Saturday, November 10, 2007

Palm Beach

The first week of August was a magical one for me. I met one of my most beloved poets, Carolyn Forche, which embarked me on a continual mentorship; she is helping me with portfolio for graduate school, and when that is done, I'm going to see if I can get some help putting together a chapbook manuscript.

In early autumn, I began to send out my poetry. I hadn't really done that, not in all earnestness, ever, which is strange because I felt as if I had. Instead, I look back, and I only submitted to the undergraduate literary magazine; I also had a short story published in what was essentially a vanity press anthology (though I didn't realize it at the time) when I was in high school. Nothing much, just enough to have an idea of what it was to "send stuff out."

I also filled out applications to two programs, two competitive events, mostly as practice for graduate school applications. I didn't think I would get accepted; I don't have much self confidence when it comes to these things.

However, I did get accepted to the Intermedia Arts Writer to Writer program, and I've been having a wonderful time making the trek to the Twin Cities, the workshops being the most helpful I've had in a good long while. I am trying to look at my own writing through new eyes; I've recently mentioned how hard it is to clearly revise poems for me.

And this morning, I woke up to find I was accepted into the Palm Beach Poetry Festival this winter. One week, at the end of January, where I will think of nothing but poetry, will wake up to the sunshine, will stay in a hotel (a week in a hotel! Is it just me, or do other people love the idea of escaping to somewhere fairly unknown, laptop in hand, holed up in a fancy hotel while the world continues on for a little while in your absence?)... Husband may be able to come with me for a little while (he has family in Palm Beach) and my students will prepare for exams without me.

My principal OK'ed it, which further endears me to her. She also immediately said OK to my leaving an hour and a half early from parent-teacher conferences in order to attend the first Intermedia meeting, which was already so kind of her. Now, she suggested places I seek for funding regarding the trip, though I am not going to tap into the local school system's already limited resources. However, the thought that I might get financial assistance from the district is sweet, and it shows some unwavering support I didn't expect to have. I simply held my breath in hopes that I could take off that time--that Monday is a holiday, and I have two personal days, but generally it's frowned upon to take them next to a holiday, and I'd still have two more days I would need to take--it's a lot of time and at a rough time in the school year. (Husband actually didn't think I'd be allowed to go.)

So this is my good news of the day. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity, humbled, really, and I plan to go into it with an open heart, a thrilled and blessed heart.


Sue said...

Congratulations, Molly! Way to go and how wonderful to be able to immerse yourself. Hope Ryan can go as well. SK

lizzie said...

Congratulations! I saw the list of faculty and guests and you're in for a treat. Sharon Olds is one of my favorites. Plus you'll love Roger Bonair-Agard's dreamy voice and poignant pieces. He's a slam poet I can appreciate!