I’m recovering from the holiday celebrations and trying to gear myself up for the last two weeks of the semester. Somehow, I managed not to bring a lot of school work home with me, so this upcoming week, I will have piles of papers due. Then, I will have finals to grade. Then, the Christmas holiday. So to sum it all up — I am heading into the craziest time of the year.
I needed this break to relax, and I did. I managed to catch up a bit with my reading. In late December, I will be posting my top ten poetry picks of the year (full length collections published in 2011), and I have to say that it’s going to be hard — while I read a few collections that have disappointed me, most books published this year were very good. (I also just got done reading Kristin’s fantastic lists of poetry collections for Christmas. Take a look here for what she has to say! I know I will be making my wish list with her help!)
More importantly, however, I worked on my manuscript. I seldom blog about the painful project I call my first length poetry collection in progress. I read so many articles and so many essays about compiling a manuscript that I stare at my piles of poems scattered about my bed (usually with a cat involved somehow) and just get discouraged. Then, I quit and gather up the pile, throw the whole project in a folder, and stuff it into the bottom drawer of my desk. No lecture here, please: I know the collection is not going to get published this way.
But this break, I took time to sort through my poems. I got rid of some favorites because they didn’t quite fit with the flow of my collection. I also broke out of the awkward chronological order that seemed to want to dominate my book. Am I totally happy with the collection? No. But, I’m pretty satisfied. I think it’s a great start. Right now, my manuscript is sitting sealed in an envelope ready to go out into the world. I’m charging Anthony with post office duty on Monday!