Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little Freestyle & Some Big News

Today is a pretty good "School" day for me.  I get to talk about Hamlet with my English students and my history students are taking a test.  It really is the kind of day I like to have.  I really don't look forward to grading the tests, but even that is always easier than I admit to myself once I get started.  Besides, I am going to be giving tests today and on Monday, and I really don't have to grade anything until Tuesday, because almost half my students today are gone for one reason or another and I will be seeing them to take their tests on Monday or Tuesday after school.  I never grade tests or essay until I have all (or a vast majority thereof) because I enter all the grades in at once and I really hate to sit down to grade more than once if I can help it.

This time next week I will be in Utah again.  I am going to be conducting a reading/workshop in my friend's English classes.  He teaches 7th grade English in a charter school and has his students all worked up over poetry.  I will be taking two days and going there to talk poetry and also talk to his public speaking classes about the reading of a poem. I'm getting more excited every day thinking about what I am actually going to say to them.  I have decided to talk to them about the importance of the lie in poetry.  I know a lot of people, especially Collin Kelley, emphasize the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in their poems, but I can't go along with that.  And just to be clear, I do make a distinction between the fiction of a poem and the lie I find so essential.

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News Flash

I just learned, this very moment, Foothills Publishing has accepted my manuscript, Friday in the Republic of Me, for publication.  No word yet as to when it will be coming out, but I am thrilled because this book will be my little addition to the political arena of the day.  I can only hope it will be out in time for the 2012 Presidential Election.

This is the picture I want to use for the cover, though I have other pictures chosen as back-up images. 


Poems you can look forward to, include:

 Lost in Wikiburbia
 After the Photograph of the Lynching of Tom Shipp and Abe Smith
 Contemplating Diego Rivera’s Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park
 Ode to Neruda (Esparanza)
 Friday in the Republic of Me
 In My Dreams I am Always Running with the Dead
 What I Remember about Desert Storm

* * *

I  will be sending a lot of people e-mails about this book, so if you are interested in keeping tabs on this book but you don't hear from me, be sure to let me know.  I will add you to the loop, so to speak.


  1. Wahoo! Wonderful news.

    Also, the guest appearance sounds like a great event as well. Enjoy it all!

  2. So glad to hear about your chapbook.
    I'm also about the lie in poetry, too, but I think I might believe in making it clear you are lying. I think that's why I like persona poetry so much. In autobiographical poetry, well, I don't know, there are probably some ethical issues to think about...Hm, come to think of it, it's probably why I don't write much autobiographical poetry...

  3. Thanks!

    My lying has two purposes---loyalty to the poem in that I need to write the best poem possible, and because so much of my poetry is personal, I need to keep some things to myself. In order to do that, I create a narrator very close to me, but not me. That way I can change what needs to be changed.