Prompted by my friend Marly Youmans, I have returned to say a few words on this blog. If you do drop by and read it, please let me know. I had the feeling before that I was speaking into the cyber void. To know people are out there would be a help.
During the hiatus, I have been writing... a lot. I've been writing poems, and some of them are collaborations with artists and other writers. I would post some of the work I responded to, but the poems are not published yet. It will have to wait.
However, I did interview a friend, Judy Kronenfeld, a very fine poet from Riverside, CA, and the interview was recently published in Switchback. I can give a link to that.
I've also been writing for a freelance position writing content for an educational content site. It's required quite a bit of dragging old books off shelves, old notes out of boxes, creaky knowledge out of the dusty back of my mind. The topic I've been working on is Modernism. I've had to define it, analyze it,
choose its major figures, do a timeline, etc. Quite a task for someone who has been out of grad school for 20 years and has not had the opportunity to teach literature in a class specifically on the period. It has been interesting. We'll see whether any of it makes it to the website though. I tend to write in my own style, because I can't help it, when there is a very particular style I need to emulate. That may well be the hardest part of the job.
They asked me to design a class on Nabokov too, but having no experience in designing online classes, I declined. I would love to learn this task, but I think I'll need a bit of training first. I wouldn't mind teaching the class though, after working with a designer to put one together.
Meanwhile, I've been keeping busy going to open readings, and now have interested a new friend from choir who joined the synagogue quite recently to come along! Last night we had a delightful time at Murray Thomas' monthly Barnes and Noble reading in Long Beach, where I heard an array of talented writers, most of whom I had never met before. Some of the usual suspects were there too.
Richard and I read some new poems of ours we like a lot and I think that went pretty well. Now if only I could get a magazine to accept some! I've been getting them back non-stop for months, and I am still waiting to be offered a featured reading. I hope that wherever it is, when it finally arrives, there is a microphone. My voice tends to be quite soft, though I don't think of myself as a quiet person. Guess I'll have to work on projecting it toward the back of the room, where someone is checking his email on his phone, flipping through a magazine, and taking a quick nip from a hip flask. Or maybe a fire alarm is going off (this has happened) or the battery alarm is blipping periodically in an annoying way. Last night, the PA system periodically went off too. Hard to compete with.
I get lots of invitations to attend readings, but most are hours away. Richard doesn't like to drive those distances much and I can't do it because of the freeways. So we stick to the few tried and true local ones.
I'd go there to do a featured reading, but it's not worth it just to read at an open reading, where I can get it no more than two or three poems, fewer perhaps because I'm writing long stuff lately.
But I'm having a pretty good time.
Happy Valentine's Day to you! Drop a line and let me know that you're there.