Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Pick up a copy of the Mid-American Review, if only for "Listening to the Dead," by Karin Gottshall, or "For I Will Consider My Houseplant Magda," by Hannah Gamble.
I was reading my copy on my way home from the Winter Wheat festival in Bowling Green, Ohio. It was a full-on adventure of sessions and readings.
Friday, I made squish art, wrote about objects and photographs, and sat in on a panel of editors, hoping to gain some insight into what editors are looking for (more on that later). After a little jaunt to the main street and dinner at the Easy Street Café, I heard Bruce Cohen and Khaled Mattawa read.
After a night of loud partying by my neighbors at the motel, I got an early start on Saturday, with a session on writing from the body (or what your gut tells you).
Then I sat in on a "poetics of place" session that was really about incorporating the syntax and rhythm and music of poetry in your prose to heighten your reader's experience, and the examples were rooted in a specific place, in conveying a specific place. This is probably the closest to a graduate-level class I'll ever get, and I was way out of my league, but it was invigorating to try to follow the conversation.
Next up, I led a session on "Writing Poems in a Series," and I learned a lot—about presenting a session and about different series that are out there. I'm still digesting it.
The last session, led by Alan Michael Parker, included some group poetry Mad-Libs and the art of the slow reveal. Mr. Parker also read on Saturday night, and provided some illumination on the true nature of prose poems.
Sunday was a driving and flying day. I'm back in my usual travel patterns between home and work and slowly integrating the weekend and its learning and writing into my now.