Great news! I survived my first AWP conference and have 2 poems forthcoming in online spaces: MUSH/MUM and Squawk Back. I’ll link these poems on my <<poetry page>> once they go live.
As of late lots of visual artists have been capturing my attention and igniting some inspiration. When in DC for #AWP17, I spent my last full day at the capitol w a close friend who showed me around downtown.
We explored the Botanical Gardens (and were pricked by one too many cacti) and then the National Gallery of Art, specifically the East building which holds exclusively modern art by 20th and 21st century artists. I haven’t made much time for museums recently so this trip was such an invigorating kick to my senses. My friend and I discussed interpretations, first impressions, connections, saying what we saw, how we felt. And I felt revived in my own writing practice.
Perhaps that’s also the residual effects of the conference. But, in truth, those 3 days were overwhelming and at times without direction. Some scabs I thought were almost healed were picked at again, some even broke skin. And to leave the metaphor for a moment, I felt disoriented in my life’s direction—not sure on where I should be, what I should be doing, or where it's all going. (Yet again.) I’m still working all this out. It feels cyclical and never-ending at its worse, but I know I’m getting closer to something. Even writing and publishing these thoughts is an early and vital step in this whole <figuring it out> process.
On a more positive note, I was blown away by the panels and readings I attended. I listened to thoughtful, sensitive discussions about gender, identity, workshop pitfalls, ableist poetics, hybrid forms, writing trans bodies w care and intimacy. And I spent quality time with some folks I haven't seen in a while. I'll always take these moments of magic over anything else. My heart goes out to those who have helped me grow, albeit sometimes begrudgingly listening to my astrological ramblings <3
One of the biggest takeaways from last weekend: When in doubt, write. Always always write.
And with that emotional dump, I'll leave a sprinkling of recent + various favorites:
- Daniel Richter, an interview — “Life cannot just be about reproduction and buying cars.”
- Natalie Shapero, Hard Child — full disclosure: I looked over this manuscript while interning w CCP and was a fangirl since its genesis. Natalie is such a kickass punk poet and her reading at AWP was a needed jolt.
- Tyler, the Creator Interviews Vince Staples — bc who else is going to discuss perceptions of race and artist labels as they're happening right. now. so freaking well
- Histories of (Neo)-Confessional Poetry — I’ve had about half a dozen tabs open dissecting Confessional histories and changes and current states; this is just one of the plentiful gems from Fence
I might get around to transcribe-transfer-publish the notes I took throughout the conference. Or I may keep them for more private reflection. . . Regardless, time to go revise some new/er stuff and do the work that needs to be done.