September 21, 2009

Where Are You?

What has happened to all of you? Has this fallen by the wayside when so much is happening in the world? Let's try to resurrect this!

March 8, 2008

Minnesota Book Awards: Reader's Choice

Hello all:

Just wanted to point out the Minnesota Book Awards' Readers Choice voting is going on all through March. While I don't want to sway you, the reason why I know about this is because my friend Eireann Lorsung's music for landing planes by has been nominated. I encourage you to go and vote; I think a book of poetry, be it hers or someone else's, ought to win out this year!

All you have to do is click here and scroll down to vote!

March 5, 2008

Update on Book

T hought I would spread the news. I decided to self publish the autobiographical poems in a book called "CHASING MOONBEAMS " to be done by AuthorHouse. It will be 6x9 format and I am working with an artist now. I worked very hard at revising all the poems. I did three full edits, took me days and days -(actually a few weeks), and then I did another edit. Would you believe I found three mistakes? I'll have to correct them on the galleys. I am working on a book of "Jewish or "Spiritual" poems called " as of this moment, "Drowning in the Desert". It will probably change. I will submit it to Jewish Lights Publishing Company and maybe Behrman House and maybe my own school's publishing co. Hebrew Union College. I am off this weekend to the only writing conference for Jewish writers. The poet last year was Alan Shapiro. This year, I suggested Jason Sommer and he is coming. I love his work- the intensity, the religious imagery- and its sophistication. I spent 10 hectic days with 21 Rabbis in Central Europe- The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, but I haven't completely digested all the feelings yet for poems.
Happy writing to all. My poem called "I am Eve" is being published in a journal called DuPage Arts (from Benedictine University). Itis a midrash on the Eve story.

I am sure you all heard about the campus shootings in Illinois- that was on my campus- the town where my congregation is. Most of my congregants are professors- 90% of the congregation is employed by Northern Illinois University. It has been traumatic. I wrote a bad poem called Lonely Boy. Guell I am too close to put things in perspective. Hope everyone is well.

February 21, 2008

Loft Literary Center: Career Initiative Grants due March 5th.

February 15, 2008

EXTENDED Deadline to Apply: February 20, 2008

Calling all writers! Applications are now available for our spring
session of Writer-to-Writer, the artistic mentorship program designed
to give advanced writers the opportunity to reach their next level of
artistic development. Writer-to-Writer creates intimate relationships
between artists; mentors act as artistic catalysts and partners,
providing each mentee with artistic feedback and professional guidance.


Anya Achtenberg (fiction/memoir)
The work of character development is central to discovering the real
story, rather than imposing a story onto our characters. Full
development of character in story work is not separate from the real
work we do in the world, that of continually crossing borders—internal
as well as external—with openness and knowledge, compassion and
respect. For our characters to unfold their truths in their full
dignity or brokenness, their astonishing beauty or cruelty, we must
work to understand their deepest yearnings in a way that often goes
beyond their own ability to articulate them.

In this mentorship, each participant will agree to “live with” one or
two characters for the duration of the mentorship, although new
characters may emerge, and new dimensions open of other, perhaps less
central, characters. We will work to deepen our ability to bring the
power of authentic beings into our writing, and extend our range to
include characters we may dislike or fear, characters that puzzle or
fascinate us, as well as those with whom we identify. We will challenge
ourselves to go beyond our preconceived notions, our projections of our
own points of view, our societal and cultural biases, our fear and lack
of knowledge, into understanding the lives of others in our global
community, in our own neighborhood or family.

We will go beyond the back story, beyond what a character has lived up
to the moment that we meet them. An unlived life is hidden within the
life each character must live to get by. You will explore your
character’s internal terrain, a land of yearning bordered by
frustration, overwork, social pressures, forgetting, distractions, and
violences, large and small, yet charged by the deep human desire for
expression and connection, for fulfillment of the individual and social
self in creativity and community. We will look at these evocative and
emotional issues in our discussions and in the illuminating work of
diverse writers. We’ll work in far-reaching but focused writing
explorations to cross boundaries that not only free our writing, but
deepen our understanding of, and respect for, the worlds and characters
we write about.

Sherry Quan Lee (poetry)
Bookmaking: Writing to Save Your Life
What does the map of your life look like? Are there stop signs,
detours, back roads, freeways, and tunnels? Do you travel one
particular road over and over again? Are you writing that one story
over and over again? Does your collection of stories need closure? Is
closure possible?

Memoir can be the stories remembered and made sense of as you chart the
map of your life. Memoir can be the connection, the collection of
those stories. Memoir can be your stories written in poetic form.
Memoir can be poetry enhanced with pictures, and other visual

In this mentorship, we will explore the healing power of poetry as
memoir. Initially, we will examine the stories that navigate your life
in order to discover the theme of your memoir. Your theme will be your
writing prompt to gather more material. We will discuss poems belonging
in your book, but emphasis will be on overall theme, organization,
format, and production. This mentorship is for poets (who may
sometimes write prose) interested in completing a chapbook or
manuscript draft.
* * * * * * * * *

Read more about our Spring mentorships with Anya Achtenberg
(fiction/memoir) and Sherry Quan Lee (poetry) online here:
Applications attached, and available online!

This program is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of
the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable cultural
contributions of artists to society.

Julie Bates, Literary Programs Manager
Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls MN 55408
Tel: 612.874.2815
Fax: 612.871.6927

Create. Engage. Inspire. Change.

January 24, 2008

Palm Beach (where my palms stick to my laptop)

I wish there were images I could upload to my laptop for this, but I will say this: little lizards darting, palm trees, and sweat trickling down my temples. I will say this too: we know what it means, subzero, when we are from Minnesota. They do not know what this means in Florida, nor is my winter coat any use.

It's gorgeous here, though they keep us quite occupied at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Workshops in the morning, craft talks and conferences in the afternoons, and readings at night. Teresa knows this--she also knows what goes on after the readings. :) It's so easy when everyone stays in the same hotel, it's hot in your room...

Last night: a poetry reading from Kim Addonazio and Thomas Lux, something like a party, something that would appeal to every non-poet I would know. At one point, Kim came onstage and accompanied one of Tom's poems with the harmonica. And there were many words, including "pussy" and "bastards" that rang out in that theatre.

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well in your poetry adventures. I think I mentioned a poem coming out in Dislocate this spring as well as MFA applications... I just finished, and I ended up with a whopping eighteen schools, nine of which are spread across the country, and the other nine are low-res programs (this, after several people, including the department head and the principal mentioned a position would be opening next year). We shall see where the future takes me!

Missing you all.

January 11, 2008


Hello Poets!

I'm in Mexico for Carolyn's Under the Volcano workshop in Tepoztlan...we're having a wonderful time, but we miss you all! Our open air workshop site is surrounded by screaming roosters. If any of you ever get a chance to come down here for a workshop, with Carolyn or otherwise, you absolutely should. It's phenomenal and has a website that you can find by googling "under the volcano workshops."


January 10, 2008

poetry reading

My first poetry reading is this Friday. Anyone who is nearby--I'd love for you to come. Information about the reading can be found here.

November 10, 2007

woo hoo!

Hello all; I hope things have been well with you. I just thought I'd update you on some neat things going on in poetry in my world:

- My poetry postcard has officially been released into the world. It's prettier than I imagined, and you can buy your very own copy here.
- I applied and was accepted into the Intermedia Mentorship program called Writer-to-Writer. I'm working with Jude Nutter, who just won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. Critiques have been phenomenally helpful, which is exactly what I need right now--learning how to develop that critical eye with my own work.
- I'm also working with Carolyn with Split Rock Arts online mentorship, and it's also going fabulously, but that is no surprise!
- And today, I just found out I was accepted to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival this winter (thanks, Teresa, for introducing it to me). I don't know if my principal will allow that much time off from school; we're waiting to hear back, but I'm still shocked and pleased I was accepted at all.

What about you? What's going on in your realm?