I’ve spent considerable time this past month or so in what I call “Out of My Comfort Zone.” I’ve been writing a lot of things I don’t usually write. For instance, I finished two poems a week ago — both poems fall into the rewriting women’s mythology category. One poem retold the princess-kisses-frog-finds-prince story in the Rust Belt setting. Another poem retold the story of Eve (from the Bible’s claim to fame). I don’t dabble with a lot of persona poetry(although, I love reading persona poems), so while I liked both of these poems, I’m not sure they are really “me.” Still, I sent them off to a market that publishes a lot of women’s poetry. We will see what happens.
I have also dabbled more with the prose poem — and I have enjoyed that. Fans of the Scrapper Poet will recall that I posted a note a few weeks ago about my confusion about the prose poem. Still, I have found that writing prose poems does give me a “time out” from my worries about line breaks and I can focus on language more. Believe it or not, I have also sent out three prose poems for possible publication.
And, it looks like I won’t be moving back into the Comfort Zone for awhile — at least not entirely. Next semester I am teaching a British Literature survey class. Now, I have taught this class before but it has been at least six years. I have grad work in Brit Lit — and this class, which covers 1800 to the present, is my favorite time period. I love the 19th century novel. But alas, my students don’t. Even my students who love to read avoid the thick masses of Dickens, Austen, and Hardy. So, I am using an anthology, but I’m looking for the perfect Victorian novel. I have already decided to use War of the Worlds by HG Wells (I know, I know, not the typical choice for a survey lit class, but I have plans…) But I want to use another one — what to do, what to do…I’m thinking either Emily Bronte or Thomas Hardy. No, I’m not using Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! In fact, Jane Austen is not my favorite although so many of my students love her….Do I have any Brit Lit novel readers? What would you suggest?