This is one of about 30 “Random” posts on the front page, but here goes nothing: Chloe Cooper Jones conducts a pretty spectacular dialogue with co-stars George Saunders and Deb Olin Unferth over at The Faster Times. Inspiring considerations of the contemporary MFA program abound. George Saunders gives us the only googlable instance of “kicking entities,” which we ought to deem an idiom among idioms, even if I’m not sure what it means. Really, the hope here gets me giddy, and it’s something for sure of which this “literary culture” could use a more healthy supply. Deb Olin Unferth puts it beautifully:
You can look at any space, at any group of people, and see dreariness, self-absorption, the long trod to death. Or you can look at the same space and people and see longing, hope, heroism, and disappointment that will break your heart. If you squint just right at an MFA program, you see both. You see the lifeless side—maybe the student who isn’t finding her voice or the teacher who is just “going through the motions”—and the side that shines and beats.
November 15th, 2010 / 11:06 pm
1. It is very early. My dog has decided to ignore her bad hips, and she’s jumped into bed with me. My coffee’s lukewarm. My head is swimming. I’m definitely skipping capoeira practice this morning. BUT last night’s reading at New College (thank you Mr. Niedenthal) featuring Chloé Cooper Jones and Megan Boyle was fantastic! The crowd was so receptive! I’m pretty amazed when people can be downright funny in their writing. Right? Someone once said my first chapbook was playful–that’s as close as I’ve come. I think I have a pretty good sense of humor when it comes to appreciating funny, but it sure doesn’t come naturally to write funny. I’m always way more concerned with the way the words are bumping up against each other, maybe? I don’t know. So, anyway, I have these lovely and talented writers at my house for the weekend; maybe I’ll pick their brains. How can I be funny, Chloé? What’s your secret, Megan? They’ll be polite about it and secretly roll their eyes.
2. There are WAY MORE sections of The Equalizer available for download. I have some poems in 1.10, and I mention this because I went back and rewrote one of those poems backwards in revision a few weeks ago. Have you ever written something backwards? I learned this in a workshop with Sarah Maclay. She wrote one of my poems backwards for me and BAM! it was a fucking great poem. I do this with select poems from my students all the time. I think it has something to do with the finding the poem as you’re writing–sometimes that doesn’t happen until the end, but the early stuff has the perfect seeds of working-up-to-ness. So, I did this with a poem that Michael published in The Equalizer. Does that mean the old version is null and void because I say so? Does it mean there are two poems with the same title? How many of you revise after publication?
Here are more Equalizers: [share ’em with your friends]
October 23rd, 2010 / 9:07 am