You Will Be Held Accountable

Because I am super serious about my 2018 Literary Boss To Do List, I made a Google Sheet to track my progress on each of the areas I indicated would be a priority.

I’m pleased to report that it is only January 11 but I am just three items away from having all my January tasks complete: two more blog posts for the month, and one more submission to a literary magazine or book contest. This means I have read two books so far, and written a book review. Ta da!

My book reading will be supported in part by the young adult novel writing class I’m currently taking; I have to read 5 YA novels assigned by the course and a sixth of my choosing. But I imagine they’ll be quick reads.

I also reorganized my bookcase this morning, which was in a sad state of affairs after being disorganized by some nice folks repairing my apartment from a small flood in December. For this reason, I now know¬†exactly how many unread books I have to choose from. And it’s a lot. A lot. It’s embarrassing, actually.

Piles of books

Onward.

The New Year

First, this post owes a big debt of gratitude to Kelli Russell Agodon. A few months ago, Kelli tweeted about “the old days” when poets blogged widely and regularly. I, too, missed that spirit of community, and in the tweets that followed from others, a movement took back its shape, and many, many poets committed to returning to blogging in 2018.

So, here I am. Here we are.

My first post in this blog was published on August 31, 2004. I was going into the last semester of my MFA program. I was thinking about poetry community and where I might find it. I was thinking about my writing, and I was thinking about LGBTQ voices in poetry. I was reading widely, voraciously, and I wanted to talk about those books. I was constantly inspired.

Through blogging, I found….everything.

Now, with six chapbooks, a full length collection, and a forthcoming second collection, my writing career is a lot different, but my writing life is the same. I still crave community, to talk with poets and share ideas and discuss books. But having rested in my efforts to challenge myself the last few years (for a variety of personal reasons both publicly known and publicly unknown), I started to fall short. Reading less. Seeking community less. Hiding in my house. Working on poems–sometimes.

There’s something about this format I don’t get on social media, and I miss that thing. I can’t wait to read people’s deep dives into the books they’ve just read and the creative questions they’re asking themselves. I hope this blog ends up inspiring people the way blogs have been such an important resource for me.

Here is my 2018 Literary To Do List. I’m trying to get back into the habit of setting good habits.

  • read 1 book per week
  • write 1 book review per month
  • write at least 1 blog post per week
  • submit to 2 publishers per month
  • attend 1 literary event per month

Maybe it’s too small. Maybe it’s too ambitious.

But here we go.

We’re in a Fight

I have a poem up over at Quarrel, the latest brainchild of the inimitable Dustin Brookshire.

For the blog, participating poets select five words from suggestions made by bloggers-at-large, compose poems using the words, and then publicly revise the poem toward completion.

Companion bloggers are the following favorite people of mine:

Christopher Hennessy
Dustin Brookshire
Genevieve Lyons
Kate Evans

OMG That’s My Jam

I’m toying with a new sidebar feature here at kinemapoetics right now. “OMG That’s My Jam” will chronicle my five favorite songs for the week (or however long, you see how often I change that weekly stuff).

But readers beware: the songs are likely finely crafted, endlessly singable, and may lead to conspicuous consumerism.

Go Here Now

Although it’s not a part of my day-to-day life anymore, Hayden’s Ferry Review will always have a place in my heart. The new managing editor, Beth Staples, has put together a lively new blog site, complete with a unique podcast series to enrich everyone’s experience with the journal.

You’ll remember the latest issue was a themed exploration of “The Grotesque,” and the first podcast features two of the “grotesque” artists discussion their relationship to it. Great stuff!

Go here now.