It's been a week and reading poetry in my pajamas since I last confessed. And when I say "reading poetry in my pajamas," I don't mean in my house or in my bed. Yes, a public pajama event - The Poetry in Improbable Places tour featuring Susan Rich, Elizabeth Austen, Novelist Harold Taw, and me.
Here we are--
|Tired poets after a fantastic reading.|
But now it's a new week and it seems poets are questioning things, their writing lives, and the universe... more on this soon.
To the confessional--
I confess this PJ reading was probably the most fun I've had a reading.
I've decided the key to good readings is to keep them unexpected, provide fun, and add surprise. Also, reading with people you like helps too. People who enjoy a good time and love what they do.
It also helps when a big audience attends, a big happy audience who just wanted to try something new.
You can see many of the photos here.
Things I did-- Dropped my pen, knocked my "I read past my bedtime" pin off my pjs, jumped on a bed, took photos, signed books, ate pistachios, met new people, stood in a bathroom we called our "green room," sat in bed with three other writers, and ended the night by ordering room service with five of the nicest and most fun people around.
I confess I found my old copy of The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo and realize how much I LOVE that book.
Every poet needs to read this book sometime in their life and the earlier the better.
I also confess since the reading, I've been a little down these last two days. Nothing big--a rejection, a grant I didn't receive--but other poets were discussing having these feeling too.
Is it autumn that does this? Just being a poet in general.
I do not want to use up my "sympathy chips" on this--a phrase I recently learned from a friend meaning that we each get so many sympathy chips from people and we can use them up on insignificant things or important things, it's all up to us.
To me, feeling down as a writer isn't insignificant, but it's expected.
When I feel down, I try to understand why and push on. Pushing through ________________ (fill in the blank with words like depression, anxiety, sadness, hard times, etc.) seems to be my favorite technique of dealing with things. (I don't have a lot of techniques for dealing with things besides pushing through and sleeping.)
So, yes, it's an evaluating time in my writing life, figuring out my "fall plan," where and what I want to spend my time on, but realizing I don't want to cash in my sympathy chips on this, as I'm sure I'll need them for something else.
I confess on the complete opposite side of "feeling down"-- I am going away on a writing residency and this makes me SO excited about that.
AND, I won't be working on poems, but a nonfiction book. A memoir currently called:
Retreat: A Poet’s Escape from the Real World.
I confess I'm also looking for a literary agent, so if you have any recommendations, drop me a line (kelli (at) agodon.com)
Thanks for listening.
~ Click here to subscribe to Book of Kells by email or in your favorite reader