Thursday, December 13, 2007

in a winter of bad news, some good

This month has started off with difficulty, I must admit--the fire, the loss of my grandfather. Quietly sad, these things, but there have been some good things recently, too:

- I will be a featured poet, along with Emily Bright, reading with Intermedia Art's Carol Connolly Series. It's slated to be at 7pm at the Banfill Locke Center for the Arts, a lovely farmhouse in Fridley. More information will be put on Intermedia's calendar, so you can watch for that.

- My poem "Counting" was accepted by Dislocate magazine and will be published in their Spring 2008 issue. You can order the issue straight from the website, or you can buy it in Twin Cities bookstores.

Last night was a bit of a comedy a la Love and Other Catastrophes. This is what it is, at university, to get anything done--much running about, from department to department, much confusion and signing and paperwork.

In order to apply for MFA programs, you must send in a great amount of paperwork, which is amusing because "they" all say it comes down to your manuscript (which, interestingly enough, did not include "Counting," but will now). There's your transcripts, your GRE scores, applications, your letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a fee, and, of course, your poems... sometimes additional essays, a c.v., etc.

Some of this, you simply have to have sent from various agencies, paying fees along the way--the GRE, your official transcripts. And there's the letters of recommendation, which, until recently, had been a source of panic for me. I didn't know who I could possibly ask--my principal? My department head? No professor from such a large university could possibly remember me from years ago in such a large classroom; the only classes I had that were small were taught (and taught well, for the most part) by TAs. Someone with a Master's in progress was, well, the same as me. Or my husband. But the people fell into place, and they're good ones too--my adviser and professor from my M.Ed program, Carolyn Forche, and my amazing peer Eireann Lorsung, who has a book and is in a Ph.D program and is just blazing a trail of accomplishment. Of course, I procrastinated, or just miscalculated the time, and what with me being an idiot, and England (where Eireann is studying) being a bit of a distance, I ended up calling the letters of rec office nearly every day, driving the people in the office nutty, I am certain.

Eireann's letter arrived yesterday. Applications for UC-Irvine and Cornell are due on the 15th. Fortunately, you can give them a FedEx overnight envelope, and they'll send your letters this way; I got the impression from Irvine's website that the 15th was a firm deadline, and I didn't want to muck about with Cornell. (Have you ever bought an overnight envelope for three sheets or so of paper? Eesh, expensive.) Anyway, timing what it was, there was a lot of running, a lot of last minutes, a building with flooding, a cough that wouldn't go away, and me missing some people by three minutes. But I think all is well, I think the letters will arrive on time, and if they don't, I'm hoping the effort of a FedEx package will appease that firm deadline.

If not, oh well. This is the girl who is applying to fourteen schools because she's bad at just one thing. I like to cover my ground.

Tonight, poetry at Intermedia. I'm sad that this experience only has a few more sessions left. I haven't had such good workshopping in quite some time, or possibly ever--they have good eyes, and what is said generally makes sense. I think my poems become much better pieces after they have combed through them.

After, I leave for Green Bay. I should arrive close to two in the morning. I will have to caffeinate myself, and we'll have to get up a scant few hours later to drive to Chicago to pick my sister up at the airport. Fortunately, Husband is lending me his minivan, so I will sleep in the backseat while my parents drive. One of the benefits of being "the kid" in this kind of situation.

Cross your fingers: that this weekend is peaceful for my grandmother. That my friends, who are expecting, have healthy babies. And my selfish crossed fingers: that I get into graduate school. I couldn't imagine a bigger relief than to have that time to spend focused on writing.

1 comment:

Ringo said...

Hey Molly,

Long time. Sorry bout g-dad. Lost my g-ma last month, so I know how shitty this time of year coupled with death can be... stay strong.

Luv. Luv.