Monday, March 24, 2008

The Pooped Poetess, and the Wonders of the MFA Residency

I've been waiting for some sort of writerly inspiration to strike me before posting again, and have run dry for the moment. As a matter of fact, I've felt the need to learn to knit, to learn to embroider so I could Tattoo my Towels, and I want to cook something delectable for someone, but my brain positively balks when I prepare to write something. Anything. My brain, she is empty of deep and interesting topics, or the will to write about them.

I haven't written anything heart-rendingly wonderful lately, though I'm currently a fan of my piece-in-progress, "Wife at the Parole Hearing," which starts with "Pennies are a punch/ in the mouth" - I've submitted it as part of my worksheet of pieces to be workshopped at the spring residency at Spalding. I'm tired. Work is more than a full time job (I love it, but it's demanding), keepign a steady stream of writing was far easier at the beginning of the semester than it has been in the last month and a half, and I just completed a 15 page paper and another workshop here at UTC. The Poetess is pooped.

I am very much looking forward to the 10-day residency in Louisville. Not so much because it will be an opportunity to relax (because it won't - residency is a ridiculously busy 10 days), but because I desperately need the reinvigorating atmosphere. In November, my first residency in the MFA program, it was something like being at a carnival with not enough time. Happily, they send out the schedule in advance, so the utter nerd in me was able to make a blow-by-blow plan in 15 minute increments.

It's tough *not* to be inspired to write when surrounded by fellow artists and supporters of the art community. Between panels by successful authors of every genre you can think of, discussions with small press editors, readings by faculty, students, and outside authors, class sessions taught by graduating MFA-ers, and a Buddy Guy concert (no, really), and chillaxing/collapsing in the hotel lobby by the bar at night with the likes of storytellers like Drew, the air is positively filled with inspiration. Finding the time and energy to write during residency was not as simple as I'd hoped, though I managed to jot a few things down that grew into poems later.

I'm looking forward to this residency for a few reasons. First, it's proof that I've completed my first semester (or will have, once I email my last packet of work out this Friday). Second, I'm going in with a lot less trepidation this time around because I already know a number of fabulous people from *last* residency, and have been sharing work and bitching about life for the past few months with these folks. You then pile in all the interesting lectures and panels, the opportunity to do a reading for people who are genuinely interested in what writers produce, and a posh hotel like The Brown, and it's pretty much heaven, even if it *is* in Louisville. (No offense meant, I'm simply more partial to Lexington, given the choice.)

Anyway, yes, residency is around the corner - about two months and counting, and I could really use the creative tank refill it offers. Now, as for where on earth I'm going to find the time to get in some actual relaxation....that's anyone's guess.

1 comment:

Drew said...

I hear you on the being run-downness. It always happens at about this point in the semester. But those residencies are a blast and a half. I dunno what I'll do after May; it's going to be a bittersweet 10 days.

I guess I'll just have to move to KY in the long run or something.