Monthly Archives: January 2012

Starting to Schedule Spring

It hardly seems that we’ve had winter this year, as I’ve discussed at length, although there’s some time left.  We still are without our usual weather, though it did snow about an inch last week and my husband and I were finally able to go cross-country skiing.  We had to push over some grassy spots, but , mostly, conditions were good.  No matter how bad (read: good and snowy ) the weather gets from this point, spring is within sight, and I’m starting to schedule events for the (even) warmer months.

First up is the online poetry class I’m teaching for The Loft Literary Center, starting Feb. 6.  The class runs until April 15, and you can get all the info and register HERE.

Plans are also in the works for a poetry reading and workshop in Bemidji, MN in early May as an extension of The Great Twin Cities Poetry Read.  I will be reading with Matt Mauch, Paula Cisewski, and Sean Hill. Half-day workshops are also planned. Scheduling is in the preliminary stages–I’ll keep you posted.

A little later in May, I’ll be teaching for what I think is the 12th year (11th, maybe?) at the Young Author’s Conference in Thief River Falls, MN.  The students are younger than the students I usually work with, which is a lot of fun, and I get to see some writer friends that I don’t see any other time: Heidi Grosch, Bill Durbin, Freya Manfred and many others.  It’s a fantastic event–really sparks kids’ interest in writing.

Further out, I’ve agreed to judge poetry for The Talking Stick, a publication very near and dear to me, as it is the first place I was ever published as a poet. Winners will be honored at the book launch event in September. I’m amazed and thrilled to find the journal and its sponsor, the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, going strong after so many years.  It’s a fantastic publication, and I encourage all of you to submit.  Just don’t tell me you’re submitting, so I can be objective in my judging. The deadline is Feb. 20 and there will be a $300 prize for first place and a $100 prize for second place in each category: Poetry, Fiction, and Creative-Nonfiction.

As I mentioned a post or two ago, I have several grant and fellowship applications in the pipeline, and I’ll hear about a few of them in February.  The one I’m most hoping for will fund a really exciting visual art/poetry collaboration with Tiffany Besonen.  I’m not going to give any details yet, but believe me–it is interesting.  We will find a way to do it even if the grant doesn’t come through, but…here’s hoping!

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Surreality

I doubt that any people anywhere are quite as weather-obssessed as Midwesterners, and Minnesotans in particular.  So I apologize to those who aren’t really interested, but the weather this winter is so strange that I can’t help but write about it.  Today–January 5–a day on which the average temperature Park Rapids, MN is 5 degrees Fahrenheit, it is 51 degrees.  This is a new record. 

We did have a bare dusting of snow around Christmas, and the jubilation was universal.  Local Facebook friends’ status updates were all about sledding, or skiing or snowshoeing.  It was only a couple of inches (now mostly gone), and I had visions of my friends and neighbors all suited up in their snow pants and parkas, standing by the back door with skis or sleds in hand for hours, watching intently out the window, and running outside whooping at the first sign of a flake.  We do like our winters up here in the North Country.

All of this strangeness should lead to some interesting poems.  Time will tell. I just can’t shake a feeling of unease and impending…..something.  It’s just too weird.

I’m hoping that the next session of Writing the Short Poem–my online Loft Literary Center class–fills up, and I start teaching it again in February.  There’s still time to sign up!  Just click on the course title above.

Meanwhile, the season of impatience for grant and fellowship application results has arrived, snow or no snow.  I have three major applications out there, and by the end of Feb., I will have results from two of them.  One is for a really interesting collaboration with visual artist Tiffany Besonen that will result in a travelling gallery exhibit.  Cross your fingers for us, and do a snow dance!

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