This long, cruel April ends an academic year of despond. I’ve been lost: I feel, most of the time, that my time and attention feeds a black hole. Could be cultural changes in academe, or middle age, or everything.
This morning, I sketched an ideal day: two hours of writing, four hours of reading, one hour of piano practice, and one hour of exercise. Then I committed addition. That’s eight hours. That’s a working day. And I have an actual job, too.
(Note: I do spend about four hours a day, often more, reading. It’s just not what I mean by reading. We need a new, variegated vocabulary of reading. Add that to the to-write list.)
With this pressing need to give my time a kick in the pants, to set it back on course, I applied to the Tupelo 30/30 project. It’s a writing challenge cum fund-raiser: poets commit to composing a poem a day, and these poems are posted to the project site; and we ask people to sponsor us. Like a 10K run for leukemia research, only it’s 30 poems in 30 days for an indie press.
So yes, please sponsor me.
Joining the Tupelo 30/30 project for May 2016 is, for me, part of a course correction. It’s a commitment to writing poems, with public accountability — and response. Yeah, you can talk back to my poems.
This May isn’t ideal for such a project, but no month would be. Here’s what else I have on my plate: academic projects on which I am unforgivably behind, so let writing beget writing; a visit to my first home, New Orleans, and my soul’s home, Chicago; and, above all, cochlear implant surgery. I’m going bilateral. (Should I have mentioned that in the project bio? But I’m terrible at bios.)
A bumpy ride. But I don’t have to teach anybody anything until June.
So uh, Muses . . .?