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Showing posts from 2010

Last Poetry Workshop All Done :'(

So I'm fixing to go turn in my last poetry portfolio.

And I should be happy cept I'm not.

I think maybe I'm the only person at UTPA who's a little sad the semester is finishing. It means that my thesis defense is inching closer, and I'm that much closer to graduating, that much closer to the black hole of 'what's next?!'.

Ok, so here's a little story to leave with -

I was at the library yesterday, browsing through thesis manuscripts in the special collections area. I come across a manuscript that says "Hoerth". My heart skips a beat. Did my thesis finish itself? It's a UTPA miracle! I open up the black book, and no... no indeed it is not my thesis. It was my daddy's thesis. At that moment, I imagined mine, completed, sitting next to his on the shelf. That's where it'll be come April. It must be done.

Rejections come atumblin' in!

And the best part?

I don't even care :-)

It's offical, I'm a poet. HAH! Rejection notices from Barn Owl Review and elimae. It didn't even get me down a little bit.

Also, I've prepped a proposal for the NACCs conference at STC, and sent it out yesterday. If all goes well, I will be welcoming my lovely MFP poet friends to the Rio Grande Valley in February. It should prove to be lots of fun!

What else? No other news, sorry. Poetry class' last meeting is this evening, and I'm giving a presentation. Ugh. It's ok I'll survive.

Yay Great Time at Cosina del Caribe's First Poetry Reading!

Saturday evening Cosina del Caribe hosted their first poetry reading, and it was indeed super nice!

Ok, so maybe I've mentioned this a million times before - but I was pretty happy to help promote the event and hopefully my constant blogging on Chachalacas In Orbit (chachalacasinorbit.com) and facebook paid off. We had a decent audience, I helped by bringing in my family :-P

I read two new poems, one oldie but goodie. Other students in my graduate poetry workshop read, too, along with my professor and other random people. It was a good event. All in all, a lovely evening on a romantic balcony with tasty ethnic cuisine. Hopefully this is one of what will become many poetry reading at Cosina.

Unfortunately I don't have pictures... but hopefully I can get ahold of some soon. I saw plenty of flashes! Will post when I find out who was behind them ;)

More Submissions

I've gone completely egotistical, thinking that my poems belong EvErYwHeRe~!

Harharhar.

Submitted yesterday to Blood Orange Review (again.. yeah they rejected me last year but I'm over that), storySouth, Analecta... and that's it!

I don't know why I was just feeling really positive about my writing. I've got a good feeling about all of this.

So tonight's the big reading at Cosina del Caribe and I'm excited about that. My adoring fans will be there (lol, Bruno and his mom, possibly my parents too :-D), along with my fellow MFAer comrades.

Confession time? I'm thinking yes. Be warned, a rambling rant will follow.

After a huge flood of submissions this week, I'm starting to feel self doubt coming back. I feel like God is trying to let me down easy sometimes, giving me little signs to not put all my hopes and dreams into this illusive and lofty goal of being a poet. How selfish is it to be a poet? Very.

Examples of these 'signs':

I was watching How I M…

Readings, Submissions, and Obsessions

Yay!

I feel like such a dork, lol.

Ok well as you may already know, I have a reading coming up with my fellow poetry classmates. It's on Saturday :-)

Last night in poetry class we were making the final preparations for the reading. I think it's going to be a good one. I hope all of my adoring fans (ok, my parents and Bruno) can make it out. I've written TWO new pieces specifically for the event. Did I mention about my new onion poem? Ok well I'm mentioning it now. Also I wrote a poem about grapefruits.

Which brings me to my latest thought:

Is my poetry too obsessive?

Huh?

Well, I've always heard the advice (and followed it's true) to "write about your obsessions". Hence, lately I've had this obsession with plants/horticulture. And I've always been obsessed with writing about sex (I can't say I'm obsessed with sex that'd be too embarressing to admit :-P). My poetry reflects these obsessions, I'm excited by the metaphors that can be tea…

A Thankful Post a Day Early :-)

So tomorrow i'm going to be scrambling, trying to get the turkey in the oven, house cleaned and spiffied up for company, and proabably stressing like a mad woman at HEB with the crowds of other procrastinators. I likely won't have a moment to think about what I'm thankful for...

but today I do :-) See, that's the beauty of serious procrastination. The calm before the storm. As I sit in my office this morning, I could think of all I have to complain about - having to be here at work on this lovely Wednesday while most of my family's off, I could complain about my lack of inspiration lately - my poetically dry disposition. I could also complain about my low pay, the messy house I have to go home to tonight - or the oodles of money I had to drop to host this stinkin' thanksgiving dinner... grumble grumble... I could complain about a lot of things :-P

But... I won't (ok... maybe I just did).

Instead - I'll be thankful that I have a job, one I actually enjoy
I&…

On Turning 24

So... yay I turned 24 on Saturday!

If you've followed my blog even a little bit, you'll know I'm the type of person who thrives on setting goals, and looking back to see how many I've accomplished. It's an obsession, and one that sometimes gets taken to the extreme. But, birthdays always make me think. God's graced me with another year of life. What on earth did I do with it? Am I a good keeper of my own time?

I told me dad - put your years to work for you, or else they'll slip away. He looked at me a little weird. I guess it IS a little weird to think of your time in that manner. But really, honestly, I can't help it. I'm incapable of enjoying moments of peace and nothingness. Every moment must be purposeful, because you know - we never know how long we have here.

So... what did I do with year 23 of my life? Well... this time last year I was on a 'break' from grad school. Ok - so I admit it was a break because not only was I broke financially …

Submitted to Nimrod

Yay!

Its out in the mail and I can't take it back now :-)

So I submitted about 8 poems to them for their horticulture issue. It just seemed too perfect with my plant obsession as of late. So let's see if anything comes of this.

Hmm... what else? Oh! I have a reading coming up. And I'm blogging about it on Chachalacas In Orbit! My latest post should be up pretty soon. I'm going to be reading at a Caribbean restaurant along with my poetry professor and some fellow students. My mom might even be showing some art :D so she's psyched about that, too. Details certainly to come.

Hmm... I guess that's about it. Just in general, things are looking up for me. I applied for a teaching position at a university (hah, yeah...right!) which I know is a SUPER longshot but whatever I had to try. And I'm studying my GRE again... I'm giving myself more time, and resolving not to stress about PhD applications until next year. I get overwhelmed so very easily, and it was really …

So I Kind of Had Fun At El Mundo Zurdo

Image
And of course I must post some pictures!

Ok, first one's my Mouthfeel Press panel! There's ire'ne lara silva, me, lau, and maria maloney (my publisher!)

So I totally didn't control myself and I totally had to hug everyone. I'm a dork, a complete valley girl but that's ok I've come to terms with myself.




And here's >>> me reading at Gallista Gallery! We went there afterwards, and all the talented poets read! Well, the talented poets and me... LOL. Ok, so honestly yes I had a great time at El Mundo Zurdo. It was all about the poems, true, but for me it was all about meeting people, too. I met all the wonderful ladies at my press (who were incredibly friendly and nice), plus leaders in the field, other talented poetas, and just plain old smart people. It was a blast! Oh, and most importantly - I DROVE ;) YES, I did it and I did NOT have a nervous breakdown along the way. Phew, so proud! I think mostly it was thanks to my GPS. That way I didn't have t…

PUBBED AGAIN!

Hurray!

"We are so pleased to accept “Good Girls” for publication in the upcoming issue of /Cold Mountain Review/."

Ahh! I'm so unbelievably happy right now~!!

This little email just sent me to the sky and back X-D X-D X-D

You see, there I was, just studying away for my GRE exam, in slight agony, when my phone went BEEEEP.

I was angry because, well, I was in the middle of looking up what the heck scintillate means, when I opened up my email and there it was, titiled "YOUR POEM WAS ACCEPTED"

ZOMG! I even have to sign a CoNtRaCt!

So yes, I'm a dork, I know. I did a little research on the magazine, and it is so totally professional. Among the other contributors are creative writing professors, award winning novelists and poets, and even a Gugenheim Fellow.

How is my little bitty poem, "Good Girls" going to look next to those? Pathetic. But whatever! It's pubbed, I'm estatic, and I'm giving myself the rest of the day off from gre study~!!!

Oh, chec…

Excited for tomorrow~

Yay!

I'm excited for tomorrow's conference. I'm excited to leave the valley for a day, meet lots of talented authors and scholars, and see the lovely riverwalk again. Once I get over the whole driving on the expressway deal, I think its going to be a bit like a mini vaycay.

I'm reading at 4:30, and again at 7:30 at Gallerista Gallery, UTSA Downtown Campus.

Anyway, I was writing an extended bio today about myself for the conference. I realized something, I sound like a mildly interesting person! :D lol. Here's what I pounded out between student appointments:

Katherine Hoerth is an MFA candidate at the University of Texas Pan
American. Her first chapbook of poems, Among the Mariposas
(Mouthfeel Press, 2010), received the Nuestra Voz Poetry Prize. The chapbook
speaks to living in the borderlands, belonging, and forging an identity along
the muddy waters of the Rio Grande. Her poetry has most recently appeared in
Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and the Texas Journal of Wome…

ZOMG I'M GOING TO BE 24 THIS MONTH

Just thought I'd share.

Katie's many fears.

Things that scare me:

1. A PhD - because it means the end of the road, that there's nothing left to teach me and if by that point i'm not brilliant then... well... I'm officially a dunce.

2. The GRE - MUST SCORE 700 MUST SCORE 700... stupid powerprep software is depressing me :( all the sudden I feel very very dumb.

3. Rejection letters that tumble in daily, though now I've learned to just delete them

4. My thesis, which piles up and gets bigger every day. I don't know how to break it down into bite sized pieces of work, and time is tick ticking away.

5. My professors. They're smart, confusing, and completely unhelpful at times. Ok, I'm a big girl and should take more responsiblity for my own education - yes I get the point.

6. Driving on the expressway. Nuff said.

7. Being in a big city, getting mugged, walking around at night, getting lost, missing the bus, crying in public... yeah, all stuff I will likely do.

8. Meeting new people, and not knowing what to say to…

Katie Breaks Her Rut

Yay!

I've broken my publishing rut! See my latest pub HERE:

http://www.themonitor.com/articles/festiva-43834-issue-welcome.html

That's meee! Katherine Hoeth... wait a minute... they mispelled my last name. Ok, well read the poem maybe they did it on purpose ;)

Well... that and I've also once again flooded the market with submissions. Bad news came atumblin' in from Hayden's Ferry Review, Blackbird, and... probably more I'm just selectively forgetting. But let this not be a day of woe - but a day of triumph :-)

Katie's pubbed again, even though - yes, local newspaper, but regardless I am proud :-)

A big decision

Phew.

After a long talk with BruBru, we've decided that indeed - we have outgrown this valley.

I love 'The Valley' with everything I've got - it's my home, the place I write about, where most of my family lives, where I grew up, and where I'll always be attached.

But... it is almost time to move on.

So my plan is to finish up this MFA, and then ride the wind to wherever it takes me. I'm going to start prepping PhD applications ASAP. I'm going to start looking for a new job. New life. New home. New town....

but the same Katie. I promise.

Details to come - as soon as I figure them out. I would very much like to stay in Texas, and my eyes are most certainly on Houston or Austin... maybe Dallas, even El Paso... or New Mexico. One thing for sure, though, is that for both my personal and professional well being, come August, I will be someplace else, moving up in life, becoming the Katie I know I need to be.

New poem, a result of poetry class love

You know something...

I'm really loving my poetry workshop this semester. Something's jiving well with me, my collegues, and my prof. My writing is changing. It's less narrative, more lyrical. Or - the narrative is in the lyricality of the words. Something like that.

Here's a little piece of my latest poem: The Green Lake

I’ll ask you –
will you let the heat of your body part the surface? A stone
skips across the water, leaving ripples of breath

between your answer. I won’t tell you -
this lake hides a beast behind her eyelashes
and tall grass. The hurried breaths of lovers
and the smell of sex exists between the hissing
of snakes and songs of frogs. This body


That's my favorite stanza.

Anyway - life's happened. Between my two jobs, working on my thesis, my grad class, chachalacas in orbit, being bruno's moral support, readings, writings, submissions, rejections, conferences, presentations, book signings, ect - sometimes I really feel like I'm going to lose it. I…

Saturday's Jitterz Reading~

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Aww, there we are! In all of our awesomeness. This was from the Art That Heals reading at Jitterz this past Saturday. Thanks to Julieta for this wonderful picture :-) So you probably can figure that I'm on the far right. Next to me is poet Frank Pina, and... I forget who that man in red is next to him... Anyway, then is Julieta in the pretty black dress, and... XAVIER GARZA! right there in the middle. Yes, Xavier Garza made a surprise appearance, reading from his latest release from Arte Publico Press. Ok - next to Xavier (we're going to the left) is Lady Mariposa, Nepthali De Leon (author of Chicano Popcorn!), The Poet Mariachi, and then... Mr. David Solis. So what a night it was! Bruno made it out to show his support, in addition to his mom and my parents too! I even sold a few copies of Among the Mariposas. What's next for this poeta? Good question. How about some good old fashioned rest? LoL.

El Mundo Zurdo Program released, and Katie's cup is overflowing.

Gwahhh!!

:-P

Ok so I'm feeling seriously overwhelmed these past few days. I think maybe it's the second job. Anyway, news to report:

The El Mundo Zurdo program has posted. So I now have a day/time that I will be reading at UTSA. I will be reading Friday, November 5th at 4:30 in the Durango room. Joining me will be poets ire'ne lara silva, nancy green, Laura Eglin, and Carolina Monsivais (all mouthfeel press authors! :) :) :) )

I'm uber excited to meet these talented ladies. I feel unworthy, so unworthy....



Other news....

Still pumped about Saturday's reading at Jitterz. See sidebar for details on that one. Don't forget to come out and show your support ;)

and....

I wrote a new poem for my grad class. And it's about being... well... overwhelmed I guess. Here's a little exerpt:

At the moment her finger switches
the coffee maker on, a body curls
into question against the force
of water. She listens for the groan
of the machine, telling her the single
serving of bitter…

Chacalacas in Orbit Review and Coffee Talk feature

So a bit of news this weekend...

First of all, I would like to thank Pablo from Chacalacas in Orbit for the wonderful preview of my chapbook. You can see it here:

http://chachalacasinorbit.com/2010/10/among-mariposas-katherine-hoerth/

It looks absolutely fantastic! And what is that at the end there? That I will be writing for the blog? Why yes, yes I will be X-D In the very near future be on the lookout for my reviews of literary scene happenings here in the Rio Grande Valley.

This bit of wonderful news aside, I also have another tidbit to share: I'm going to be featured at a reading organized by Art That Heals! Here's the details:

Art That Heals, Inc. presents Coffeetalk Series: 2nd Saturday of each month @ 7:30 p.m. with featured speakers/artists/performers

and Open Mic @ Jitterz Coffee Bar in Mission. Featuring Katie Hoerth, award-winning author of "Among The Mariposas." The mission of Art That Heals, Inc., is to promote cultural literacy in the Rio Grande Valley by pro…

Editing Obsession

Am I the only one who can get absolutely absorbed in editing a piece? I've been reworking reworking reworking a poem, Miscarriage, that I wrote maybe three weeks ago. And it's morphing into something strange.

Anyway - here's just a stanza, and it's three different stages as an example:

Version 1

The toothless smile of satisfaction – rose
across her dimpled abdomen. Her breasts
hang above, the heads of a widows in prayer.

Everyone watches – eyes taking
in the color of bare skin – skin bending
in the hurricane that blew past. She sways
to the music that couldn’t carry her home.


VERSION 2

All the eyes are on her toothless smile–the rose lips
that cut across her dimpled abdomen. Her breasts
hang above, the heavy heads of a widows in prayer.

Her bare skin bends in the hurricane that blows past
as she sways to the music that couldn’t carry her home.

VERSION 3

As she dances - her voice thunders in the hum
of fronds, and all eyes are on the toothless smile –
the rose lips that slice
across her di…

Sniffles...

Ah... ok... so what's the news today?

Another rejection - this time from Sycamore Review. That one came in on Friday evening, and it didn't really bum me out at all.

Yay, thick skin!

However, I am bummed out by a bit of a cold coming on. And the fact that I ended up missing the Ambrosia open mic. First, I wasn't feeling the best on Friday. Bruno got out of work late and wasn't in the mood to go with me, either. And then, Saturday was my first day working with Upward Bound, so I figured it would be a good evening to stay in and relax.

So relax I did.

And Saturday - I had a pretty good first day working with the kiddos. I just forgot how utterly exhausting working with youth can be... zzzzzzzzzzz....

So this week I'm ready to tackle the following tasks:

Find my stamps, still haven't done that yet... and send out those two submissions
Write a leaping poem for class
Focus on getting rest, and getting better. I can't afford to let being sick bring me down.

Open Mic!

Tonight at Ambrosia! Open mic starts at 8:00.

I think I'll be reading but no promises, ok?

Ah who am I kidding I'll read.

The Poems Exploded and It's Not My Fault

Well all the sudden I have my poetic hands full again. Woot!

First of all, I had a wonderful poetry class last night. We talked about Blake and Neruda, about leaping and taking chances in writing. I <3 Blake and Neruda. I left the class with two stacks of poems to critque. One, for our next workshop meeting and the other....

is for a poetry contest that I'm helping judge. That's right. Me. Katie. Judging a poetry contest.

Ok so it's not a huge deal. But anyway I'm pretty excited to crack into that stack of poems and choose a few winners.

You know what, in retrospect I should have posted the contest details up here. Ah well, hindsight is always 2020 excuse my cliche. It's morning and the coffee I made is too weak.

So I'm judging the Green Living Poetry contest here, for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Yay! Co-judging, along with my good friend the Poet Mariachi.

Wait a second... how come I don't have a cool nickname? Ok, from here on out I will refer to myself…

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and other stuff.

Yay!

They updated the Borderlands website to reflect the latest issue - the issue in which my poem North on 281 appears! Hurray! :)

Here's the website in case you're interested in ordering a copy of this lovely and professional publication (I'm throughougly enjoying my contributor copy):

http://www.borderlands.org/issue_34.html

In other news...

I start working a second job this coming Saturday. I will be working with Upward Bound as an English instructor here at UTPA. I have a bit of mixed feelings about it. On one hand - it's going to be GREAT experience for me. I'll be working with secondary students, something I've never done before. Plus, it looks nifty on my resume: English Instructor at UTPA

But on the other hand - I'm a bit afraid. Bruno (who used to be in charge of the computer labs at the university here) tells me that he dreaded when the kiddos would come into the labs to use the computers because they were rowdy. I taught middle school for two years, s…

Productivity

Yesterday, after my goal oriented post, I proceeded to finish a poem I'd been working on AND prep the two submission packets that I declared 'due by friday'. I just didn't pop them into the mail yet. I always have trouble locating my stamps. That's the biggest hurdle in my writing. Finding my stamps...

Anyway... how about for today?

Well, today I'm going to journal and freewrite... maybe work on a bit of editing, but the focus will be on new creations. What's the next big thing, Katie?

Don't know.

Oh... a tidbit from yesterday's poem! :

Now, years later my body lays still next to his, and I hide underneath covers and sheets as I watch the evening news – men in combat boots crossing over the eggshells of peace into Kuwaiti desert. While Bruno studies the bank statements, sprouting fresh gray hairs, I study the way those hairs curl at the first folds of tired skin, wondering when our next mistake will blossom into a shining yellow yolk across the expanse o…

A Post with Goals always seems to help...

Unmotivated... again.

Another rejection came in this weekend, this time from Ante Review. Its ok - I'm over it. A World of Warcraft Marathon and pot of homemade black bean soup later I felt like myself again. Oh, and a trip the the gym.

My favorite things in the world are cooking things from scratch, playing video games, and exercising. Oh, and poetry. But not when I'm angry with poetry.

And don't forget coffee...

Ok - so I'm determined to make this week better. More productive. What are my goals?

Get some serious ass to chair time and focus on this poem that's been sitting in my notebook for weeks. I would LIKE to have it ready for my workshop on Wednesday. If not, that's ok - I have an arsinal of poems that desperately need workshopping as well.

Prep and send out TWO submissions. One for PRISM International, one for Southern Review. Deadlines, Katie, deadlines!

Eat more veggies. Yes, for some reason this helps me tremendously. In mood and spirit primarily. I feel li…

It's Friday, and it's gloomy!

Yay!

So it's raining, I'm guessing because that hurricane Karl in Mexico. Did I ever mention that lately I've been absolutely obsessed with hurricanes? It's pretty crazy, I go through these weird obsessions and lately it's hurricanes. I will probably be depressed when hurricane season is over, until I move on to another obsession.

Which SHOULD be poetry. But how can I be obsessed with something that moves so slowly? Hurricanes form, strenghten, make landfall, and then by the time it's all over a new one has formed.

Poems form, strengthen, then fizzle out and die on my USB drive unpublished :'(

Ah... ok I'm being melodrammatic. New Plains Review sent rejection email a few days ago. I'm feeling very lost on my thesis endeavor, and I haven't been writing because I'm busy with... actual work.

Next week will be better, Katie. Promise.

Ok. I'll sort of believe myself then.

My fictional self

Ok, so I wrote another poem yesterday and I kind of like it :)

And, I'm starting to notice a new freedom in my writing.

Whereas - in the past I would simply write the truth, things I'm feeling, experiencing, living, ect, I'm starting to now write more freely. I'm getting better at putting myself in fictional scenarios, morphing my everyday experiences into something more meaningful, interesting, poetic.

Its actually quite inspiring - to write lies.

But also, at the same time - I wonder how much of what I write people end up thinking is my actual experience? For example, if I write a poem about affairs, will people automatically assume that I've been a particpant? How scary to think... that yes maybe they will.

My mom seems to think that poems must be autobiographical. And I'm guilty of it too. When I go to an open mic, I judge. I think to myself - wow - that lady's done THAT? Pretty ballzy.

Like Kim Addonizio. Her poems are so no nonsense, sexy, dealing with drug…

Katie's Writing

So today I'm struggling a little bit with writing in my blog.

First - a confession. No news to share today, folks. This one is purely reflective.

Ok I lied. A little tidbit of news. I might be going back into teaching :-X But part time. so rest asured that I won't be doing too much harm to today's youth.

That aside - last night in poetry class I had the mother of all migraines. It started coming on the minute I arrived on campus. I should have felt it coming, and stayed home. But no, I didn't listen, and decided to go anyway.

And in class, we were discussing duende, the source of poetry, and we did some writing exercises. Boy - I tell you, I'm used to being in some kind of pain, but migraine pain is a little bit worse than stomach pains. So umm... its hard to write under circumstances.

Anyway - in class we were talking about the trends in poetry, too. How poetry today is more experimental, more about language play. And how confessional poems are horribly out of fashion…

Tropical Storm Hermine

Oh man...

I was so hoping to have an extended labor day weekend thanks to this tropical storm. But alas, here I am in my office...

Last night I was so cursing about how ridiculous it was to have school/work today. Oh my! Tornado warnings?! and I have to drive in that? Insane!

I went to bed amidst the whistling of wind out my window, listening to the pangs of rain drops on the roof - curled up and just a little bit scared. I'm such a wuss, I wouldn't fall asleep until bruno came to bed and held me. Ugh. I disgust myself sometimes.

And so this morning I wake up to clear skies, a cool breeze, and the world is just a little bit wetter. Ah - ok... so the UTPA administration knows a little bit more about meteorology than this lazy poet does. Good call, people, good call. It would have been somewhat silly to stay home on a beautiful day like today (although, let's be honest - I would have thoughoughly enjoyed it!).

So... last Friday I submitted to Sycamore Review. And... hmm... I gues…

Applied for Graduation Today!

Yay!

So that makes it official - right?

That means there's no turning back - right?

I mean, wasn't a big deal or anything, I just walked over to their office this morning and dropped off a seemingly meaningless piece of paper. But as I handed it away, I sighed.

Yep - its going to happen!

Nine months from now, I will be Katie, MFA.

XD XD XD XD XD XD

Ok, now back to work. I haven't met my weekly goal yet, and its Friday already!!

First Day Back in Class!

You know, I'd forgotten how utterly exhausting it is going to evening classes.

When I finally made it home last night, I was pretty tired. Phew! How was I able to do this before? I was at UTPA yesterday for a total of 14 hours straight.

But my new poetry workshop class seems pretty good. We did a lot of writing exercises yesterday which is helping me to up my daily writing. Yay! I've been writing all summer though... so going to class just puts a little structure to my writing schedule.

Anyway - I'm happy (yet exhausted) to be back in class. This is my LAST POETRY WORKSHOP of my MFA experience. I hope to make it a good one :)

So I've been at this thing for awhile now...

You know what?

I've been blogging almost an entire year! Yayy!!

As of tomorrow, my blog will be one year old. I've done a lot in a year. Ok, so the past few summer months have been rather uneventful. But right now I'm going to rewind a bit, and revel in the successes and struggles that the past year has brought me. And because I'm so damn goal oriented (to a fault, remember...) I might even set some goals for year two of blogging.

I started this blog last September as a means to keep myself accountable. What do you mean, Katie?

Well - I figured that if I blogged and posted my tidbits of writing, that it would be a motivation for me to show the world (mainly myself I'm my most avid reader) that I am actually writing and actively participating in the poetry world. This blog was going to be my publicly poetic face, with its pimples and all! :) Aww...

And then the blog started evolving a little. Instead of posting my writing exercises, I started blogging about my activities…

Blonde Moment...

Doh!

Another one of my shining moments...

Remember that poetry contest I entered on Friday? For Ante Review? Ok, well... on Saturday I got an email from them.

Editor wanted my poem, because I FORGOT TO ATTACH IT TO EMAIL.

Ok, so that was a serious brain fart. But at least they were kind enough to request it again. I am grateful (though I look like a serious goof. But I am a serious goof.).

Other news? Today's the first day of class at UTPA. Ah yes, traffic was at a crawl, parking was a battle, and the campus is alive with wide eyed students. I'm taking one poetry workshop class, and I'm starting my thesis hours. I briefly talked with my professor last week at the college convocation, and I'm feeling pretty good about 'things' so far.

I know the next 8 or so months are going to be a bit of a struggle, but I'll get through them and thrive. That's what I do best! Well... that and making airheaded mistakes.

Entered a Contest

Yay!

Ante Review is holding a prose poetry contest. I only have one prose poem, but I submitted it anyway because I love that poem :)

Maybe I'll be $75 richer! But then again... maybe not.

No other news today. Phew! So glad its Friday

I Am My Own Writer's Block.

Its so true, too.

You see, I've been having a beautifully productive week this week. I've written TWO poems in two days. They've come out pretty good too, needing only a little editing here and there but for the most part they were born in one good piece. Yay!

So I was really looking forward to coming into the office today and sitting down at my keyboard to type out number 3. And a little thought snuck into my head, "Katie," it said, "you've already passed your goal for the week!"

And I thought to myself, huh... yeah I have haven't I?

Since then, I haven't been able to write.

You see, I'm so goal oriented. Who ever heard of being too goal oriented? But that's me, I do it to a fault.

I do everything to a fault. Geez. No wonder I haven't had any pubs lately.

But in better news~ I HAVE been arranging my thesis! I've been adding my latest poems, thinking of names for my sections, ect. Its very exciting work. Right now maybe my mind is m…

Baptism

Today I've been thinking of Baptism. I regret never getting Baptised as a child. Wait, let's rewind a little and I'll give you a (very brief!) story on my 'spiritual journey'.

I come from a completely non-religious home. Bunch of heathens! Nah - I had a pretty privledged childhood but it was devoid of religion. But I've always been drawn to Christianity, since as far back as I can remember I've 'talked to God'. I'm weird. I know.

So when I was about... oh... eight years old I started going to church with a Mexican family. I didn't (and still really don't) know much Spanish. But they wanted to take me to church (their youngest girl and I were best of friends) and I was grateful, so I'd sit through the Spanish services and listen as best I could. The mom, I still remember her vividly, was Carmen. And one day she took me into the pastor's office and asked me if I'd like to acceptamos Jesus Cristo into my heart. And of course I exc…

Overthinking another submission

So... I'm being a complete doof, I know.

But I just can't seem to decide which pieces to submit to a local newspaper. Part of me (the pessimist) is saying, "Submit your very best work, because you're not going to find another place for it and its the only way to even get published in this newspaper" and the optimist in me is saying, "Don't submit your best work! It will probably be accepted by a reputable journal and then what are you going to do!?"

So, now I'm stressing over it. I sure do think a whole lot more than I write or submit. No wonder I have so few pubs...

I think I need to sleep on this one.. maybe ask bruno what to do. He knows nothing about poetry, but somehow always has the best advice.

Submitted to Waccamaw!

Yesterday, another plunge.

Submitted to Waccamaw~ took very little time, and I was way overthinking it. I had been going to the website with the intention of submitting just about every day. And yesterday - I finally did it. Phew~! Let's hope for a response soon :) :) :)

Other news? Not so much. I don't know I've been feeling pretty dry poetically lately. I saw a dog get run over yesterday and it disturbed me a great deal. Whenever I sat down to write yesterday I couldn't get the gruesome picture out of my head. Why did I have to slow down and look? Because I'm weird like that. Ugh.

But then I was thinking - this image is haunting me for a reason. Maybe the only way THROUGH it is to write about it. And then I can move on to better things. Maybe? Maybe.

Pantoums and Pain and Other Stuff

So I'm reading Ordinary Genius, right?

My goal was to get through the book and do the writing exercises this summer, but I had taken some time off because - well - sometimes I don't feel all that inspired. Actually, this summer I've been pretty sick and I know that's not an excuse but I'll use it as one.

Today I was feeling pretty inspired (still not feeling WELL though, so see, there's proof that its not an excuse), and picked up the book. Low and behold - a chapter on... Pain! Perfect! :)

The exercise was to write a pantoum about your pain body, to invision it as an object and write about it. Cool! I don't know why, but I always picture my pain as a black olive. I LOVE to eat olives, but I'm always afraid of the little pits. So I buy them shredded or sliced, even though really I enjoy eating them whole.

I've tried to write pantoums in the past but I always give up frustrated. But this time I saw it through, and actually... it's pretty ok! I'll…

Let the Thesis Hours Commence!

So yesterday I took the giant leap and registered for my thesis hours.

Its real. Its finally happening. I'm actually seeing the light at the end of this MFA tunnel...

Nine months or so from now, if all goes according to plan - I'll get my masters degree.

And so what does this mean? For me, loads of stress. I'm freaking out. First of all, thesis horror stories. Gwahh... I hope everything goes smoothly for me. But already its been a little rocky. Boo.

And secondly - I'm really afraid that my work won't be taken seriously. I mean, is it really MFA quality? I'm not so sure sometimes.

And then there's this... ok so I graduated, now what? In case you haven't noticed by now, unknowns make me REALLY nervous. I mean REALLY nervous. And this is one big fat unknown.

Ah well... its ok. I just need a little luck and some faith things will turn out.. right?!!?

Pictures from Ambrosia's Open Mic

Image
Pictures as promised from the Ambrosia Poetry Reading, August 5th 2010. What a wonderful night! Here's me showing off Among the Mariposas






AC or not, we enjoyed ourselves. There's me, reading my poem "Upon Hearing Bruno Speak Spanish". I tried to embarress him by calling him out, but it didn't work. I forgot how much Bruno likes attention.












Here's Lady Mariposa, friend and fellow MFA student at Panam. I like this picture because you can see my brother, Poops. He's the big white guy in the back. Hah! Next next to him is my good friend and upcoming poet, Nallely. Also pictured is Daniel (Poet Mariachi!) up in the front, and Laura (another MFAer).











Here I am reading That Sort of Woman, a poem about me trying to add power steering fluid to my car. Yes, I'm making a ridiculous face but a girl's gotta annunciate.












My supportive fam! There's Bruno, me next to him (you can barely see me), my daddy-o, my mom (can't see her hardly either since she's so…

Open Mic at Ambrosia

Ok, so last night was pretty neat.

I convinced Bruno at accompany me to Ambrosia last night for the open mic. I brought with me some new poems, had in my belly a delicious homemade dinner and glass of good old fashioned courage ;-) That always makes readings a little bit easier.

We got there a little late. My uber supportive parental units were there already. Aww :) Unfortunately, the AC wasn't working in the coffee shop and well, that coupled with south texas heat and my mom... they don't mix. They had to leave before I got to the mic. I was one of the last poets to read, anyway.

La erika introduced me, and... she made me sound all badass! :-D She mentioned my book and my award, and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I read That Sort of Woman, a new poem Eros, and Upon Hearing Bruno Speak Spanish. I even embarressed Bruno a little bit, calling him out to the crowd. But he likes it ;-)

I like ambrosia because it's small and intimate. I didnt' feel real nervous going u…

100 Blog Postings!

Hurray!

I've reached 100 posts!

Where does my 100th post find me? Why, doing what I do very best. Wasting time :-D

I had a major breakthrough yesterday on thesis quest. I've tenetively structured my mess of poems around three major themes - tasting womanhood, tasting love, tasting pleasure, and tasting language/culture. I know, they're so cliche. Ugh. Whatever.

Maybe it's the story of the body, how it grows, tangles roots, reaches for the sun, and digs deep into the earth. Maybe. Something like that.

I have a lot of work to do. Open mic tonight? Maybe so. I need to read a few of these new poems, see how they are received.

But happy 100 posts!!

Reading to Become a Better Writer

So pretty much every creative writing teacher will tell you that you need to READ in order to improve your writing. Study the modern poetry world! Read collections, subscribe to literary magazines, emerse yourself and become inspired.

It's true, I know I know... and I simply do not do enough of it myself.

So last week I got on amazon and ordered a few new poetry releases. I ordered Addonizio's latest book, Lucifer at Starlight (something like that), Laux's latest release, Facts About the Moon, and Anna Journey's (newish) book, If Birds Gather in Your Hair for Nesting.

I thought Journey's would be the most helpful to me, in my current state. I need to read someone who is doing what I NEED to be be doing, publishing their first full collection of poems and working on a PhD (maybe she finished her's already, but while she was writing the book she was in the program).

So I've been reading it today, yesterday, and such. The poems are so unbelievably rich in imagary,…

So Maybe Yesterday WASN'T the Worst Day of My Life

Ok,

so yesterday morning I was bummed out about that AWP thing.

I opened the email (it had been filtered by my spam filter thingie), and I already knew before having to read it that we didn't get in. But I was still wild hopeful, scanning the message, and then - sure enough, there was the most hated word in the entire dictionary, "unfortunately".

And after reading that, I closed the email. Damn!

But you know what?

I wasn't all that bothered! I mean, initially, yes. But I got over it remarkably quickly. You know what I think it is? I'm already moving on to the next thing. I've got my mind on PhD's and the job market. I'm getting nervous for thesis/graduation. I'm trying to work out every little detail in my head. Somewhere during the summer, my gears have shifted a bit. I'm no longer so focused on publishing (although, let's face it, I always will be) and conferences, but now I'm feeling the itch to make the next professional step.

And it is …

AWP Rejection

This one's a real blow.

Got notification from AWP today that our proposal was not accepted. This seriously sucks.

So, maybe I'm being too ambitious, right? AWP seriously was a long shot. I think it is mostly for writers who are more well known, have carved out a place in the literary world for themselves. I'm just beginning, and AWP would have been wonderful, but it is a no go.

BOOO!

So today, I will try not to think about it. I need to focus on what is next. Which is... well... that part I still need to figure out.

The thesis. Yep. My priority MUST be the thesis.

Another one out!

Submitted this afternoon to New Plains Review!

I sent out Black D'orsays, Just Words, and Upon Hearing Bruno Speak Spanish.

You know, I've been meaning to do another submission to this publication all week long and I've been putting it off and putting it off. And now, finally, it's done, out there, can't take it back. I think I just felt really intimidated, and everytime I go back and look at my pieces I feel less confident about them.

I need to write more, better...

I don't know, I'm having more self doubt lately. I think I'm ready for some more poetry classes. I've done a lot of work this summer, but it is hard to stay motivated on your own. Entering into a community of poets helps, just because I can bounce ideas, images, ect off on other people and I don't feel so weird, say - for example, writing about seducing a man in the poetry section of the library while reading Whitman. Aye. I'm a weirdo.

I shouldn't be afraid of my obsessions. But…

My Sexy Poems Have Nothing on This...

http://asweetlife.blogspot.com/2006/03/poetry-thursday-sensuality-and-sex.html


That poem is just beautiful. I could write from now until the moment I die and I'll never be able to write like that.

Well, news for today - I'm off to a PhD info session to learn more about applying to and choosing a school. I have lots to learn, and I'm glad to have this opportunity.

Hopefully more good news to come, but we shall see.

Hate Poem

Read it, and had to post the link.

It's hilarious.

http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/127.html

"The blue-green jewel of sock lint I’m digging
from under by third toenail, left foot, hates you."

How does she come up with that? Ahh... poetry :)

Productivity Pitfalls

Found this today while surfing.

Top 10 Productivity Pitfalls for Writers to Avoid


http://writersdigest.com/article/productivity-pro

Oh boy, do most of these apply to me or what?

I mean, I'm pretty good at setting goals and following through. Lately - I've been true to my goal of writing daily, submiting biweekly, and polishing up more or less a poem a week. And I'm working towards my larger goal of the thesis.

I understand that everything is one step at a time. But my problem is that sometimes I let negativity get the best of me. Fear is something that I'm used to now, and I really try not to let that get in the way of TRYING. I honestly think that my control over my fear is what separates me from many of my collegues. Failure? I hate it, but I'm not afraid of it.

And as far as the whole isolation thing, well... right now I suffer a little from that but taking my workshop class this coming fall will help :-)

I think I'm well on my way. Anyway... I just have to emerse …

An Aubade

“As We Are So Wonderfully Done with Each Other”

by Kenneth Patchen Kenneth Patchen

As we are so wonderfully done with each other
We can walk into our separate sleep
On floors of music where the milkwhite cloak of childhood lies

O my lady, my fairest dear, my sweetest, loveliest one
Your lips have splashed my dull house with the speech of flowers
My hands are hallowed where they touched over your
soft curving.

It is good to be weary from that brilliant work
It is being God to feel your breathing under me

A waterglass on the bureau fills with morning . . .
Don’t let anyone in to wake us.

Prose Poetry Contest

I am thinking about entering... are you?

http://prism.arts.ubc.ca/

Just thought I'd share, plus if I post it here then I feel somewhat obligated to follow through and submit myself. My goals for the week:

Submit to... something! Either Toronto Quarterly, or perhaps enter that nifty looking prose poetry contest.
Get at least one new poem written to add to the thesis collection, and tie up loose ends on summer pieces.

I have a very busy week ahead. I washed my USB drive on accident, but luckily I've been able to recover most of my work. I'm so stupid sometimes.

Aye.

El Mundo Zurdo Conference

Hurray!

I will be reading in San Antonio at UTSA on November 5th as part of the El Mundo Zurdo Conference. I will post more info soon, but I am very excited about this. Not only do I get an opportunity to share my work at a conference, an awesome line on my CV, possibly some books sales, a hopefully romantic weekend at my favorite San Antonio B&B (Gardenia Inn!) with the BruBru, but ALSO, I get to meet the Mouthfeel Press ladies and present with them!

I don't think I'm going to be able to contain myself. I will likely run up and hug my wonderful editor and thank her for the wonderful opportunity of publishing my first book :) Teary eyed! LOL, I'm such a dork.

So finally, some good news to report, right? After the last slew of rejections, I was feeling unmotivated, disheartened. But every little success, every small victory, leads to the greater goal of being an awesome poet ;-) This is just another part of the ride!

Yay!

Daily Writing

So I've been pretty good about writing everyday.

I'm not journaless, and for awhile I was allowing this to be my excuse for not writing everyday. How lame am I? Very.

But this week, determined to get out of my rut, I've returned to my Ordinary Genius book and have begun writing a minimum of one page per day.

I'm currently reading a chapter on visualization before writing, to help you get all the wonderful details in. Mostly, what I've been visualizing is stuff from my past, and it is making my poems more... memoir like. Ugh. Who wants to know the nitty gritty details of my boring life?

A few things I've come up with:

MONDAY

the way my feet hit the ground and the ground still receives them

tongues pink and flailing against the baby blue of the sky while the pink is exposed on their cheeks. Pink – the color that reminds us where we came from.

sometimes it all just comes flowing out in tears Or screams of pink joy, joy that’s made of flesh, the flesh we cover up and hope…

I Absolutely Couldn't Resist

Image
I write like
Chuck Palahniuk I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Give it a try! Ever wonder who you write like?
I got several different responses depending on what piece I entered, if I was putting in stuff from the blog or from my more edited stuff, ect. So it's not really that accurate, but it sure is fun :D

Writing Bios...

I think I must have written over 100 versions of my author bio by now, each one making me sound like an entirely different person. Here's a resent one:

KH lives in Edinburg, Texas with her five cats and her soul mate that she affectionately refers to as Bru Bru. She is an MFA student at the University of Texas Pan American and the author of an award winning chapbook Among the Mariposas. While she would never admit to it in public, K spends much of her spare time playing old school RPGs and World of Warcraft.


Harharhar... ok so maybe this is the MOST accurate author bio I've ever written.

Different bios for different purposes, right?

I forgot to add...

Cool essay contest I stumbled upon. Check it out! It's a way to get invited to AWP, which, would certainly be awesome.

http://www.creativenonfiction.org/thejournal/submittocnf.htm#MFA

Ah, Monday...

So its Monday again -

Recently (Friday, I think?) I submitted to Sugar Hill Review, something like that. Let's see what happens. I submitted a new piece, That Sort of Woman, which I had been working on... maybe for the past three weeks on and off. The piece went from poem, to essay, to prose poem, to essay again, and back to poem. Aye. If only my genres would quit... mating.

Other news... mmm... nope there is none. Other than the fact that I am super excited to be hiring a maid. Hah. I am finally conceeding to the very obvious fact that I am a feminine failure. But I will not be a poetic failure. So while someone is scrubbing away at my dirty kitchen floor, I will be typing away. That's the theory, at least.

Let's see how this turns out.

Bad Bad Poet

Ok, so I've been a bad poet lately.

I know I haven't been updating, leaving little breadcrumbs to mark my way to... what is seeming more and more everyday like failure. Yes, I'm being melodramatic but that's how I've been feeling.

Self doubt has an ugly face, and she's been peeking into my thoughts what seems like daily. I guess it's common, right? Well - this self doubt has been keeping me from writing. It's my fault for letting it get to me. I keep thinking, what do I have to say? Ugh, another vagina poem? Get over it Katie no one wants to read this garbage.

I've had several rejections lately. First - Texas Book Festival. I was a little down. Bruno had put the ominous envelope on the kitchen counter unopened. I knew what it was the moment I saw it. Rejection. I was right. Looks like I won't be going to Austin anytime soon.

Also - Minnetonka Review rejected my work. I was disheartened. I really like their publication. Well, I am determined to try a…