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Leah Umansky
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Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Aug 13, 2013
This was such a great evening. I loved that Ted Mathys’ poem.
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Apr 8, 2013
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Mar 30, 2013
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Mar 20, 2013
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Mar 2, 2013
Oh Mark Doty is the guest editor - how fabulous. He's one of my favorites.
Nin is so amazing; isn't she? How great is this!!
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Jul 2, 2012
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Jul 2, 2012
everyone MUST see Nin's comics !
Leah Umansky added a favorite at The Best American Poetry
Jun 19, 2012
I've been wanting to go. I read about this online, too, but always feared the Tavern was pricey. I may have to check it out in the remaining time that's left of National Poetry Month!
Nin is one of my favorite poets.I adore her and her work. Yes, when i first saw the comics, I immediately kept telling her to do more and encouraged her to submit them places. Aren't they amazing? Jennifer, you picked such awesome poets !
Just genius- a combination of both poetry and foolery!
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2012 on No title at The Best American Poetry
This was a great post. I couldn't agree more with you about what you said about community. The sense of the word has definitely changed, and I think in a good way.
I really enjoyed this post- definitely my favorite of the week. Nin's diaries are always so perceptive and intriguing. I'll need to check out violette leduc. Another french fave of mine is Marguerite Duras. I'm glad to know you, too, wrote about your expierence with the diary as a genre of sorts.
Thanks Alyson. You know, I'm so grateful for meeting you out at P-town! xx
Thanks so much, Alyson. So glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks so much, David. It is quite interesting, isn't it? I guess its why we love the poets we do, they make us look at poetry in a different light.
Hi Malea, Thanks so much for reading and for commenting. I LOVED SLC and loved my classes and my teachers, I just always felt soured by not making friends. I felt like I missed out on the full-experience, but again, I graduated in around seven years ago. Yes, we definitely need to take care of ourselves as writers. Have a terrific semester at SLC and enjoy it. Some of my favorite poets are there: Kate Knapp Johnson, Victoria Redel, and of course, Marie Howe. Perhaps, we'll see one another at the Poetry Festival this Spring. Thanks again, Leah
Well readers, tonight is my last post and I’m writing about writing communities. I never realized how important having a writing community was until I didn’t have one anymore. I started my MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College right after I graduated from my BA at SUNY Binghamton in 2002. I was 22 and eager to study with one of my favorite poets, Marie Howe. That fall, I expected to be among many other fresh-faced college grads ready to start their MFA’s, but I wasn’t. To my surprise, most of my classmates were at least 5-10 years older than me, (some even older than that) and I felt like the odd one out. It didn’t make things any better that I had a job three days a week in Manhattan and couldn’t stay late on campus even if I had wanted to. Living at home on Long Island, helped me out financially, but being on campus only two days a week created a disconnect. I didn’t quite realize it until I stood at graduation with my graduating class and realized I barely had anyone to talk to. I graduated in 2004, and moved out of my parents’ house and into Manhattan. Over the next 4-5 years, I worked full time and did a second Masters in English Education at Hunter College. I was barely writing. When I did I write, It was awful and I just wasn’t motivated. I chose to be out with friends, rather than being alone at my desk. I didn’t even know why I called myself a “poet.” I barely sent poems out to magazines and I barely went to literary readings. Then, my personal life got complicated. (I will spare you the details.) One thing led to another, and then I had a revelation: I needed a workshop and a community of writers. I never realized how alone I felt artistically. Enrolling in a continuing education poetry workshop at The New School saved me. (Ironically, I almost went to the New School for my MFA, but then I got off the waiting list at SLC). In my workshops, I felt alive. I made new friends, and with those friendships came a writing community. I couldn’t have been happier. I realized that what I loved about being a creative writing major as an undergrad was that I had a network of friends who read my work and cared about it. I hadn’t had that in years. Being in a workshop brought me back to the things that I loved: literary readings and conferences. Discovering literary gems like, Poets House made me feel good about being a poet. I thought that just because I had my MFA and because I identified myself as a “poet,” that the other writers would find their ways into my life. Things don’t work that way. As a writer (or any kind of artist) you need to know that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and that you are going to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
one of my favorite collages featuring everyone's favorite blonde I learned from a young age that you should just label yourself because if you don’t, people are going to just do it for you. It’s one of the harsh realities of life. A label that I wear proudly is being blonde. I was born blonde, and stayed a dirty blonde through middle school. From a young age, my hair was a burden. It’s always been very thick, very coarse and well, blonde. I was raised on the phrase, “it hurts to be beautiful,” which really applied to having my hair brushed, blown or crimped as a child as it was often annoying and uncomfortable. (Come on, I was a child of the 80’s). Being a blonde isn’t easy. As a little girl, I had long platinum, curly hair, much like my hair is now, except now it’s gone through various shades of blonde over the years (platinum blonde, dark blonde, white blonde, ash blonde, golden blonde, yellow blonde and golden blonde), and of course various lengths (the chin length bob, the shaggy bob, the graduated bob, the Girl Interrupted Winona Ryder pixie cut and of course what was one of my favorites, the City of Angels Meg Ryan curly bob). The stigma of being a blonde is that you’re: stupid, ditzy, absent-minded, or worse promiscuous. Of course, I’m none of those. Sure, I’m a goofball, and I like to laugh, but as a writer, a poet, and a teacher, I know I’m not a dumb blonde. There are certain points in my life where my blondness was brought to my attention. Let’s have a look at: Leah’s Timeline of Blondness. 1987 When I was seven, my sister was around two and my mom used to douse us in a homemade concoction of Sun-In and lemon juice at the beach. We used to squirm and squeal as she’d lacquer us up as we sat on the sand only to release us to play in the summer sun. It worked. It worked GREAT; however, when your hair dried in the sun, you were left with sticky, dry hair like hay. It wasn’t until you went home and showered that your hair; I mean, your luscious blonde locks were back and gorgeous. 1988 I was eight years old, and I was called a “dumb blonde” for the first time. I was riding my bike down my street and an older boy, who lived down my block, threw a rock at me and called me a “dumb blonde.” We never even had a conversation. I didn’t know when he meant but something told me it was bad, and I cried all the way home. I don’t remember what my parents said to me, or explained to me, but it definitely denoted a certain moment in my life. 1993 At 13, came my Bat Mitzvah and with my Bat Mitzvah came the beginning of REAL hair color: "highlights.” They made me feel glamorous and grown... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2012 at The Best American Poetry