Friday, May 8, 2009

268: Notes from MFA-Land

Final meeting of poetry seminar at professor Maria Damon's house last night. Above: Maria Damon. Below: Allen Ginsberg wearing a scarf Maria Damon knit for him. Later in the evening, she showed me her loom and I tried to go home and not want a loom (where would we put it?). I got as far as the car door.

I hate to admit it, but my favorite bits tend to be when we wander slightly off topic into gossiping--both about Big Poets and Other Professors in the Program. Maria is an interesting entity in that she is both literature prof and creative writing prof and thus, we can (a bit) more freely whine about the circumstances of the program without directly insulting her, especially as she agrees with much of our despair (oh, woe, woe). I also loved that we brought in favorite poems and commenced to tear them to shreds, or celebrate them, depending on which we brought.

Also, cats became a bit of a theme: not only does Maria have one of the sweetest small cats on earth, but fellow first year Colleen brought in a self published chapbook she found in a free bin at a used book shop in Madison, Wisconsin called Kitten Feathers. She's scanned bits of it on PDF and has promised to email them out. This reminds me of certain youtube videos. Also: for the moment, on Wikipedia, if you look up the term "flarf," you will find a reference to the "Flarfist Collective," and our professor would be the first listed. Alphabetical, perhaps, but there she is. It's a bit like Colleen appearing, in all her poets-dancing-tipsily glory with her boyfriend Bart on this year's pamphlet for the Denver AWP conference. I want to order eighteen of them to make a poster for the office. (Please also note, if you click on the above photo, it will enlarge, and you can see that Amanda has a similar tendency to another poet I know, which is to draw these amazing pictures on the poems we are discussing.)

Also, here are some photos from our most recent Dislocate reading, which was on April 14th:

(above: Michelle Livingston, third year creative non-fiction)

(above: Brian Laidlaw, first year poetry)

(above: Laura Owen, third year fiction)

(above: Wang Ping, local poet and featured reader)

Two more bits:

1/ Meryl, on our collective blog, pointed out an article I found compelling on confessional poetry by Rachel Zucker, who we both saw at AWP (and she was fab-u-lous). The article is interesting, especially given my own tastes (Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds, Sylvia Plath--all huge influences on my own work).

2/ The Dislocate editorial staff for next year has been selected. I'm incredibly excited that fellow-poet and friend Colleen Coyne was selected to be editor-in-chief! I love her vision for the magazine, which will make it easier to work under her. I am also excited, as next year I will be the magazine's poetry editor.


Chris said...

WoopWoop! Congratulations!!!

shari said...

congrats on the poetry editor position molly! i also love that photo of allen ginsberg. pretty cool.