March 21, 2013
Random bullets of not having posted on the blog in months (RBONHPOTBIM):
- My poem “The Fear of the Dark” appeared on Slate a few weeks ago.
- We’re busy receiving and reading applications for the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. We pushed back the deadline for scholarship applications to mid-March, but apparently we didn’t get the word out widely enough, because by mid-March we had received far fewer applications than usual. So we’ve extended the deadline again, to April 1. If you applied for financial assistance by March 15, rest assured that we are reading your application carefully (and we noticed that you got it in early, too).
- Regular admissions are rolling; we recommend that you apply by April 1, but will continue to accept applications until all workshops are filled. We keep workshops small (about 12).
- Poetry faculty this year are Jane Hirshfield, Linda Gregerson, Major Jackson, and David St. John.
January 5, 2013
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My poem “Storm” appeared in the December 31, 2012, issue of The New Republic, embedded in Paul Starr’s review of The Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver.
Other poems in the issue: Benjamin Glassman’s “Sentimental Death Text Variation” and Allison Lemnos’ “Waiting in the Midwest.” I so admire poetry editor Henri Cole’s choices for TNR; I’m utterly delighted to be in their company!
December 2, 2012
apropos of my post about MasterChef awhile back, I wanted to share Andrea Siegel’s New York Times Magazine piece “The Life Lessons Hidden in Reality TV.” I particularly liked the first section, on Survivor, although I think I’ve seen maybe one episode during its many seasons–it’s about the utter inability of most of us to be anyone other than who we are, even when we know what our weaknesses are and that they are going to get us thrown off the island.
My sister recently reminded me of Will Rogers’s dictum “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” It’s worth remembering. Of course, I immediately went into a meeting and said something that, in retrospect, would have been better left unsaid. Fortunately, the corollary to Rogers’s principle is that if you regret what you didn’t shut up about, you can always say so. No lasting harm done.
June 6, 2012
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I was fortunate to work with her as her Fellow in her workshop at Bread Loaf in 2007. She’s a striking poet and a gracious presence. An exciting choice!
March 30, 2012
“Envy and Kindness” is the title of tonight’s USC MPW student-faculty reading. This series, curated by Niree Perian, lands at LACMA’s Brown Auditorium tonight at 7:30 PM. Reading will be faculty member Judith Freeman and students Richard Mathiasen, Leonard Pung, Elizabeth Inglese, Matt Ackels, and Fadi Bayaa.
(Image is Matisse’s “La Gerbe,” created for the Los Angeles garden of Frances and Sidney Brody, and now in the collection of LACMA.)
March 29, 2012
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Adrienne Rich was a great writer, a great woman, and she changed the landscape of American poetry. Now that her great voice has finished speaking new words, we will hear anew what was, and is, so necessary about her work. An odd little coincidence that Natalie Angier’s piece on mathematical genius Emmy Noether appeared in the New York Times the same day that Rich died; its recognition of an almost-lost foremother evoked so much of Rich’s own writing for me–e.g., “Planetarium,” from The Will to Change. ”A woman in the shape of a monster/a monster in the shape of a woman/the skies are full of them”: read “Planetarium” on the Poetry Foundation website.
March 5, 2012
We’re taking applications now for the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, which will be held at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College in St. Helena, California, from Sunday, July 22, through Friday, July 27. This is my tenth year directing the poetry programs, and I’ve met many wonderful writers, heard many stimulating readings and talks, and spent many happy days in Napa while doing so. Our poetry faculty this year are longtime Conference friend, supporter, and all-around treasure Brenda Hillman; two poets who have taught with extraordinary distinction at the Conference in previous years, Forrest Gander and Arthur Sze; and, for the first time (and to my great delight), Eavan Boland.
In fiction, we welcome back Lan Samantha Chang and Ron Carlson, and greet for the first time Kevin Brockmeier and Tayari Jones.
It’s going to be an amazing six days. All you need to know is here, but you are welcome to email me with any questions.