The Hermit Poet

May 26, 2008

What else is new?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:13 pm

Looking back over the last few weeks and the close of this semester, there are a number of wonderful things to report:

  1. The semester is over — as much as I loved and/or learned from my classes, I am grateful for a break. This past week has been a nice vacation from, well, pretty much everything. Finals week was not so restful — I wrote a 20 page paper in 48 hours on 5 hours of sleep, then followed it up by laying out the new issue of Boxcar Poetry Review (which I’m happy to report was only 1 day late despite the circumstances).
  2. Thanks to the Writer&Composer class (it paired up graduate poets and graduate music composers for original collaborations), I’ve had the pleasure to work with some fantastic people and to hear some incredible work. At one point I took the opportunity to hear some of their out of class compositions which were being performed at an on-campus recital and was struck by how lucky we were to work with these composers. Our class also worked together with performance singing class, so we had the opportunity to hear the compositions as they were completed. I worked with three composers for the longer compositions. Zhou Tian ( set an older poem of mine called “Elegy” which had never seemed quite finished (I liked the words, but it always felt incomplete) — and transformed it into a haunting piece for piano and voice. Juhi Bansal created a longer piece from “Halfway”, one of the poems in The Lost Country of Sight, which used piano, percussion, cello, and voice — a gorgeous gorgeous piece. Ivor Francis took up the challenge and created a harp, piano, vibraphone, and two-voice opera suite based on “array” one of the many lyric computer poems in the Babbage’s Dream manuscript – a startling and amazing performance, I was quite riveted. Stay tuned for more — we hope to work on a number of other projects through the next year or so.
  3. My poem “An Hour Before I Arrive, I See Home” has been picked up by Pebble Lake Review!
  4. I’ve already purchased my table at AWP Chicago and booked my hotel space (1 block from the conference hotel, $84/night!). I should start looking at flights to Chicago in the near future as well — given the way the prices are rising, there might not be any good deals left by the end of the year.

As always, stay well. I hope to be blogging more regularly. I’ve put together a schedule of sorts for my day-to-day activities so that I use this summer somewhat effectively. I finally got back on the treadmill this morning after almost 2.5 months of inactivity (this past semester proved especially demanding on my morning time). I hope to lose the extra 10 pounds I picked up in the meantime and get back to my end of February weight.

Still on the schedule today — finish reviewing the editorial suggestions on my book manuscript. Mostly she’s noted minor grammar or punctuation issues, but occasionally there are bigger concerns (“you use ‘grey’ an awful lot, perhaps you might reconsider whether it’s the right word in each case?). “Grey” has does have significance for me — it’s a hybrid color, a color of between-ness, a chromatic transformation. But she’s right, perhaps there are other ways to render that — while I probably won’t change most of them, there may be places that a word change would be helpful.

My blurb post is not forgotten. It will appear this week.

2 Responses to “What else is new?”

  1. Christine Aitken Says:

    Hi, Neil,

    Good to see you back on the blog again. Hope to see/hear more good news from you. Have you thought about writing songs using your poems? It seems like it will work.


  2. Robert Says:

    Enjoy the respite.

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