64: It just might be a really good year.

Back on 2/19/04, when I was posting from my bloghome away from bloghome because the server I’m on was down, I stuck in a mention of applying to an advanced poetry workshop at the New York State Writers Institute, founded by local and Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy (whose path I used to cross on occasion back in another life [when I had a life] where we had mutual friends).
Well, Happy Birthday to me! I just got a call that I’ve been accepted in the workshop.
OK. Yes, I’m kind of nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this. It’s going to mean I’m going to have to focus on writing poetry for a while, shift gears from mindlessness to mindfulness. My oh my! Now, where did I put that Mind. I know it has to be around here somewhere — maybe with that set of keys I misplaced last year. Or maybe stuffed between the cushions of the couch where, mindlessly, I sit and watch mindless TV each night.
I hope that I can remember how to skin the surface rather than just skimming it. Blogging (at least for me) lends itself so well to skimming — a few quick posts, some skimmy comments here and there, then back to crocheting and “Judging Amy.”
But that’s not how poetry happens for me. It has to brew under a silent and open night sky. It has to boil and roil, ferment a little, the silt sifted out, the skin slipped off, the bottom revealed by the stirring. Time. It takes time. And it takes mind. If I can find it.
I sure hope to Eammon Grennan that I find it before I have to walk into that room full of “advanced poets” on April 1. If I can’t, I’m going to really be an April Fool’s joke.

10 thoughts on “64: It just might be a really good year.

  1. And no worry about the last-listed concern coming to pass. Some of the post itself is poetry — about poetry. Eyes and soul first, mind later if at all. Too much poetry today is intellectual rumination…essays disguised as poetry. Go with what you do: write poems.

  2. Happy birthday, Elaine, from one Pisces to another. A bit late but nonetheless sincere.
    And congratulations on the workshop acceptance. I have long been skeptical of writing workshops but that is, quite possibly, my ignorance speaking. In any case, no worries, I’m sure you’ll show them how to entertain the muse correctly.

  3. I’ve taken lots of poetry workshops in my time — some a waste of time, but many a great help in forcing me to focus on my writing. I look at writing poetry as both art and craft. Too often these days, my art-part loses touch with inspiration, and a good workshop leader can be a great Muse. And craft always benefits from practice, honing, and constructive critiquing by talented colleagues. At least mine always does.

  4. I am admitedly lazy and all too familiar with my own consequent disconnect from art/inspiration and the craft you mention. Hm. Sounds like I could benefit from a workshop, after all.

  5. I am just catching up on my blog reading … I was so happy to hear your news. The workshop sounds great — and I am sure it will provide fuel for writing well beyond its duration. And, a happy, albeit belated, birthday!

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