Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Public Life

Okay: an admission, I'm not a daily blogger. I don't seem to put photos on my blog. But I make no claims to be a daily blogger, a photo poster. So what do I claim? That when the urge comes to blog, I will blog. And here I am, after a slightly lazy early part of the day, reading the paper, thinking about the football Giants chances tomorrow, I got serious and worked on some new poems for most of the afternoon. Six to be exact. They all need a lot of work and I'm not sure how good they are. Three of them are for my anti-memoir, the other three are for, well, they are just there, to go into the file of poems 2007- which eventually will become something.

Most of my time this past week has been spent finalizing my two new courses for the spring. Spanish surrealism feels like it's in very good shape--I like the readings a lot and have begun to think seriously about what paintings from Miro, Dali, Picasso and Varo to focus on. I wasn't able to put these on the course syllabus but I will be able to give them to the students at some point early in the semester. I put the reader together (it only lacks Lorca's play El Publico/The Public which Lorca started while he was in New York and finished when he returned to Spain. It's his most surreal play and it's also one where he acknowledges his homosexuality (something he publicly begins to do in his writing in Poet in New York). As for my advanced poetry class, since the focus is on the long poem, we'll read three "short" long poems to start the semester, Eliot's The Waste Land, Ginsberg's Howl, and Notley's September's Book. The second half of the semester we'll read Eliot's Four Quartets, this the idea of the "long" long poem. Of course, the students will be writing their own long poems along the way.

Thursday and Friday were Poet in New York publicity days. Thursday Pablo and I did an hour long interview with Bob Edwards for The Bob Edwards Show which is on XM satellite radio. I'm not sure of the air date, but once it airs, if you don't have satellite radio you can hear it on the website or as a podcast. Pablo and I thought this went well--Edwards asked good questions, had a nice easy manner--felt quite relaxed as soon as we started and I'd been feeling very nervous before.

Friday we taped for the WNET (Channel 13 in New York) show New York Voices which will air February 12 (this is a date change from February 5 which is the day of the big primaries and so they wisely moved it). Once this airs, it goes into their archives so you can go to their website and see it. The shoot, I have to admit, was exhausting. It went on for three hours. Rafael Pi Roman, the interviewer (like Bob Edwards), really knew his stuff and he asked some very good, thought provoking questions. It's interesting how being interviewed is not like teaching (where one does most of the questioning). You don't know what's coming, have to think fast. Pablo and I walked out exhausted but feeling pretty good. The interview as another form of our collaboration.

Today Pablo left for Las Vegas, won't return to NY until AWP 30 January. Our book party is on the 31st. So far we've been getting some nice responses to the book (the Daily News did a small piece on the book for their Latino section --it mainly focuses on Pablo, which makes sense, given the section's audience). You can see this on-line at the Daily News website.

So that's a little bit of the life lately.

Go Giants!

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