Teaching Workshop at Wendy’s

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In November I will be teaching a four-week writing workshop at Wendy’s Subway.  Full description of the workshop is below. I am really excited to teach this workshop. Maybe you want to sign up?

The Heart of the Matter: A Workshop for Writings in Progress
Led by Jackie Clark
Dates: Sundays November 4, 11, 18, and December 2
Time: 1-3:30pm
Capacity: 12 participants
Cost: $100-200 total (sliding scale, $25-50/session)
Register here.

Part of the challenge that a poet faces is the need to distill their work down to the essence of whatever feeling or experience they are trying to capture/convey—what Graham Greene calls “the heart of the matter,”—while at the same time seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what is going on in their writing that they might not yet be fully aware of. Often, turning to reading that one feels a kinship to and discussing it with others can help generate new entries into one’s own work, bringing its gestures and objectives into clearer focus.

This four-week poetry workshop invites participants to share a specific work-in-progress of no more than 10 pages (chapbook excerpt, long poem, manuscript…), which could benefit from dialogue with others. We will think about how to construct this dialogue in studying writing we feel our own works have particularly affinity to, and developing vocabularies to discuss these kindred approaches and aesthetics together.

During our first meeting, participants will bring and share a piece of writing (of no more than 2 pages) by a writer other than themselves, whose work seems to exhibit the “heart” or aesthetics of what they are looking to achieve in their own writing. Together we will determine a vocabulary for what we value in that writing and discuss how we try to exhibit those values and make use of those strategies in our own work. We will then use this collaboratively generated vocabulary as a resource for understanding and talking about each other’s’ writing. The second and third sessions will be dedicated to workshopping each participants’ work, while the fourth will serve as a platform to share our newly edited drafts together during a group reading.

“If one knew, he wondered, the facts, would one have to feel pity even for the planets? If one reached what they called the heart of the matter?”

Jackie Clark is the author of Aphoria (Brooklyn Arts Press) and the chapbooks Office Work(Greying Ghost), I Live Here Now (Lame House Press), and Sympathetic Nervous System (Bloof Books). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Brooklyn Rail, The Tiny, and the anthology Ritual and Capital co-published by Wendy’s Subway and Bard Graduate Center. A new chapbook, Depression Parts, is forthcoming from dancing girl press. She works at Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts at The New School and teaches writing in New Jersey. She can be found online at nohelpforthat.com

Still Here & Romanticism

IMG_5382image via Mary Corse.

Deactivated my Facebook for a bit (forever?).

Also, rekindling my love of Raymond Carver, bumped into this poem like an old friend:

Romanticism

The nights are very unclear here.
But if the moon is full, we know it.
We feel one thing one minute,
something else the next.

What else is (my) life, if not this?

Spring

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

via Poetry Foundation

10 Years of Poets off Poetry & AWP Tampa

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I’m late posting this news here but after 10 years I’ve decided to put my series Poets off Poetry/Song of the Week on an indefinite hiatus.  I wrote something to try to commemorate the moment. You can read it here. 10 years is a long time to do something and toward the end of 2017 the series felt closer and closer to it’s natural end. I am of course sad about this but also feel super proud and grateful to the hundreds of contributors. It’s something to be happy about having done all these years! I’ve diligently kept a Spotify playlist for all the Song of the Weeks, which you can listen to here.  It’s truly been my pleasure to curate this series.

Also, another year, another AWP. Or this year, Whale Prom. Whale Prom is a free off-site book fair that actually isn’t really associated with the conference at all. I will be helping to staff the Bloof Books table and am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces. Also, AWP is in Tampa this year and I am so excited for the warm weather.

☀

New Year, Old Stuff: The Elephants

Well, here we are, another year. They do seem to feel less eventful as they accumulate, don’t they? Or maybe they are eventful except they stop really feeling that way? Or maybe it’s just me?

I forgot to tell you about some poems that got published in December. The Elephants, a new-ish press and journal, published a short sequence called 9-5. You can read it here. I’m really happy these poems found a home where they did.

Some exciting new too: Dancing Girl Press accepted my chapbook Depression Parts. The chapbook should be out in the fall of 2018.

Otherwise, I have some manuscripts and some poems out for consideration. Maybe 2018 will bring with it bountiful returns. Or not. Who knows.

Even though I feel a bit in the winter doldrums, I should remember that there are things to be grateful for in 2018. I got a new job at The New School in May that has really changed a lot of things for me. Even though I’ve been in the new job for nine months I still feel as grateful as I did on day one. I think I am still emerging from a six year long fugue state.  Even though I knew how dark things were I don’t think I really understood just how dark until I started to wake up from it.

Plus I just got a last minute class at New Jersey City University for the spring. I taught there for the first time in the fall and it is just the sort of situation I have been hoping for. I am teaching a creative writing class and the school is about a 15 minute drive from my house. It’s really wonderful and definitely helps to combat the administrative day job.

Also, I will be reading some new poems in the Red Room at KGB on Friday, February 23 if you are so inclined.  Facebook invite here.

If you want poems before then you can always go to Amy Lawless’ and Anglea Veronica Wong’s joint book party at HOWL Happening in the East Village on January 21.  Facebook invite here.

Otherwise, 2018, here we go.