Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Reading: Lyric Postmodernism. An anthology of contemporary poets chosen by Reginald Sheperd, but a different approach to anthology, since Sheperd limited the number of poets his chose, which lets them present lots of poems, as well as longer poems (something Sheperd argues is a prominent trend in contemporary lyric, courtesy of the sectioned poem). So far I've read the intro and the essays and poetry offerings of Bruce Beasley, Martine Bellen, and Brenda Hillman (I skipped ahead). The following are my favorite lines from their essays (I'm going to send you after their poetry yourself--go, go!):

Beasley: "If a poem is a place of extremity--emotional, linguistic, spiritual--no gloss is going to assimilate its monstrous body--phoneme, syllable, image, chant, word." (Toward a Poetics of Monstrosity)

Bellen: "The way lines of poetry slip past one another. Rooms connected by elongated 'U's or zigzagging corridors and natural sounds linger in negative space--rooms we open in to. Rooms that speak a foreign language. Rooms that write a different language than they speak." (Time Travel and Poetry)

Hillman: "The spiritual life of a poet is dialectical, full of unresolved struggle that is simultaneously terrifying & pleasurable." (Seam Poetics)

If I dared, I would type out all of Hillman for you. Brilliant brilliant brilliant. I'm looking at the MFA program she teaches at. . . which leads me to part 2 of the report.

PhD prep: I'm hitting this as hard as possible this year. It's May and I'm researching schools and studying for the GRE--the general GRE. My goal is to get my verbal score off the charts. Or at least the top of the chart. (For the record, it's not that bad right now. I just want to add some sparkle.) I invested in Kaplan's vocab cards--I could make my own, but I'm too lazy. And I'm scared by some of the words I thought I knew that I just plain don't. Those are the hardest to learn, because I can't seem to erase 25 years of misguided vocab. I've now created a GRE word of the day, so that I can have it show up every time I check my blog. (Which AA tells me I need to stop doing and just get Google Reader already.)

As for the rest of your suggestions:

Movies: I downloaded the AFI 100 list. And then watched Iron Man, Transporter, National Treasure 2, and Ronin. I like my list.

Writing: Ginsberg provided a nice jumpstart back into some poetry this week with his comments. I'm reworking what was once "Litany" (it's currently untitled because titles are not my friends) and "on love." Both apparently need more plant life. . .

Hip-Hop/R&B album: In the works. Missing the Fobees and their unique input.

Magazines: Picked up Poetry and Poets & Writers. Thought about Cosmo or Glamour, but who really has time for that?

Books: Why did no one tell me Mark Strand's Man and Camel was in paperback? It's on my nightstand. And it still has the ugliest cover ever.

And I added my own idea to the list: Sleep. Which I'm about to do.


Anna B said...

so, what kind of phd programs are you looking at? lit? or creative writing? b/c i'll start looking around over here :) is duke a possibility? (we'd be within 3.5 or 4 hours!!) or even better, usc? (the real usc, i mean). we actually have a super strong american lit program. or emory? or any georgia school? !!! i want you to come be on the south east coast with me!!!

Anna B said...

or chapel hill?

Saule Cogneur said...

I have a Kaplan GRE prep book I can sell you for $15. It's pretty good. The cards helped me a lot too, but I don't know that they'll do you as much good. Have you bought them already?

Th. said...


I don't know. I think the cover is hilarious.


Template by Blogger Candy