Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Records of 2010

In Order:

1) Owen Pallett - Heartland
2) Hammock - Chasing After Shadows... Living wth the Ghosts / Longest Year EP / North West East South EP
3) Sun Airway - Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier
4) Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard
5) The National - High Violet
6) Vampire Weekend - Contra
7) Delorean - Subiza
8) Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
9) Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
10) Near the Parenthesis - Music for the Forest Concourse

Friday, December 24, 2010


There's another review of Ghost Lights in the new Ragazine -- you can read it here.

Thanks again to Kayleigh.

I know reviews are sometimes the hardest things to coordinate after a book comes out (at least in my experience), so I'm always thankful when someone takes the time to say some words about it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


There are some recently published poems online, from the new manuscript, that you're free to take a look at if you'd like.

One poem in The Collagist.

And two poems in the new Pebble Lake Review -- here and here.


I was pleased to hear that my new manuscript was a semi-finalist for the Brittingham / Pollak Prizes.

But I was more pleased to find out that it's a semi-finalist in another contest that's still going on.

I know that out of thirty manuscripts the odds are pretty low that the judge will select it, but so far, after sending it out for about a year, I've already had a lot more response than I did when I sent out Ghost Lights for the first year.

Also, this is the second contest where I've heard about my manuscript not after the fact.

And as always, it'll go out to a few more contests in a week or so, and the list grows through winter and spring.


My third semester is done.

Though it feels like I just got here in a way.


I have a lot of books I'm looking forward to reading, and more first book interviews will be conducted.


A best-of music list for the year is also on the horizon.


Travel safely over the next few weeks, everyone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life trailer is now up. The real thing. No bootleg.

Like many others have said already, I'm in agreement: this is my most anticipated film of all time.

There are others I had anticipated for months, all within the last 29 years, but nothing comes close to this.

And in my personal life, my academic life, my thoughts related to poetry and film, I keep thinking and asking myself, "Is there any poet who can come close to the beauty and genius of Terrence Malick?"

The only logical answer I think there is: Larry Levis.

Though we'll never be able to read anything beyond Elegy, if Malick continues, it's one of those kicked around thoughts, divinely related to art, that makes me legitimately say, "Life is worth living."

Monday, December 13, 2010


Thanks to Andrew at for featuring some poems from Ghost Lights this week.

It's a great site with a bunch of good stuff in the archives, so if you haven't seen it, definitely take a look.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


A few things here before I end up waiting another month to post something...


Thanks to Nick Ripatrazone for his review of Ghost Lights at The Quarterly Conversation. This is the first official review of Ghost Lights (with more on the way), and his words mean a lot.


And thanks to Brian Brodeur for including me in his great series How A Poem Happens. I answer questions specifically related to "Ghost Lights."


Currently, I'm waiting on about ten poets to get back to me as far as First Book Interviews go (meaning the interviews were sent via email within the last six months).

At this point, I don't know if any of them will get back to me, but we'll see. Some poets respond in a week. Some a few months. Some never (which is odd to me, but alas).

Mostly this is my fault, I imagine, for getting so behind in the last year.

That said, there are at least ten more books I'm planning on reading over Christmas break, and I plan on playing catch up completely over those days. Then we'll be back on the regular schedule again soon enough.


I've had five more poems accepted from the new manuscript in the last couple of months, so that's been great. Some of them should be appearing this month.

I think there are five unpublished poems left from the new manuscript now. They're all off in the world right now. And no, it's not vastly important that every poem gets published, but since these are some of my favorites in the entire thing (it seems to always happen that those are the ones that take the longest...), and I don't have any other new ones to send out at the moment, there you have it.

I didn't necessarily overhaul the manuscript, but I did take out some older and weaker poems to add some new ones. I think I probably ended up cutting seven or eight pages and adding four or five. I think the trade-off was a good one.

Now I feel better about it as it goes to more contests and open reading periods. Fingers crossed.


The semester is done in a few days.

Next semester will hopefully officially be my last semester of coursework in my Graduate School career.

Then it's all to field exams and the dissertation (which I hope will be a third manuscript).


A lot of other stuff I'm forgetting.

Looks like there's a decent crop of films at Sundance this year.

There's also a bootleg trailer floating around for Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. It looks, not surprisingly, like it should be a gorgeous film. It's coming out in May.

With all those First Book Interviews I'll be reading for, I'm sure I'll be watching a ton of movies too. It usually happens that way.

And the snow keeps falling...