It was 10:48am when I started writing this and still quite dark outside – overcast, yes, but also the sun rose at 10:03 today and it takes an additional half hour to crest the mountains across the bay. We’ll only lose another sixteen seconds before the pendulum swing holds for a moment on Thursday morning at 7:28am and then the light sputters and begins to return.
My desk is filled with piles that mark tasks that need to get finished before the end of the year (or at least organized so that they can be tackled intelligently in January), but really all I want to do is read poetry and write poetry. Oh, maybe talk about poetry, share poetry, and throw in a little informal teaching of poetry.
I’m entering the last half of my Rasmuson Fellowship year, and I’ve cleared a lot from my calendar until the end of May 2018 so that I can really dive deeply into my own writing. Last time I was on fellowship, I had two residencies, but during one, my mother passed away. I had gone to that residency at Willapa Bay AiR thinking that I would do one last round of revisions on my second manuscript (Every Atom which will be released by Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press, in April 2018). Instead, it took another six months as I wrote new poems and reworked the arc of the manuscript.
When Cyndy Hayward, the amazing founder of Willapa Bay AiR, invited me back the next year to complete my month’s fellowship, I had no project to complete. I didn’t even have a project begun. I worried that I might spend a month playing solitaire on my computer. Instead, I read deeply each day and let the that inform my writing. In one month, I wrote an entire chapbook’s worth of poetry now titled Boundaries.
Sparked by the intertidal world of the Long Beach Peninsula; by mourning the death of my father, mother, and a good friend; and by the books that I was reading, Boundaries explores the questions surrounding what separates self from other, what separates life from death.
As I head into another deep dive, though this time at home, I am proud to say that you can purchase the chapbook Boundaries from Dancing Girl Press, a small, independent press based in Chicago. They should be shipping around the beginning of January. I am very grateful that Kristy Bowen was interested in this quirky and deeply personal work.
Soon we cross of the boundary of the year end/ year beginning. What will 2018 bring us? The light. The light. The light. At least we can apprentice ourselves to the light.