So my poem "Wingless Females" appears in the latest issue of Contemporary Verse 2.
This is a themed issue, dubbed No Place Like Home: A Winnipeg Issue, and includes poems and personal essays on aspects of Winnipeg writing as well as a section of visual art curated by J.J. Kegan McFadden.
I'd also submitted an essay about urban/nature poetry. I wanted to turn outward from my own ideas and practices and so I spent a month or so reading and re-reading collections by Winnipeg poets.
I wanted to note the various ways Winnipeg poets had approached the urban/natural. And a few categories emerged: parking lots and parkland poems, front yard / elm canopy poems, back yard / garden poems, and survey poetry or what I like to call poetry of return.
I pulled half of my poetry books down from my shelves, rifled impatiently through the stacks at libraries and bookstores for titles that weren't in my collection. I even solicited local publishers for books that weren't yet out but that I'd heard had urban/natural bents.
At the same time, I was attempting to edit three or four manuscripts that friends had entrusted to me, which was new! and exciting! but also frightening!
And the usual working/householding/childminding. And so the time allotted to write my essay elapsed far too quickly...
Which is to say that the day the essay was due that I went to work, came home and made dinner, and then sat in front of my computer, trying to write the essay. I scribbled until 6 am, then went to bed for two hours, then got up and went back to work.
I submitted something. But it wasn't very good. And I was mostly relieved when it was rejected, even if all my rushing around, all my scrawled notes and teetering piles of books were for naught...
Of course, the work isn't wasted. I have a much fuller sense of what my peers are writing and thinking on this place. I am now able to better articulate what I am doing in my own work and why. And I can always put some meat on the bones of my starved little essay...
In the meantime, I'm going to spend some time with Alison Calder and Catherine Hunter's ideas on writing the city, with poems by Jason Stefaniuk and Kerry Ryan and John K. Samson and Sharon Caseburg.