Monday, October 29, 2012

Poems for Hurricanes
I unexpectedly have today and tomorrow off because of Hurricane Sandy.  I don't think we're in any real danger, because we're not in zones A, B, or C, but it's always disconcerting to be in the midst of a big storm, and so I've been spending a lot of time today trying to write a poem about the great hurricanes in 1609 and 1635.  The poem isn't going well so far (in fact, no poems are going well lately, but that's another story for another day), but I have come across some interesting pieces that you might like to read if you're also a bit trapped by this storm.

Some hurricane readings (many via BigThink)
Six Shorts from the New Yorker
Storm Warnings - Adrienne Rich
The Hurricane - Hart Crane
The Hurricane - William Carlos Williams
Hatteras Calling - Conrad Aiken
Problems with Hurricanes - Victor Hernandez Cruz
Other Storms in NYC - BKMag

And here's a passage from what I think it one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, The Tempest.

Ariel's Song (William Shakespeare)

    Come unto these yellow sands,
              And then take hands:
    Curtsied when you have, and kiss'd
              The wild waves whist,
    Foot it featly here and there;
    And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.
              Hark, hark!
              The watch-dogs bark.
              Hark, hark! I hear
              The strain of strutting chanticleer
              Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.
    Full fathom five thy father lies;
              Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
              Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
    Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gratituesday: Key West, FL

It feels like it's been ages since I went on a vacation.  And, it has been quite some time.  The last real vacation we took was in December 2010, when we spent New Years in France.  Since then, we've been lucky (so lucky!) to do a bit more traveling, but much of it has been for conferences or work, and none of it has been for more than a long weekend.

So, yesterday, when I booked our next trip - a real, live vacation to Key West, FL just before Christmas - I wanted to tell pretty much everyone I saw.  The excitement of packing my bags (thinking of getting something special for the occasion), of getting on a plane (my first flight since going to Indiana about 18 months ago!), and of spending six days relaxing in the sun is almost too much to bear.

Me, my sister, and my mother in Key West in 2002.  It was a stop on the Disney Cruise!

I'm so grateful to be able to go on this trip, and to celebrate a few travel firsts.  This will be the first beach vacation Roger and I have ever taken, the first domestic flight we'll take together, and the first time either of us has rented a car.  (I think the idea of renting a car makes me feel more adult than anything else in my life has to this point.) And, after what has been a wonderful, productive, and creative but also surprisingly and ultimately difficult year, I don't think there's any better reward than relaxing in Florida with some delicious seafood and a few great books.

We'll undoubtedly visit the Hemingway House, stop by Sloppy Joe's, and visit a few of the beautiful beaches that line the Keys.  We might rent a clear-bottom kayak, or try snorkeling (okay, Roger says he's definitely not snorkeling).  We're looking forward to drinks at sunset and turtle racing.  We're hopeful that a few friends will join us and we'll all rent a place for the week.  And most importantly, we're going to relax.  We need it badly, and I can't think of a more perfect way to close out the year.

Have you ever been to the Florida Keys?  Do you have any suggestions for must-dos or must-sees while we're there?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion: Global Lives Conference

What effect does this have on today’s poets? Has globalization changed the voice of contemporary American poetry? What does it mean to be a poet today in the United States? What does it mean to be a poet and a global citizen? How does history play into the work of poetry? Does the poetic identity ever conflict with a global identity?

I'm very excited to try and answer some of these questions on a non-traditional panel at this year's Stony Brook University Graduate Student Conference, this Saturday at 11:00am at 101 East 27th Street (3rd floor).  The theme is "Global Lives," and my panel will focus on "Global Voices, American Poetries."  I'll be presenting with three amazing poets (whom I'm also proud to call friends): Travis Holloway, Christine Larusso, and Danniel Schoonebeek.  We'll each talk briefly about how globalization plays into our work, and then read a short selection of our work. 

This should be a great event (seriously, these are some smart poets), so I hope to see you there.  The conference is free and open to the public, and also has some other great panels, so check out the schedule, and let me know if you plan to drop by our reading!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion: Introducing Charles Wright

I'm so pleased to be introducing Charles Wright for the NYU Reading Series, this Friday at 5:00pm.  I've always found Wright's work to be an inspiration.  His words are at once comforting and calculated, and his ear for music in the simple is just incredible.  My favorite poem of his is "Little Ending," but none of his work disappoints.  If you're in New York, I would love it if you dropped by for what promises to be an incredible reading with a wine reception to follow.