It is extremely hard for me to ask favors of people. I’m not talking about the “Hey, Chris, can you please replace the toilet paper?” kind of favor. I mean the kind where I ask someone to do something for me that requires a considerable investment in his or her time or energy (even when the person is my friend and probably wouldn’t say no). Or, that has anything to do with reading my writing who isn’t the DYPS. My hang-up is that I never want to inconvenience anyone. It’s actually quite paralyzing sometimes.
All of this is by way of saying, a few weeks ago, when I was lamenting to Karen that I don’t personally know any awesome poets (who aren’t my good friends or former professors) to blurb my book, she suggested Marilyn Kallet and Julie Kane–both of whom are poets I admire, but neither of whom I know.
I was being my usual leery, bleah-y, doubting self, sure that they would be a) too busy, b) too annoyed to be asked by a stranger to do such a favor, and c) too unimpressed by what they read to blurb it. But Karen, ever patient, said she didn’t think that was the case, and she reminded me that I had worked as the editorial assistant on Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox, that Julie Kane and Grace Bauer (my diss. director) had edited, so maybe Julie would be more inclined to blurb my chapbook. And I think she suggested Marilyn because she knew that Marilyn would blurb my book as a favor to Karen, since they are friends.
So, the long and short of it is, I asked both of them, and they said yes! So now I’m just awaiting their kind words… (I hope they will be kind…)
We finally got Issue Four of Chickenpinata online. We’re always a little more behind on things than we’d like, but this time (computer issues aside–don’t get me started on that) I had problems with several of the people that we sent acceptances to.
There were three who did not respond when we sent the congratulations announcement–we always send an e-mail acceptance and ask for the poet to confirm that the poem was still available to be published. This time three people did not respond. And this was really irritating because I’d already created their pages in the program and set up the links. And while it’s not hard work, I’m slow at it, so I was disappointed that I had invested the time, only to have to withdraw their poems from the issue.
More than disappointed, I’m really puzzled. I realize Chickenpinata is a small venue, but a publication is a publication, right? Why go to the effort to submit work to a journal if you don’t care if it gets accepted or not? If these three people had their poems accepted elsewhere, why not just let us know? We’ve had people withdraw submissions from us before, and sure it’s a little irksome, but it’s no big deal. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, not to respond to a journal they sent work to, and that wanted that work.
Whatever, I guess. People are weird.
As for my own writing… I need to get back to it. I don’t have anything really to write about lately, though. I need to think of an organizing theme, or a “gimmick,” now that I have to start on book 2.
Someone, please! Send me an idea! I’m feeling all empty-ish and blah.
In case you wonder where I’ve been, I’ve been under the oppressive boulder of registration, which has pretty much consumed my attention for the last two weeks. You know how bad it’s been? I completely forgot to go to my writing group this week. I didn’t even think about it until yesterday. Dreadful.
Thursday night I was down in Columbus at the First Thursday Reading Series; I was the featured reader. It was really pretty neat because there was an open-mic reading before me, and eight readers signed up, and each person read a couple of poems, so I got to hear poems by my Georgia Poetry Society friends Keith Badowski, Ron Self (who had also prepared an absolutely lovely dinner in my honor), Elsie Austen (who contributed the world’s best dinner rolls to that dinner), and Jo Middlebrooks, among others.
Afterwards, I read for about 20-25 minutes, and tried, valiantly (but not successfully), to make that little small-talk-between-poems that is so essential but so ghastly hard. It might have been less difficult if I had chosen which poems I was going to read beforehand, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it–inexcusable, really, and I’m sorry about that. (I hope my audience didn’t think too badly of me for it). So that made me a little bit flustered.
But I did read a wide variety of poems (including several from La Petite Mort). Here’s the set list, in no particular order:
- On Mathematics Hall
- Night Orchard
- Moth Walk
- Dystopic Love Poem
- You Never Listen
- It Took You Half an Hour to Remember the Words “Wine Cooler”
- Ex Somnium
- Melon Stand, South of Many
- Bayous and Barstools
- Decidedly Unbridled Foolish Pleasure
- Old Kook
- Besame Mucho
Speaking of La Petite Mort, I really need to get with the program on that. As in, photos, blurbs, and addresses. *Sigh*