Monday, July 15, 2013

Why I Love the Texas Poetry Calendar

Proudly Modeling My Contributor Copy
There's something awesome about this here nifty calendar. So here's the story -- each year, Dos Gatos Press puts out their poetry calendar. This is my second year being a part of the awesome project. I'm honored to be 2014's July poem! :D In 2013, I'm December (the absolute LAST poem of the collection!).

Anyway, why do I like this little collection? Well, first off, poets from all around the state submit, from El Paso to Orange, from Abilene to Brownsville. The poems are loosely tied to a regionalisms, so needless to say, the collections full of "flavor." My poem this time around is an ode to Shiner-drinking women, which, maybe I fall into that category more often than I'll admit. I love Texas. I love Texas poetry. It's varied and complex and beautiful, but at the same time, there's this tough spirit to it.

What else do I like about the collection? So this part's a little more pie in the sky, but recently, I attended a panel discussion on the power of anthologies to build communities. This really struck a cord with me. I like to think the TPC works in this way, too -- to bring Texas poets together, to represent the best of what our state has to offer in terms of our verse, and to define what it is we do. The editors also set up readings throughout the state, so yes, the poets get to meet each other, read alongside each other, and celebrate, talk, mix. All good stuff, because, well, let's face it, Texas is frickin' huge and sometimes we can get isolated in our micro-communities. There's a bigger community out there of Texas poets, and that's a good thing.

And there's one more thing. I love this calendar because it gives me a "place" to only write dates about poetry :-P So, yeah, it's practical too.

Anyway, get yourself a copy. You can find them here: Dos Gatos Press

Or on Amazon. But please, buy from Dos Gatos, because they're really cool cats. Hah.

Oh, and how about a little caveat? I look terrible in my picture. I've been sick. Lemmie alone!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Slight Change of Plans

Soooo... my classes were canceled. Enrollment was bleh. Today would have been my first day back at work, but instead, I have another month and a half of vacation! Ahhhhh... what am I going to DO with myself? :D

But I guess it's ok. In fact, this past week, I've hit a new vein in my writing. I'm back to writing my cowgirl Ovid poems, which I needed to work on because, well, I need to finish up this series. These poems are actually my favorite ones to write, so it's been a pretty wild week so far, writing wise. Wild, hah. I spend most of my times in my bathrobe and I'm lucky to actually get off my duff and leave the house once a day :-P Ok, not so wild after all.

In other news, it looks like once I get back to work, I'm hitting the ground running. I'm planning to present at the upcoming Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers Conference in Fort Worth, in addition to serving as a guest lecturer for the Writers Live series at the University of Texas at Brownsville. So maybe I should just really soak up this lull, this calm. The storm's on the horizon! But you know what, I like the rain :-)

More details, of course, will be posted soon.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Katie's Summer State of Mind

This summer (so far) has been pretty laid back. I've had the house to myself, and while I'm getting work done, it's not necessarily as much as I had dreamed of. I'm learning that my poetry pace is, perhaps, a little slow, and that's ok. My work is evolving, changing, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm also learning that cats can be a serious distraction :-P And that I really haven't found the occasion to blog as much as I'd hoped.

Since my last blog post, I've written 8 new pieces, though they're not exactly polished just yet. I need workshop.

I've also written and found a home for a new book review (yay!) which should be out shortly. I'm working on another review, too, so my goal before the fall rolls around will be to finish that, too.

I've also been doing a lot of editing. I'm working as a book screener again this summer, which is always rewarding, yet time consuming. I think it's important to see what other poets are doing, what's working, and what really isn't.

And this. I've been taking care of myself, mentally, spiritually, and physically. I think this is the most important accomplishment. I know that as a writer, to produce, I need to feel nourished. So I'm reading regularly again, I'm meditating, praying, contemplating. I'm eating better, too. I'm running regularly again, and I've even started lifting weights (hah... ok, the puny ones). For the most part, my body's been rewarding me with feeling good, except, well, for the past few days, but that'll pass, I'm sure.

A week from today, I go back to work, though I'm easing back in. I'm only teaching one composition class. My hope is to keep up this routine of writing, reading, taking care of myself even through the fall.  And my hope is that this will nourish me and the work I produce. Slow and steady? Yeah. But perhaps that's ok. I'm in a summer state of mind, and I'm savoring it :)

Fall, please don't come around too soon, ok?