This seems like an excellent way to jump into one of the new major focuses of this blog: poetry in popular culture. Though there's certainly nothing "lowbrow" about Call the Midwife (I leave the closed captions on to catch every inscrutable turn of phrase, from British slang to the spelling of "Mother Jesu Emmanuel," "Akela," and "Babycham") but to me, the intersection of poetry with television, even verbose British period pieces, is fascinating because of one's mass appeal and the other's undeniably niche status.
And yet, even writing that phrase feels untrue, which is what has spurred me to, at last, revamp this blog and share the fruits of my longstanding interest in the intersection of poetry with popular culture...
I've got big plans to take this blog in a new direction. I'm really excited to share them with y'all. For now, enjoy this video of my cat, Brie, attempting to destroy some classic literature. Stay sharp, my friends.
Late last year, Pleiades asked me to review a charming new "book lover's cookbook," a challenge I happily accepted.
I'm AWP-bound and ready for some palm trees and poetry. It turns out that my Chromebook has 12 free in-flight wifi passes, which is making this DFW > LAX flight much more bearable.
If you'd like to meet me for the first time or the millionth time at AWP this week, check out the panel I'm on this Saturday at 9am (oof, that's an early one, I know!) in Room 506 of the LA Convention Center. "Against Palatable Writing: Dismantling an Inherent Problem in the Workshop" will also include my esteemed colleagues Zach VandeZande, Tanaya Winder, Geffrey Davis, and J. Andrew Briseño. My talk, "The Karaoke Bar at the End of the Mind: On Embarrassment, Shame, and Confession in the Poetry Workshop," discusses the psychology of embarrassment and how creative writing instructors might harness embarrassment for positive ends in order to create an open, diverse, and cooperative workshop environment.
Another great place to look for me is at The American Literary Review table, where I may be loitering with the editors, my friends and fellow poets Conor Burke and Jessica Murray. As a former editor of ALR myself, I highly recommend that you check out ALR's offsite reading this Thursday at 6pm at Seven Grand. My friend and fellow Sewanee Writers' Conference alum Rebecca Foust, winner of this year's American Literary Review Prize for Fiction, will read along with Derek Mong and Rachel Hanson.
I'll obviously be attending a million panels and offsite events too, but I think it pays to fly by the seat of your pants rather than plan your conference to death. I hope I run into many of you talented writers I'm lucky to know (and some new friends too) this week in LA, and I hope when I do you're all tan, happy, and loaded down with journals, books, and swag.
Happy conferencing, y'all!