My new chapbook The Ornithologist Poems is now available from dancing girl press!
As always, Kristy Bowen does such a fabulous job!!! I'm very excited--can you tell by my use of exclamation marks?
Yesterday I was busy organizing my computer folders and realized I'm horrible at keeping track of some things (like how many poems I've actually published in a year). I'm trying to keep track of my published poems for grants and stuff. So after reviewing my system, I decided to open a folder of poetry stuff just for 2015. Keeping my poems, my submissions, my acceptances and rejections all in one place. We'll see if that helps. You'd think that kind of organization would be an obvious thing, but....
I also was facebooking and came across this wonderful commencement speech a MacArthur Genius Fellow had given. Teresita Fernández has this wonderful list of things artists should remember so I'm sharing them here because I think they're spot on:
requires time — there’s a reason it’s called a studio practice.
write well and get into the habit of systematically applying for every
grant you can find. If you don’t get it, keep applying. I lived from grant
money for four years when I first graduated.
Nobody reads artist’s statements.
Learn to tell an interesting story about your work that people can relate
to on a personal level.
project will survive. Purge regularly, destroying is intimately connected
to creating. This will save you time.
privately. As much as I believe in stumbling, I also think nobody else
needs to watch you do it.
people say your work is good do two things. First, don’t believe them.
Second, ask them, “Why”? If they can convince you of why they think your
work is good, accept the compliment. If they can’t convince you (and most
people can’t) dismiss it as superficial and recognize that most bad
consensus is made by people simply repeating that they “like” something.
ever feel like you have to give anything up in order to be an artist. I
had babies and made art and traveled and still have a million things I’d
like to do.
need a lot of friends or curators or patrons or a huge following, just a
few that really believe in you.
yourself to be gracious to everyone, whether they can help you or not. It
will draw people to you over and over again and help build trust in
And lastly, when other things in
life get tough, when you’re going through family troubles, when you’re
heartbroken, when you’re frustrated with money problems, focus on your
work. It has saved me through every single difficult thing I have ever had
to do, like a scaffolding that goes far beyond any traditional notions of