Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I asked you a favor!

But only eight of you were even there. Seven when I asked the favor. No hard feelings. I can give you more information today, anyway.

The setup:
Remember being taught poetry in high school? Remember how you learned the same poems as your parents learned, which were the same ones their parents were taught? Remember how being told how you were supposed to read them sucked all the life and vitality out of the poems?

The problem:
My aunt Debbie is a high school English teacher in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She's recently fallen in love with poetry, and perhaps as a result, is terribly frustrated with the stultifying way it's taught in high school. So she's asked me to send her some poems I like and tell her why I like them. I'm all too happy to do this myself, but seriously, think what she could do if tons of people helped out. 

The solution:
As of today, I've started Heartable Poetry, a blog for extremely short commentary on poems we love and why we love them. The name is the link.  I'm probably going to come up with a less completely stupid name, but hey, the URL I wanted wasn't available, so for now I'm using the URL.  The blog is pretty much empty right now, except for some rough submission guidelines; I'm gonna hafta read up on Fair Use before I start posting in earnest. In the meantime, have a go at submitting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hey guys--

Where are you??

It's so cold and lonely without you.

a dispatch from the meeting in progress.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Overwhelming Crush on Miranda July

Thanks to Todd McKinney for inviting me to contribute to the blog.

Last week, some of you may remember, I read from Miranda July's first collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. The story I read was called "Swim Team," and I had mentioned that I was thinking about reading another story, called "This Person."

The reason I avoided "This Person" is that July had given a completely beautiful reading on the PRI program, Studio 360, and I would rather you listen to her read it than me. Her reading is at the bottom of that episode's page.

She also had an interesting conversation a couple weeks ago on KCRW's bookworm (a podcast I subscribe to, and find worth listening to, but usually delete immediately upon downloading).

It's also worth noting that what brought July to my attention was the stunning website for her book.

Since I feel that I shouldn't post on the Writer's Community blog for the first time without offering some advice or a prompt, hey, here's Miranda July's website, Learning to Love You More, that does just that! Oh, and look! It has a book coming out later this year! Books are pretty neat!

(Also, books by Tao Lin keep showing up as related to Miranda July's on Amazon, and the book jackets are stunning, the titles awesome [who wouldn't want to read a book called Eeeee Eee Eee]--anyone know if their contents are any good?)

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Writer's Community Kickoff Extravaganza

*First and foremost, I need to apologize for the delay on posting this entry. It's been written forever, but getting it online has proved a pain in my hind. Many sorries.


What a killer first meeting! We practically doubled the biggest turnout we've ever had, and there were plenty of new faces. That's encouraging stuff. I want to thank everyone that showed up, and I really hope that you'll make it a pattern. We promise we'll do our best to make it worth your while.

So I opened things up with a Lorrie Moore piece called "How to Become a Writer OR, Have You Earned This Cliche?" It was longer than I expected, and made my mouth dry. Let that be a lesson to you, my friends: practice your piece before you present it to the group.

Miss Laura Relyea followed with an excerpt from Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Quite different from his more well-known Fahrenheit 451, this passage made me very curious about the rules of the game "statues".

Matthew Trisler read an essay by Miranda July called "Swimteam", which was very funny, and left me with visions of elderly people rolling around on the floor with their faces in bowls of water. I later had a dream about this but, instead of being funny, it was terrifying.

Rebecca Patrick read a Dave Sedaris essay called "The Birds" which served a number of purposes. First, it made the idea of going with the group to see Sedaris read at IU all the more lucrative. Please remember to let us know if you'd like to attend. Secondly, it provided practical advice on how to get rid of household pests, like evoking the image of Janis Joplin, for instance.

Joe Betz read next, but not before slyly plugging The Broken Plate, BSU's literary magazine. Submissions are due Oct. 22. Visit http://brokenplate.iweb.bsu.edu/ for more information
. Joe read two excellent Billy Collins poems, "Old Man Eating Alone in a Chinese Restaurant" and "Evasive Manuvers".

Drew Alexander was the first truly brave one, reading a poem of his own entitled "A Conversation". Garrett Cox and Jet Zike followed suit, with an untitled poem and "Stare", respectively.

Finally, Sean Orlosky closed out the evening with the classic "Ozymandias", complete with 500-year-old-man voice.

Please join us next week for more poetry and prose, discussion and banter, and for the answer to the question "what four-letter-word lost Sean the national spelling bee?" You didn't think I'd forget, did you Sean?

I look forward to seeing you all next Monday. This is Andrew Clark-Kennedy, heading down to the kitchen for a snack.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's Been Long, Hot, Quiet Summer

For those of you who could not make it to the last meeting, I am pleased to say that you really missed out. The meeting was a marathon of readings and conversations and even some music. No blog could do it justice, so I won't try. But, I have to say that it was one of the best things I have ever been a part of in my career in various university communities. Perhaps you'll join us this year.

And now to that news: we will meet again this coming Monday, September 10, from 7-8:30 PM in Robert Bell 291, otherwise known as The Writing Center. Like last year, we will celebrate the written word, which means we will do a lot of celebrating. You are invited to join us to read from your own work, or your favorite author's, or just listen. It's a free and fun way to meet new writers and discover new writers.

We hope to see you there!