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Vandana Khanna
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This weekend is the beginning of an array of “holiday” festivities awaiting me—houses humming with sweater-adorned bodies sipping equally adorned cocktails. Everything smells vaguely of pine, cinnamon and candle wax. The food and conversation is bite-sized: light, airy morsels of vacation plans and movies, shopping and relatives, directions on how to baste something. Inevitably, talk turns to careers, professions, and jobs. And that’s when the awkward pause happens. Whenever my husband introduces me as a “poet”, I can see the confused scrunch forming on foreheads, the nervous laugh bubbling up or the uncertain head nod like he’s suddenly speaking a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Type in the word rejection into any search engine and you’ll probably get the images of writers and actors. Yes, it took me exactly three days of blogging to bring up rejection. I’m a poet, what did you expect? Just as my students don’t believe that writing can be a lonely profession, they often don’t believe in rejection. Apparently, when you are standing up in front of a classroom “teaching” you’ve gotten there, at least in their eyes, unscathed—you’ve never heard the word “no”, everything you’ve written has floated from your “send” button onto a printed page in some magazine... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
This fall I’ve been teaching creative writing again in a traditional classroom with 20 year olds. Their smooth, unlined faces stare back at me with an array of emotions ranging from skepticism to wonder (expressions, that in the end, are troublingly similar)—they don’t exactly know how they got here or why they are here, but somehow we get to the first poetry workshop and their pages are full of break-ups. There’s something about a writing workshop that opens up all the locked doors and we get poems and poems about his leaving, her heartbreak, how each of them wrecked it... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
It’s that time of the year when everything is strangely candy-cane scented and glittering with a tourniquet of lights. We are anxious with our lists, with our need to prove our thoughtfulness. We want the “perfect”, unnamable thing to fill up our loved ones hands. Inevitably, we turn to the experts who tell us what is the “best” of this past year: the best album of the year, the best gadget of the year and of course, the best books of the year. Everyone has a list, but like all things in life, beauty is in the eye of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
I feel it’s only right to confess something in my first-ever blog post, (deep breath): I like to read other people’s blogs, especially poets I don’t know personally. For the past decade or so while I have been having children, writing a book of poetry and teaching here and there, I have also been religiously (and secretly) reading poetry blogs and websites. It is my lunchtime ritual—kitchen table, bowl of soup, laptop and blog. Reading other poets’ posts is my way to connect with a poetry community without ever getting out of my pajamas…or flip flops. I’m sure there are... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Dec 12, 2013