survivance

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so as many of you know, i started a phd in ethnic studies at uc berkeley this fall. this week, i’ve been told, marks our half way point. i’ve survived. not being a scholar or academic (not really knowing the difference) i feel happy that i’ve kept up with the reading and writing assignments. i think i’ve read almost 15 books in the past 7 weeks and my eyes hurt. i’m taking 2 seminars: intro to ethnic studies & native american literary theory.

when i first got accepted, i was of course excited. i was also worried because i didnt know how much time i would have for my poetry, other writing projects, and various editing responsibilities. unfortunately, i’ve pretty much stopped my translation project. i haven’t written any reviews except for 1 (which i was commissioned to write and on deadline). i haven’t written any creative essays, although i am revising one which is under consideration pending revision. i am almost done with an interview (again, commissioned). and i am also almost done with an introduction i was also commissioned to write.

i had to step down as a poetry editor at the online journal Switchback. and i may have to step down as poetry editor at another venue after our next issue. however, i did just begin as a ‘blog editor’ for OMNIDAWN press, which i’ll talk more about later.

achiote press is keeping me busy also as our summer issue is now on public sale at OUR WEBSITE and i’ve been filling orders like mad (they officially hate me at the post office). if you havent ordered one yet, i highly recommend because they won’t last much longer (look under the BOOKS section of our website). i am proofing our FALL issue as we speak and working on 2 anthology projects which will be under the achiote imprint. oi.

as far as submitting goes, it’s been a real struggle since i’m not producing much work (besides the INFORMANT series that i posted belows. havent written any real substantial poems since starting school. i was doing well submitting almost 10 things a month, but now i’m happy if i can submit 3-5 things every month. one problem is that i wrote 3 reviews at the end of the summer which i just havent had time to look for a place to submit them to. oi.

on top of all that, i’m still working at my regular job (i teach writing and reading at an afterschool learning center) about 10 hours a week.

and i realized also that i havent read a single book of poetry since starting school. this is depressing considering that at least during the summer i read a book a day.

good news tho: i started writing in my poetry journal again. i’ve been avoiding it and writing on stray pieces of paper which feels like less commitment. but i think working in the journal will help me create a space for more substantial work again. the last date in the journal was 7/5/07. too long.

other good news: found out tonight that 2 of my poems have been accepted in New American Writing!!! my favorite journal by far…and a personal dream ever since i first read the journals years ago!!!

busy, but good to have good news.

thanks for listening to my ramble 😉

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