Admittedly, I feel a bit guilty for not really doing anything on my blog this month. It’s the first time in a few years that I’ve not really celebrated or participated in National Poetry Month. I didn’t even get to a “that’s a wrap” post on I Doodle, You ‘Ku 2013. That being said…
My thesis is done. I turned in on April Fool’s Day and have had it approved and cleared for graduation. I settled on the title Out of My Dreaming Heart: A Collection of Tanka, which comes from notes written by artist and poet Toriyama Sekien in his cataloguing of yokai. Upon creating new creatures, he’d often say, “I swear this did not come out of my own dreaming heart,” to imply it was something he’d actually seen. Essentially I wrote 100 tanka and kyoka inspired by yokai (Japanese creatures and monsters) and Hyakki Yako. Some worked out better than others, but overall it was a challenging, but rewarding mix of research and writing that I had been wanting to do for some time. And since having that project done with, I have been working on catching up on everything else in my life (especially grading).
As hinted at above, I’m graduating this semester—in a matter of weeks, actually. That will mean lots of grading, my own final revisions for the course I’ve been taking, and preparing to move back to Illinois. It’s expected to be a little chaotic, which means some of the things I had planned here on the blog will probably be later than anticipated, but I want to at least give you all an idea of the things I’ve got in the cooker:
• Mercurial Touch, which as many of you probably remember is the results from He Doodles, You ‘Ku in January. I’m hoping to at least get poems finalized over the next month. In the meantime, check out HM’s blog the edge. He’s been spotting and featuring nifty designs on the internet, and posting occasional photos and doodles.
• Backyard Games, which is a long overdue PDF of a collaboration with artist and poet Ron Moss and I did sometime last fall. Doodles, poetry, and awesomeness.
• open email 2 promises more from Melissa Allen, Lucas Stensland, and myself. See the first open email here.
• Household Objects is the tentative title for the selected poems from I Doodle, You ‘Ku 2013. I was tickled to see so many new people as well as returning poets this year!
Even with all that going on in the background, I’m admittedly considering another themed collection, but we’ll see. One possibility was the idea of weather and bells/chimes, which is seeming all too fitting with all the tornado warnings/watches, flash floods, and high winds going on today across the Midwest.
Lastly I do have two bits of exciting news that has cropped up over the last week:
• I’ve word that my copies of A New Resonance 8: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku arrived at my non-school address on Monday. I’ll have them in hand next week, and will have copies available for purchase. Of course, you can also pick up your copy now from Red Moon Press or another author in the anthology (as many are selling their contributor copies). When I have copies in hand, I’ll provide more details about purchasing, but I will say I’ll also be offering original, complementary doodles!
• Yesterday was (Inter)National Haiku Day and as per tradition the last couple years, The Haiku Foundation announced the winners of the HaikuNow! and Touchstone Awards. I was flattered to have my “mating dragonflies” haiku selected as one of the winners of the 2012 Touchstone Award for Individual Poems. Of course, there were a lot of other great poems selected as well. Be sure to check them out here.
With the busyness of this late, sporadic spring, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of writing more regularly and will try not to be such a stranger.
over the bay—
(My ‘ku from National Haiku Day with the help of Susan Nelson.)