I graduated from my MFA program a year ago today.
In the past year I have:
> Slashed-and-burned the thesis manuscript
> Written a new manuscript, saving just two poems from the thesis
> Begun to publish the new manuscript’s poems here and there, begun submitting it to contests
> Started a second new manuscript still in stages of revision, but feeling, on the whole, very good
> Published a chapbook
> Received a Pushcart nomination
> Met a slew of poets, both bloggers and non, who have inspired me and encouraged me and taught me more about poetry
> Read a bajillion books I “always meant to get to”
Poems I’m proudest of publishing this year:
“Proof” in the first issue of Churchyard (it’s my favorite poem from the first manuscript and possibly the best poem I think I’ve ever written)
“Remainder” in Lodestar Quarterly
“The Field,” “Nina (2)” and “Huma Rojo (2)” in No Tell Motel
“Saboteur” and “Vapor Boys” in West Branch
“Lapsarian” in the Most Intriguing (and Sensual) Male Poets Calendar
I think I made good use of my time this year…I feel good about where my work is going, although I wish I was writing more these days—but it does feel good to have a break.
One thing I have not been able to accomplish this year despite my best efforts: keeping my house (especially my desk) clean.