Friday, May 27, 2011

Join Me Tonight!

At the Latino Virtual Smithsonian on Second Life!

I will be giving a virtual poetry workshop at the Sin Fronteras Cafe. My topic is "Let's Get Personal: A Workshop on Autobiographical Verse". I 'hit the mic' at 8pm central time! See flyer for more details. If at this last minute you'd like to join me, you can message me on Second Life. I'm PoetKatie

Phew, nervoussss!!!

Hope all goes well :D

In other news:

I wrote a new poem and it is beautious.

I've also received an acceptance letter for Breakwater Review. Woohoo! I'm on a roll :-) I will be in their summer issue. The poem is "What They Told the Girl With Bite Marks on Her Lips". Very excited and honored to be in the publication!

Ok I'm off to prep for workshopppp!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Tuesday...

I am a master at wasting time, let me tell you...

I've decided to dedicate my 'time off' to producing new work, reading, and just surrounding myself with poetry. I've had this fear that without my weekly 'workshops', I'll stop writing.

And, well, as much as I try to give myself some sort of writing structure, it's kind of happening. Ugh.

In my time since graduating two weeks ago, I've written one poem and did one freewrite. And really they're not even that good...

So maybe its time to refocus? Perhaps.

When I get 'stuck', I like to try reading. So I picked some Amy Clampitt today, since, well, I'm obsessed with plants and from her poems it seems as though she may have been, too! :D I'm impressed. I just had to share this poem:

Nothing Stays Put - Amy Clampitt

The strange and wonderful are too much with us.
The protea of the antipodes—a great,
globed, blazing honeybee of a bloom—
for sale in the supermarket! We are in
our decadence, we are not entitled.
What have we done to deserve
all the produce of the tropics—
this fiery trove, the largesse of it
heaped up like cannonballs, these pineapples, bossed
and crested, standing like troops at attention,
these tiers, these balconies of green, festoons
grown sumptuous with stoop labor?

The exotic is everywhere, it comes to us
before there is a yen or a need for it. The green-
grocers, uptown and down, are from South Korea.
Orchids, opulence by the pailful, just slightly
fatigued by the plane trip from Hawaii, are
disposed on the sidewalks; alstroemerias, freesias
fattened a bit in translation from overseas; gladioli
likewise estranged from their piercing ancestral crimson;
as well as, less altered from the original blue cornflower
of the roadsides and railway embankments of Europe, these
bachelor's buttons. But it isn't the railway embankments
their featherweight wheels of cobalt remind me of, it's

a row of them among prim colonnades of cosmos,
snapdragon, nasturtium, bloodsilk red poppies,
in my grandmother's garden: a prairie childhood,
the grassland shorn, overlaid with a grid,
unsealed, furrowed, harrowed and sown with immigrant grasses,
their massive corduroy, their wavering feltings embroidered
here and there by the scarlet shoulder patch of cannas
on a courthouse lawn, by a love knot, a cross stitch
of living matter, sown and tended by women,
nurturers everywhere of the strange and wonderful,
beneath whose hands what had been alien begins,
as it alters, to grow as though it were indigenous.

But at this remove what I think of as
strange and wonderful, strolling the side streets of Manhattan
on an April afternoon, seeing hybrid pear trees in blossom,
a tossing, vertiginous colonnade of foam, up above—
is the white petalfall, the warm snowdrift
of the indigenous wild plum of my childhood.
Nothing stays put. The world is a wheel.
All that we know, that we're
made of, is motion.

I'm just really in love with her vocabulary at the moment. Here I am, taking notes... lol.

But really, I admire how she uses the language of plants to talk about something else - immigration. This poem was written in the 90's. How might we describe today's immigration situation in the language of plants?

That, to me, sounds like a poem I have to write :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Forces of Nature


Last night I received an email from the editors at Platte Valley Review that they will be included two of my poems in their special "Forces of Nature" issue! So excited :-) They're going to be publishing "The Dance", which is a poem about a tree in a hurricane (as a metaphor for miscarriage/grief), and also "The Mother of Sweet Texas Onions," which is a poem about farm workers, pesticides, and birth defects.

OOph, ok, so they're not uplifting cute Katie poems, but I think they appropriately go with the forces of nature theme.

Anyway, I'm excited. PVR is the lit journal from the University of Nebraska - Kearney. You can check them out here

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poetry Al Dente!

Aww, why are you so happy, Katie?

LoL. Poetry reading last night was fantastic!

So I was invited by Edward Vidaurre to read at Poetry Al Dente last night, and sure did have a good time. There were a lot of familiar valley poets there, so it felt much like a big group of friends all getting together to enjoy poetry, pasta, and vino too of course.

But the best part?

Bruno came to the reading, and brought my fam too! But it was a surprise, you see - I was there eating my dinner with at a table with some new friends from UTB, and Bruno taps me on the shoulder, ta dah! Here is he. Bruno's not a big poetry guy, and so it just meant a lot to me to have him here.

Anyway, was a great evening. One of the best readings I've ever had the privledge to be a part of. Hopefully Johnny Carino's will be hosting us poets again sometime soon. I'll be there :D As long as I'm invited, that is.

Other than that, life's been pretty slow movin' for me lately. I'm psyched about the opportunity to attend the WCU poetry conference coming up. Unfortunately, at the moment I'm suffering from a bit of writer's block, but I think it's more of just me being lazy and out of 'workshop' mode. I've written ten pages of 'scrap' material this week, and none of it's formed into a poem yet. I either need to push myself more, or just be patient.

I'm leaning towards just being patient. What's the rush? Let the poems flow as they will.

Ok more updates later...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Katie Reads to the Children

Ok so maybe they're not so much children but more high schoolers, and man, what a crowd!

Reading to kiddos = very different than reading to adults. I know, I know, I teach high school so I'm used to them by now :) But still, it was a great experience today.

I was invited by Mr. Daniel Garcia Ordaz to come to McAllen Memorial High School and read some poems. I had a good time, stayed the entire day to read poems and talk about writing. One girl came up to me and said, "You know, at first I didn't get your poems but then I thought about them.... and I loved them!" LoL. Yep. That's the job of a post-modernist poet. To make the reader/listener participate in the construction of meaning. So it was good to hear :-)

When I write my poems, I try to have multiple layers of meaning. On the surface, they're cute/sexy/odd. But usually, underneath that, I comment about society. So... wow I was pretty impressed that a 15 year old girl 'got' the poems. I would just have been happy with an amused look, LOL.

So tis Friday. And tomorrow is the official graduation. No, I'm not walking. I've decided to save that for the PhD, which I will definitely have to go on to do, someday... someday... someday :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Katie's Summer Plans

"If you think swimming in cheese in impossible, clearly, you've never been to Wisconsin"

LoL. I love it.

Ok so it has nothing to do with poetry but everything to do with... nothing?


So life's really slowwwwwwwwed down for me lately. My last grade posted yesterday and ya, I got an A :D

That marks the official end of my MFA days.

::elongated sigh::

so now what the heck do I do?

Well, I'm signed up for my 'free' graduate class at UTPA just because I can. I'm taking a South Texas Literature class this summer, and looking forward to it very much. I think I need more of a literature background, and I'm eager to start doing research/writing scholarly conference papers. Next academic year, I want to hit the conference circuit with more than just a mouth full of poems.

Other summer plans? Of course I've got the WCU poetry conference which I'm psyched about aaaandd... hmmm, well... that about does it! So it should be a pretty easy going few months for me. Once fall rolls around, I'll be taking another American Lit class (I'm excited to read some Kathy Acker)and uh... that's about it!

Notice how I've failed to mention PhD apps? Ugh, yes, yes, I know. I'm putting it off yet another year. Geez what's wrong with me? Well, the beloved and I came to a ground breaking compromise last night. I shall wait one more year to pursue the PhD in exchange for having the lisence to move our humble little family to wherever the heck I want. So, that opens up dreamy schools to me like UW-Madison, Denver, and even... (gasp) schools on the east coast. It's worth it. I don't want to be tied to Texas, and if I have to give up a year... eh. I can totally do that. It's reasonable. In this time, I will be working on getting a mss. published, anyway.

Plus, this takes a bit of the 'heat' off of me to create a stellar writing sample this summer. So, if I don't spit one out in my south texas lit class, tis ok. I'll have a few more semesters to let it brood.

Ok, enough rambles for today. I must get back to more productive things, like watching Desperate Housewives and eating lasagna.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ok Shame on Katie

Boo me for not posting regularly, I know.

It's just, I don't know, I haven't been in the mood to write reflectively, and stuff.

So since my last blogpost...

I've decided to go to the West Chester University poetry conference! I'm really excited about it. Even my plane ticket is booked so now there is no turning back. The lovely folks at WCU have offered me a scholarship. When I realized scholarship wouldn't be enough, I sent them a very sad email explaining my situation (because, you know, airfare is really expensive and poets don't make a lot of money and I'm living on ramen noodles, ect) So what do they do?

Double my scholarship! Booya! I was soo unbelievably surprised at the gesture. Now I have no choice but to accept. My lovely parents have even paid for my plane ticket. Gosh I feel all warm, fuzzy, and loved by everyone :) Tis a wonderful feeling.

So I'm now fretting over the details. What to wear? What to bring? How to navigate large airports? Will I have a lot of free time to gab away on the phone with beloved Bruno? Will beloved Bruno feed/medicate our precious cats? So many questions, unknowns, a little scary... but I will get over it.

Other good news:

I have work forthcoming in BorderSenses! Woohoo! A big special thanks to Lau Cesarco Eglin for, um.... liking my work enough to accept it into the beautiful publication.

Wow, so it's been a good week for Katie.

On a side note, Saturday I graduate :) I must then forward be referred to as "MaStEr Katie." That will do nicely!

On one more side note, I've broken out into pimplies, which I hope will go away before West Chester...

Monday, May 2, 2011


There's the beautiful Boundless 2011 cover! Ahh, the reception was nice :-)

So back to the poetry festival:

The Valley International Poetry festival was great this year. I participated only in the anthology release reading, and had a great time. I got to talk to the featured poet, Ken Jones, who was super nice and gave me a signed copy of his latest chapbook, Bones of Rebellion :D In return, I gave him directions around the valley. Fair trade, right? LoL.

I'll post a few pics. A local photographer, Iliana Spitz, took some fantastic pictures! Mine, not so much. I'm more of a camera phone from the back kind of girl. The rest of the festival looked really excited, but honestly I needed some veg time this weekend.

So veg it out I did, plus did some GRE study. Phew, finally, that number is getting to where I need it to be.

Twas a good week for me :-) I'm excited for 'what's next' and can't wait to start moving forward!

In other news:

Did I ever mention about me applying for a scholarship with West Chester University's poetry conference/workshop?

Well, I applied - plus submitted to participate in Dana Gioia's juried poetry workshop. I got notification today that YES, I was selected to participate in Gioia's workshop and information on scholarship will come in the next few days!!!


Ahh... Yeah, ok if you'd like more info: