I am thrilled to report on this blog that I will once again be blogging on a more regular basis because I have finished my master’s thesis and in July will defend and graduate from Ashland University with my MFA degree! My thesis is a collection of about 70 poems entitled “Topography of the Light-Filled.”
I have begun sending out individual poems for acceptance into literary journals and already two have been accepted for publication in Foothill: A Journal of Poetry. “ECT” is a poem about shock therapy used on patients diagnosed with mental illness, and “Here is How” is a more personal poem about my own challenges in learning the instincts of motherhood without the gift of a nurturing mother.
Mothers and Daughters and more specifically the strong matrilineal bonds in Native American Culture pervade the poems in my thesis.
As if that isn’t enough good news….I will begin teaching as an adjunct professor of writing at my alma mater–McPherson College–this fall semester.
Wow, it has been a long time between posts. Here I am in the last semester before my “thesis” semester at Ashland University’s MFA Program, a semester which I would have to label as “Self-Doubt.” It’s the time in the program when after working my poetic tail off, I realize that I have close to 100 poems, all of which need some kind of revision or work before my thesis will be accepted. Opening my blog site and reading through some of my older posts and poems tonight has given me a much-needed boon of confidence. To put it bluntly, I am weary of writing poems, weary of studying about Native American history, and weary of this quest for clarity in my poems which I must achieve before next semester’s thesis mentor is going to give me the “pass” sign. I have learned so much that I am sure I will be blog-processing the ways in which I have grown as a writer for many years to come. I will be sharing poems and poets I have discovered. I will continue to write poems. But right now…I just want to clean and organize my house and cook several decent meals from scratch in a row.
I love this poem by Joy Harjo. Hopefully, tomorrow I will link some photos of Ashland University’s beautiful campus. I am in intense writer/reader mode! So much to learn…so many ideas…this is an inspiring place.
I am focusing in my solitude on methods to slow down my writing process, to improve within my writing routine, the savory flavor of letting ideas ruminate and cure before spilling them on the page. I need to become a distance runner as a poet instead of a sprinter.
How to slow my mind down? How to wait for the great poem, instead of settling for the onslaught of fast ideas?
Working on a mini-presentation for tomorrow’s workshop on the tense and time travel through light in the poetry of Mark Strand.