So I’m Planning A Chapbook

I have this group of poems that I wrote during my pursuit of my MA and then my MFA that I’ve been sending out religiously for the past few years. This past fall/spring must have been my time because after many polite and encouraging rejection letters, I finally managed to find many of these poems homes in a series of lovely journals. This gave me a boost of confidence but it also got me thinking about what to do next (beside write more poems, duh). This group of poems totals between 20-25 and comes to about 20-25 pages. This isn’t enough for a full length book but I feel the weight of having this finished work and wanting to get it out there into the world, so I’m thinking it’s time for a chapbook.

I’ve researched chapbooks and I think it is a good fit for this particular group of poems for the following reasons:

1. The length is right in line with what most contests/publishers are looking for

2. This group of poems definitely has a theme running through it

3. From what I understand, you can publish poems in a chapbook and then if later you want to include these poems in larger piece of work (a book) that’s fine.*

4. There are some really excellent publishers/contests for chapbooks out there in the world

*If this isn’t true, please let me know. I can’t find anything that says otherwise, but I could be wrong.

So I’ve begun working on this manuscript and researching possible places to send it. There are some absolutely gorgeous chapbooks out in the world, and it makes me excited for the possibilities.

10 Year Reunion: A List

1. Our campus is still beautiful. It is especially beautiful in summer when all the rhododendrons are blooming and the grass is green. The new buildings compliment the older, original buildings. Overall, it just makes me happy to walk around the place.

2. The people I met/knew in college were/are wonderful people. I know I’m a bit bias but I think the class of 2003 is awesome. We live all over the country. We engage in interesting and important work. We have a lot of fun and we look good doing it. Overall, we win.

3. Sleeping in a twin bed in a dorm is still best done alone.

4. Staying up until 3:00 AM when you’re 32 v. staying up until 3:00 AM when you’re 22=two day recovery period, but in both cases, it was well worth it.

5. Country Fair still tastes damn good at 1:00 AM.

6. The Whole Darn Thing is a gem and if you’re ever in Meadville, you should eat there. I’m so glad they rebuilt.

7. Beer in Meadville is embarrassingly cheap. $2.75 for a Yuengling draft? Yes!

8. Getting caught in a thunderstorm/monsoon on the way back from the bar is still fun, except now we’re smart enough to call a cab.

9. I still love visiting the bookstore.

10. Walking up four flights of stairs to get to the Theta suite is still a haul.

11. I loved Allegheny while I was there and I love it now.

Brooks Hall. 

The gator is not comfy.
The Observatory which actually houses security. 
This picture captures the entire weekend. 

A Trip Back to Erie Would Not Be Complete Without a Snowstorm…

I left on Wednesday morning (4:30 am is when the alarm went off) to head back to Erie to see my family and to hear Michael Pollan speak at Allegheny College (my old stomping ground) on Thursday night. When I decided to make the trek to hear Michael Pollan, I didn’t realize it would come at such a busy point in the semester. I needed the break more than I even realized at the time, and I was glad to have a change of scene for a few days. An example of how exhaustion can make you stupid came out in full force when my mom called me Tuesday morning to confirm the details of my flight. The conversation went something like this:

Mom- “I’m going to have your dad pick you up on Wednesday because I have class in the morning. OK?”

Me- “Sure…Wait. It shouldn’t matter that you have class in the morning. I’m arriving at 6:40 PM.”

Mom- “No, you’re not. The flight information you sent me says 6:40 AM.”

Me- “Are you sure? Let me check…”

Mom-“I’m pretty sure. I wrote it down.”

Me- “Oh shit…”

As you can imagine this set me into a whirlwind of panic. I had to find people to cover my classes on Wed and it put preparations for my trip into overdrive. Regardless, I got it all figured out and boarded my flight promptly at 6:25 on Wednesday morning. I arrived in Erie before noon and all was well with the world.
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Michael Pollan’s lecture was very good. My mom and I sat up in the balcony in Shafer Auditorium so we could see his power point presentation. He brought up a lot of points covered in Omnivore’s Dilemma, so I was able to relate and follow his lecture fairly easily. I enjoyed his sense of humor and the way he engaged the audience. He began the lecture pulling out a double quarter pounder with cheese from McDonalds and asking how much energy it took to produce this one burger. He also noted that the first student to ask a question would get the burger. Of course after hearing Michael Pollan speak about food like substances, who wants to eat McDonalds?

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It started snowing Thursday night when we went down to Meadville. By the time we left Allegheny at around 9:00, the roads had deteriorated significantly. I posted some pictures of my parents house after the snow that lasted Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. And I thought I’d dodged a bullet when it didn’t storm over Christmas.

My mother’s amaryllis were in bloom while I was at home. It’s good to have fresh flowers in the house when the view out of your bedroom window looks like the picture above.