Thursday, March 26, 2009


So there's a bit of an update with the Ph.D stuff I suppose. After talking to the Graduate Director at Binghamton, apparently I have a (seemingly much better than usual, at least from what I can gather, which is nice) stipend for four years, out-of-state tuition taken care of for the first year, and in-state tuition taken care of for years two through four as long as I'm a New York resident.

The only thing is I haven't received anything official yet in the mail, as I've just been trading emails with the Graduate Director. So before I think about making any decision, I certainly need to see that stuff, all the paperwork etc. Especially since Nebraska sent me a huge packet of materials while also saying, "We can't give you a TA because they've been offered to everyone, but we still want you to come."

So I've been weighing Binghamton versus Oklahoma State now. I've been in touch with a few folks from Binghamton as of late, and I'm trying to keep the ball rolling and contact more folks as the weeks go on before April 15th.

But let it be known (like you really care) that I'm really considering Binghamton at this point also, now that I know the deal.

I'll let everyone know (like you really care) my final decision once the papers are signed and we're ready to start thinking about what lies ahead in our future planning.


I think Jess and I are both looking forward to getting out of Richmond and continuing our lives, not so much because of the city, which we both love, but because both of our jobs need to be over with at this point.

I've seen too many of my friends end up scratching together teaching jobs for peanuts and then becoming bartenders on the side. If folks can do that, more power to them. But I never want to succumb to that.

I got screwed this semester by VCU giving me only one class, and I'm still not sure why, since pretty much everyone else who I graduated with who became an adjunct got at least two. And yes, my evaluations were always stellar, quite honestly.

So I had to find another job, which has been alright at times, but it's also been soul-sucking, which regular jobs usually are, and I don't care what anyone says about that. I'm fine paying my dues, but I don't know what I would do if I had to do it for another year.

This is pretty much the perfect time to sew what we need to sew and get the hell out of here and on to bigger and better things.

We both said we could certainly see ourselves in Richmond again, because we did fall in love with the city. But for now, it's time to move on.


On a maybe odd note about publication, I want to thank Kyle at Blue Mesa Review for letting me kind of overhaul a poem before its publication in the next issue.

Because I know we as submitters can be a pain in the ass with such inquiries, I told him if he wanted the poem in the form he accepted, that was fine. But he let me send him the revised version, and we both agreed it was better.

The poem was one that needed to be overhauled, one that I sent out probably a bit too early for consideration, and one that I thought—after about a month or so of it being out in the world—that no one would take.

I'm glad he did take it, though, since I brought new life into it and made it into something that I'm proud of.

But yes, as submitters, we need to respect the editors more often without all these questions and inquiries into changing the poems we sent originally. I think that's important to know when you send out to journals. After all, if it ever becomes a part of a larger project, you can always change things around then if you feel the need to do so.


And again, speaking of publication, though I sent out to more journals about two weeks ago, I realized—after writing a few poems in the last two weeks and revising them like mad—that I should get together one big push of submissions before many journals stop reading for the spring and summer.

I'm also worried about the address change that will be happening in August, wherever we are. This way the rejections can get here faster so I can add those journals' names again to the future submissions list.

I like these poems a lot, though, which makes me nervous. Usually those are the batches where I strike out. We'll see.


And I've decided to go full on with full-length manuscript number two. Even if I sent it out right now as a chapbook and it miraculously won something or a press wanted to publish it, I feel like it's completely unfinished, that it is truly halfway toward another full-length manuscript.

It seems like a Richmond manuscript, one I may madly try and finish by the time we move, or try to at least get 40-50 pages worth of poems that fit within the bookends.

I'm already seeing interesting threads and a kind of arc that I could be completely wrong about. But while I have no eyes on it at this point, and no true expectations, I figure why not dive in, write my ass off, and see what I have at the end of the summer.


Have you seen the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are? It looks like one of those movies that has the potential to be mind-blowing. With Lance Acord lensing, the visuals already look incredible in just the span of the trailer. The imagination of Spike Jonze surely will add to it also. It'll depend on the script, but I have high hopes for it.

Not to mention The Limits of Control, the new Jim Jarmusch movie, which I have no doubt will be amazing. I had no idea he was doing a new one since Broken Flowers. Not sure how I didn't know, but now I do, and I'm pretty excited about this one too.