So at this point, I'm not updating this regularly, except for First Book Interviews, and it will most likely stay that way.
Though once in a while I'll to do an update, like this one, in the midst.
Otherwise, I have two years left, if all goes well, until I have my PhD. And the job market waits for no man.
Considering how fast the first two years went, and all the great advice I've gotten from friends, I figure I need to start getting a foothold on what to look for, how to prepare, etc. for all the paperwork and the like that will soon be occurring.
Along with that, teaching, writing, watching amazing films, preparing for and writing comprehensive exams, and trying to be a good husband, I know these two years are going to go by even faster.
In other news worth mentioning, I think: I was thrilled that my second manuscript, Sirens and Wildfire, which has making the rounds for a little less than two years now (picking up some other finalist nods along the way, for which I'm also very thankful), was a finalist for The National Poetry Series.
I was never more shocked by a poetry-related email in my life. I can tell you that.
I wasn't one of the five chosen in the end, but friend and fellow writer (whose first manuscript, Praise Nothing, you should put on your to-buy list when it's inevitably published) Joshua Robbins was also a finalist, and considering we've seen each other's said manuscripts and have talked a lot about them regarding contests, structuring, and much more, I was happy to be in such company.
I'm still hoping to have the manuscript under contract before I'm done at Binghamton in less than two years. That news gave me a little more hope that this thing's now officially ready, and I hope someone eventually believes in it enough to take a shot at getting it into the world.
I have a poem in the new issue of DIAGRAM. As always, it's a varied and wild issue, and one definitely worth your time.
The poem's from a new series I'm working on. I'm hoping to put together a kind of conceptual manuscript (something I'd never thought about doing until maybe a year ago) within the next year (as I have about a third of it written currently).
If it doesn't turn into anything, I'm still loving the process of writing these. And overall, that's really the most important aspect of the project right now.
Two poetry-related making-waves discussions lately (and yes, I'm late on these) are Brett Ortler's post about BlazeVOX and all the hullabaloo about MFA Rankings.
Regarding the latter, I'm on the side of down-with-rankings, but as I've mentioned in the past on this blog: I'm so thrilled that none of this talk existed in 2002-2003, when I was beginning my process of applying to schools.
But it's going to go on no matter what. As for young writers, I just hope they had the great guidance that I did, and they're applying to programs for the right reasons.
For what it's worth, in my opinion this is one of the best posts about it: belonging to Paisley Rekdal.
And for the former, I'm glad that got out into the open. At the very least, it prompted a ton of interesting discussions about publishing, self publishing, what's to gain by getting published, what the publishers gain from publishing you, etc.
Sometimes the arguments can be misleading, but to me, once you're able to slough through everything, a lot of it's worth reading, and then you can make your own decision.
I'm now on Twitter (very late to the party), though I don't update it as often as some, here, if you're interested: http://twitter.com/keithmontesano
Contradictory, mostly. Boring to most, probably. But alas, there I am.
It's mostly my obsession and frustration with the New York Giants (Dear Lord: Why all the injuries?) coupled with some thoughts about films I'm devouring (and I watch as many as I can between everything else, as many people know). And I'll update there with news sometimes and new First Book Interviews. But mostly I like to keep the poetry-related goings-on within the blog.
Finally, both poetry and film-related, The Tree of Life is released on Blu-ray on October 11th.
Black out the windows. Lock the doors. And crank the speakers.