Monday, March 22, 2010



From a .pdf via OSU: The poet Ai died unexpectedly from an illness on March 20, 2010.

Very, very sad news. This awful trend of amazing poets passing away continues. It's starting to frighten me. It's all happening too fast.

Before I made my decision about four schools last year, I was between Binghamton University and Oklahoma State University. A lot of it came down to my own confidence in being able to write anywhere, or at least that's what I told myself. Oklahoma State would've meant that Jess and I needed to take a plane to get home each time we wanted to get back to Pennsylvania. Also, we have no friends or family in that area. And we had just gotten married a few weeks ago.

However, though were offering me a pretty amazing package (which surprised me to no end), beyond anything I was thrilled for just the opportunity to work with Ai and Lisa Lewis, who I think are two of the most underrated contemporary poets.

Lisa, with two books coming out hopefully within the next 8 months or so, is on her way to continuing a brilliant career.

I have a feeling Ai will start to have the same following Larry Levis had after he passed away.

Though many people knew and loved his work at the time of his death, it was the vigor of the younger poets who discovered his work and were fanatic about it, along with the many colleagues and students that knew and worked with or under Larry. But I imagine Ai's name and work will live on exponentially, in the same fashion, as more and more young poets discover the importance of her work, a body that influenced me early on as a writer and will always continue to influence me.

A new and posthumous collection will be out this year. Though that will be her last, we should all be grateful that so much work will continue to be out there for us to teach and read and pass on and discover.


Though this has been a weird week, I did get my first poetry acceptance in the last four months or so, which was a breath of encouraging fresh air.

Waccamaw will be publishing a poem from the new manuscript in late April. Thanks a lot to the editors.

This was also the only poem I believed in during my first semester at Binghamton, one of the only poems in workshop I wrote that I decided to keep. It was also the very last one in workshop that I wrote.

Since then, though, I've written others that I like, and I have a lot of ideas that I hope will continue to turn into poems, poems that I think are only making the second manuscript stronger and more cohesive.


I'm also working with Joe Weil this semester on my second manuscript, and I think it's going really well so far.

He's already had some great insights, and since he knows what I want to accomplish with the book and my writing, he's steering me in the best direction I can go.

Last week he told me that I probably need about six or seven more poems, and one has already been written that I really like. Then it's down to more editing within the poems and the organization of the poems and sections.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to what this manuscript's going to become in a couple months.


The last day of classes is May 7th.

I'm flying to Savannah for a week to visit my brother and sister in law in four days. I'll be there for a week.

Soon enough summer's going to be here.

The next three years, I'm sure, will go faster than the first. Which means I really need to start thinking about a third manuscript: themes, ideas, new structures, something different, something that I'm excited about.


Jess and I are starting to look for a house or town home. Our lease is up in August for our current apartment, so we'll probably start seriously looking around May.

It helps to have friends who have houses in different areas. There's so much to deal with when looking for a house. Many questions to answer and ask. Especially when we don't anticipate staying here for our whole lives.


Watched the Blu-ray Revanche the other day.

Amazing, amazing film.

Reminded me of Haneke and Wenders mostly, but it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. The cinematography's also phenomenal. I'll certainly be looking for more films shot by Martin Gschlacht.

I won't say a lot about it. Just see it.


It looks like almost everything for Ghost Lights has been taken care of on my end, minus the last proof or two (since I always seem to find small grammatical and surface mistakes that are my fault).

The artwork is all but finalized.

The painter has given me the go-ahead. I've passed on the information to Bear. But before I divulge the information, I want to make sure everything's completely finalized. I love the painting, though. The colors are great (especially since I'm hoping for a black cover and back cover, though I'm not sure what color the of the writing will be), and thematically I think it really works with the poems. I'm very lucky to be able to have something I love this much for the cover.

The blurbs are good to go too. Just have to get the OK from Bear for those used on the back cover.

And I got my brief-but-important Acknowledgments page finished, that which actually thanks people and not the journals who published the poems (which was done a while ago).

The tentative release date was May, but I have a feeling it's going to be more like June, or possibly July, which is fine with me. When I know for sure, others will know.

If you're planning on reading it, I hope you like it when it's in your hands.