this year from a week-long event to a three-day weekend of art with longer classes. I'm hoping this will make heading to the Northwoods for SOA a more viable option for folks with day jobs! 

I'll be teaching two workshops: 3 Days, 6 Poems (for writers interested in exploring new ideas, playing with forms, & creating fresh drafts) & The Life of a Poem (a revision workshop). While the names are the same as years past, I'm switching it up a bit this year with a new selection of poems to read, new prompts, and new ideas for revision. I'm really looking forward to it! 

There's still time to register, & I'm glad to answer any questions about the workshops if you have them!

This is the first year that my schedule will allow me to take a workshop, too, and I've registered for Encaustics 101 with Ashley Gordon. I stopped by the studio last year and fell a smidge in love with beeswax painting! My mom-in-law got me an intro kit for my birthday, so I'm excited to start dabbling!