As I suspected, I was a terrible blogger during the first four months of 2012. I do believe, however, that I turned out to be a half-decent adjunct professor of Rhetoric & Composition!
Somewhat sneakily, I offered my students 1% extra credit on their final grade if they chose, as their topic for the final in-class writing assignment, “What I Learned in Rhetoric & Composition This Spring.” 17 of my remaining 23 students (There were 25 originally, but one disappeared halfway through the semester, and the other more recently and disappointingly) chose to avail themselves of this opportunity, and 16 of said essays were so glowing I wanted to keep them as testimonials. More to the point perhaps, they were all MUCH MUCH better written than the first in-class writing assignment that I gave them on Day 1.
I’ll be teaching again in the fall, Tuesdays and Thursdays 8.30 to 10.20, which may cause some logistical problems with getting children to school, but shouldn’t be anywhere near as hard or time-consuming because I have so much material prepared now.
So, here’s what you missed.
In addition to RSCNJ I taught poetry to the sixth grade at Hainesport Middle School from mid-January until mid-March. This was a great deal of fun and I ended up with a great rapport with both children and the main sixth grade English teacher. Hopefully I can repeat this in the future.
Publications: new poems are online at Lucid Rhythms and American Scientist, and available in print in Verse Wisconsin and Crannog. I also have poems due out in The Tampa Review, 32 Poems, New Walk, and new online poetry journals Angle and Kin. Meanwhile my first book manuscript, States of Correspondence, was a semi-finalist for The New Criterion Prize. When not frantically grading or preparing Power Point presentations in a futile effort to make grammar/essay structure fun for freshmen, I have been chipping away at my next Barefoot Muse Press project–a selfish chapbook of my own translations called Saint-Pol-Roux and Other Poems from the French. I am at the proof approval stage for that, so it should be available shortly. If you are of a mind to read what A.M. Juster called “fresh takes on familiar poems and thoughtful versions of tricky poems likely to be new experiences for most readers,” you can pre-order it here.
Speaking of Barefoot Muse Press, there are 4 days left in our first ever Open Chapbook Reading Period. (Note how I skillfully timed it so I wouldn’t have to actually read the submissions until AFTER I was done teaching!) If you have a chapbook of 25-40 pages of poetry which demonstrates allegiance to meter/form, simply visit our online submissions manager and upload it for free. Yup, no charge! Being personally sick of Pobiz, I decided to do something outside of the reading fee/contest model.
Don’t forget that I am also the editor of The Raintown Review! This very week I received copies of Volume 10 Issue 2, and it’s a corker! Among the usual delights of poetry by luminaries such as Ernest Hilbert, Rachel Hadas, Rhina P. Espaillat and Dick Davis, there are a couple of caustic essays and a civilly barbed exchange, on the difficulty of achieving a 50:50 ratio of women in publishing, between myself and Amit Majmudar. Get your copy now!
[Goodness, this post is starting to exhaust me! How am I still even functioning, I ask myself…]
I am really looking forward to my two week residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, which runs from July 11th to 26th. I might even write a few poems… (Needless to say, I did not feel it was realistic to attempt NaPoWriMo this year.)
By the way, let us not forget that I have two delightful daughters, who have not disappeared for four months, despite the fact that it might have been somewhat convenient! Indeed, Becky confounded her critics by not only making it to the Level 9 State Gymnastics Championship, and coming seventh on Beam, but also qualifying for Regionals, necessitating a weekend road trip to Chesapeake, Virginia. Furthermore, Lorna’s TAG team qualified for the State Final of Odyssey of the Mind, and her Lacrosse season is in full swing.
And yes, I did get the tax for Global Bridge sorted out on time.
Now, all I need to do is write my 3000 word essay on Mary Robinson for the West Chester Poetry Conference in June, and (maybe?) I can take some time off!