Saturday, July 31, 2010

487: two anthologies

There are two anthologies I want to call your attention to:

1. From Orchards, Fields, and Gardens, edited by Kerstin Svendsen, which will be available in mid-August and is $4 off pre-orders. Of course, I'm extra-excited about this project because I have three poems inside: the title poem to my chapbook (which is still making rounds, but I promise an update, even when it's a bridesmaid again) "The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake," as well as "Kitchen" and "Palming Earth."

2. The other is a collection being published by Harper Perennial, and my tattoo, done by the lovely and talented Shawn Hebrank, will make an appearance in its pages. You can read more about my specific tattoo in this post, and you can check out the book's webpage here. It will be released October 12th.

Monday, July 26, 2010

486: still here, still quiet

I will write soon, again, I promise. Somehow, between keeping my lunch down with this pregnancy (sixteen weeks and five days today), preparing to teach a class that started today at The Loft, my own studenting as a platen letterpress fiddler, reading poetry volumes by authors at Bread Loaf and test-driving various books for the Intro. to Poetry class I'll be teaching this fall, traveling to Michigan, book club and writing group, weeding the garden, baking homemade pretzels, oh and morning sickness morning sickness morning sickness, I have found myself remiss in this space. I didn't mean it to be a blogging break; I'd be so constant about it for so many years, and here I am, my eyes aching from tiredness, the summer blooming around me, and all I can think about is bedtime and if I have my photocopies ready for tomorrow. (Please note that in my list, I did not write 'writing my thesis,' as I've only been writing individual poems and cannot imagine facing that file of 'body poems' that need to make a cohesive unit by the end of August.) For now, I'm just going to drink my iced water with lemon, read the anthology for my poetry students, and prop my eyelids open with toothpicks. I miss being here, but sometimes the quiet is good too.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

485: becoming private

Above, those are my parents, and that's my me in my father's lap. The other two are cousins from my mother's side of the family. My mother is younger than I am in this photograph, as is my father; I love how radiantly happy they look.

While I was away in Michigan, I began to work with a template on a new look for my official webpage, one that I could update, instead of asking Ryan to add something every time a poem got accepted. What makes me sad about this independence was how much of a gift it was to have Ryan maintain something for me, something that said yes, I know that writing is more than a hobby for you, and I love you so much that I will use my own more-than-a-hobby programming abilities to make something for you. He is still willing, of course, but somehow, things have become more urgent and important to me to make certain I am updated and existing a little bit differently on the web.

Which led me to my debate, the one I carried in my pocket for the long weekend: I want to be a bit more private in this strange open space. I have had some moderate success with publishing individual poems from my chapbook, and while the book isn't getting published just yet, it's had some positive feedback--runner-up, a note from an editor telling me it would find a home one day. And while a chapbook calls very little attention to the writer or to the work itself, I still have begun to realize a bit more fully that if I am to one day have a presence professionally, as a poet, a reviewer, a photographer, and interviewer, a scholar, a college instructor, I might be best off pulling the shades in some places.

The blog where I kept track of my infertility journey, where I now write about the woes of pregnancy (it's getting better!), where I will eventually write about parenting and show images of my child on a regular basis has already gone private. Roots + wings won't change in any way, but it seemed best to keep this experience protected, so I've invited a string of friends and family to follow along, if they so desire, and if I have forgotten to send you an email, or it's confusing to join, please let me know, and I'll try to do something about it.

Eventually, I think this place will go private too: it's dedicated to my everyday life, and while I don't want to quit either blog, I think it's also like those living room curtains at night--it's time to draw them in. It will take a little longer, I think, to get ready to do that, mainly because I don't want to exclude any readers who I might not know from the "real world," but through words and images and encouragement and all else, are just as good company as those I might be able to coffee with. Not that I can drink coffee just now, but figuratively.

Because it is related to the presence I do hope to maintain on the internet, that of publishing poems in online literary magazines and having a named webpage, I will keep independent study public. And I'm not sure what to do about Flickr just yet. I'm a month behind in uploading photographs anyway, so I'm not sure how concerned I am--we shall see. For now, I will keep sharing images and memories and thoughts and eventually I'll do the same, just with a very limited readership; perhaps I can let that coincide with when I change over the main webpage--it makes sense, transition-wise.

Monday, July 5, 2010

484: welcome to the world, Kayhan Siamak DePasquale

(Photos snatched from the new aunt and new papa's Facebook pages.)

Isn't he handsome? Casey, who is sister of my dear poetry-sidekick Meryl and member of our book club, was due five days from now, but instead, in the wee hours of July five, Kayhan came into this world, now sharing a birthday with another of my favorite people. My grandmother, owner of great chunks of my heart, turned eighty-nine today and of the new one, she has given blessings.

I know that Casey and Ardeshir will be the best sorts of parents, great models of patience and humor and clever experiences. I will happily amused to listen to the stories, the follies, and the love that bursts from their loft in the big city of Minneapolis. The first of a string of much anticipated births over the next several months--hers also the first of three pregnancies in our book club, which will certainly shift the dynamic.

Oh, I can hardly stand to hold this little one! I wonder if they can hear my sounds of squee all the way across Lake Michigan, across the state of Wisconsin, across the Mississippi River...