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Jessica Garratt
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Stacey, you must, you must! I think you would love Member.
"disembodied civility" and "the narrow joy of merely not suffering"... very well put, Alex!
Thanks so much, David! It was an absorbing pleasure giving this a try -- and a privilege too.
This is my last post, and I think I will keep it short, and perhaps even sweet. Looking back at the week’s posts, I notice an unintended arc. I began the week by introducing myself and my semi-neurotic (semi-?) anxiety about blogging, moved into a few posts that took up “uncertainty” as a theme in one manner or another, and then, without necessarily meaning to drop the uncertainty theme, embarked on three posts in a row that focused on connection, in life and in poetry. I think it’s safe to say that this arc reflects the arc of my feeling,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks so much, Eileen -- for your kind words and for following along this week. I really enjoyed it.
So, as I mentioned, I have done a couple of writing residencies of the more “typical” sort (i.e., a bunch of artists living together in a beautiful place, being fed regularly and generally looked after, summer-camp-style). I must admit that I love this kind of residency. The being-cooked-for alone cannot be underestimated. But last fall I was lucky enough to try out a whole other sort of residency experience. I spent three months living in the childhood home of southern novelist Carson McCullers in Columbus, Georgia, thanks to the Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship. (Marguerite and Lamar were the parents... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Stacey: That's too funny! I like thinking of what it would mean for you to be a 'plussed' wife looking on... And I can only imagine what might have ensued! Jim! Thanks so much. You're a pal.
In just a few weeks, I’m hopping in the car and heading west again. I seem to creep a little further each time. Missouri, Kansas, and now Fort Collins, Colorado, where I will finally break the mid-west barrier, into the Mountain time zone. I’m going there for a three-month residency at a place called ART342, where I will be living among three visual artists and a composer, and trying to break the mid-manuscript barrier of this second book. I have a healthy start, but I’m still feeling patch-worky about it and like I need a better vantage point from which... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
"to talk simply about something that matters" -- well put, Susan! It's amazing how rarely we're called on to do that in our daily lives, isn't it? Glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane, Sue!
Yesterday I wrote in part about travel, and I want to continue in that vein for today’s post. In 2006 I traveled to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to visit my friend Susan for a few weeks. She was there on a Fulbright Fellowship at the time. The trip (which was spent mostly in Tbilisi, though we also traveled to the Caucasus and to the Black Sea) was fabulous and life-expanding in too many ways to name here, but I want to dwell for a moment on one custom the Georgians have that I particularly appreciated: the supra. A... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks, Stacey! And that's too funny about Jane Fonda. I must have completely blocked that part out... Wishing you a childfully-slow rest of your summer in Ammons-land! -Jessica
Two weeks ago I went to Peru for my sister’s wedding. I was there last summer as well, just to visit her, and didn’t know I’d be returning so soon. Last time we traveled around some, and took a (grueling) four-day trek to Machu Picchu. This time we stayed put in the town where my sister lives: Pucallpa. Pucallpa is in eastern Peru, on the Ucayali River in the Amazon. It’s a jungle port town, so men are constantly loading and unloading small boats at the makeshift-looking docks. They run up and down the steep, uneven hill to the river... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Recently I took a yoga class taught by my mother. The class had been going along in ways we and our bodies didn’t not expect, and we followed along, innocuously enjoying ourselves. My mind was both in the room and not in the room; it sent tried and true emissaries down well-worn paths. (I just heard somewhere that 95% of our thoughts are unoriginal/repetitive in nature.) I’m hungry. I wonder what I’ll have for dinner. I should read that book tonight. Restrain myself from more episodes of Mad Men. I wonder if so-and-so emailed me back. Et cetera. Then my... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
When I received Stacey Harwood’s gracious invitation to guest blog for Best American Poetry, it came as a surprise, and the surprise came with excitement, stitched by tinsely nerves. I’ve never blogged before, and furthermore have never thought of myself as a ‘blogger’ or as the bloggingtype, exactly. But when faced with the opportunity, there’s no doubt about it: I felt anticipatory, ideas dipping their toes in my mind almost immediately. So why, then, have I held this medium at arm’s length, or thought of myself as outside it? Has it been snootiness? A nostalgic attachment to more “permanent” mediums?... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Aug 6, 2011