Careful Readers of this blog may be thinking to themselves, I wonder if Emma really has continued her campaign against The Man, or if she long ago surrendered to the great and delicious temptation that is Diet Coke, thereby ruining both her kidneys and her fight with The Man? Well, Careful Readers can sigh a sigh of relief, as Emma’s kidneys are without stones, and she’s keeping her righteous anger at The Man at full blast. Though I cannot say that I haven’t had a single Diet Coke in the past few weeks (actually, my newest downfall is Diet Dr. Pepper — I really do think it should be illegal), I have cut down significantly enough to be able to afford my first AMS (Anti-Man Subscription). My first choice? Salamander, a literary magazine out of Suffolk University in Boston. The newest issue promises to be a great one, including poems by Eva Hooker and an excerpt from Mahmoud Darwish’s State of Siege. Jennifer Barber is a wonderful editor, and is also incredibly supportive — all in all, a great reading and publishing experience.
In terms of good news, I’m happy to announce that my manuscript, Malificae (a.k.a. The Witch Poems), was a finalist for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s first book award, which excites me to bits (after writing that phrase, I admit that I had a very strange vision in my head). Here’s to hoping that the saying “always a bride’s maid, never a bride” is a whole lot of bunk, at least when it comes to my manuscript (my love life, however, is probably going to be a very different story …). Several of the poems were also named as distinguished entries in the Campbell Corner Poetry Contest, which is also tremendously exciting.
I have spent the past two weeks in a frantic attempt to both get organized and to get things together for the three week adventure I’m about to have. Tomorrow, I drive to Bowling Green, Kentucky for the third time in my life to participate in WKU’s VAMPY program, through The Center for Gifted Studies. This time, I’ll be there as a teacher, not as a camper, though I have to admit that I’m equally, if not more, excited about this prospect. I can’t even begin to describe what an enormous and important effect my two years at VAMPY had on my life. Perhaps this is the reason I’ve felt so much pressure in terms of making everything for my class perfect — I know what my other two classes were like, and that’s a very high bar to reach! Hopefully, I’ll have at least gotten halfway there. I’m teaching a writing class, and my section will involve four genres of creative writing — poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and playwriting — as well as research writing and argumentation. We’re reading and writing just about everything, from haibun to zuihitsu to renga to immersion journalism to dramatic monologues. The final week of the class is also going to involve Mean Girls and, perhaps, a cake made of rainbows and smiles. I’ll be teaching from 8:45 in the morning until 4:15 in the afternoon, so The Blogging might be scarce. Therefore, I offer a photograph from my time at VAMPY (and hope that my roommate doesn’t kill me for doing so):