In the past several weeks a few projects have come to their conclusions.
I've finished with eight rounds of chemotherapy. I'm no longer taking any prescriptions. We're down to the part of my care where I just go to the doctor and get lots of x-rays and scans to make sure nothing has survived or returned. Maybe one day soon, I won't be a part of the "shaved head club" like Steve & Steve. Perhaps I'll be able to get my shampoo down off of the shelf where it has lived along with my pony-tail holders and barrettes for the past 5 months. They tell me that afterwards, that hair grows back in differently, that it is probable that I'll now have curly hair instead of the straight hair I've had all my life. I'm used to being bald now, it hasn't been as terrible as I imagined. My hair was waist-length before, and the process of losing it was hard, but I've learned that there are cute hats in the world, and it's much quicker to get out the door when you don't have to mess with your hair.
By the grace of a very generous professor, I was able to take my first poetry-writing class this semester. It was a joy. My fellow students wrote a variety of interesting poems, several which made me push my aesthetic boundaries. I feel as if I also honed my editorial skills this semester because we were required to provide comments in a written form for several poems. I also loved the give & take of the conversations we had about poetry & poetics both about student poems, our own understanding of the art, and about various well-published poet's works. We also were graced with a visit from Ted Kooser this semester, which was lovely. I wrote several poems that I am pleased with, and feel I've significantly improved another poem I'd been working on for quite some time.
Today, I also turned in my selections for Touchstone, Kansas State's Literary Journal. It was a pleasure to read the work we were sent. I was amazed to find an excellent selection of formal work, including sestinas, villanelles, and ghazals in my reading pile. There were prose poems, lyrical poems, narrative poems, and visual poems. I wonder about those who say that writing programs produce "cookie cutter poetry"--my experience would seem to contradict this idea. We certainly had a wide range of work to choose from, and I can't wait until I can officially announce our selections.
Other thoughts, I am leaning towards a MFA next. I have enjoyed the critical aspect of the literature field, but I am ready to be in an environment with other people who take the art and craft of poetry seriously and who want to hone their skills.
After waiting for four years to hear, one of my poems will appear in 2006 in a mother & baby anthology: "This Changes Everything." The publisher is Paycock Press .
But even better than that news is the news that Reb has had a poem selected for the 2006 BAP from MiPo! Congratulations to her & the staff at MiPo!
I really need to send some work out again. It's been over a year.
Live with Joy!