meta-blogging: the state of things

36 hours to go until the madness that is NaPoWriMo begins…

So I’ve been less than thorough about updating in March, but I am unashamed. Unashamed, I tell you! The big news lately is that I’m starting a PhD, and probably going to Vermont for a writer’s residency this summer, and whatnot. I’ve sorted all that out just in time for the April things, but it’s left little time for nattering on the blog. However, all that will be changing starting April 1, when I’m doing, just to re-iterate:
– a daily found poem rearranged in Oulipo style for the Oulipost challenge
– a daily poem for the charitable Poem-a-Thon, to raise money for the Ali Forney Center (see below)
– possibly a THIRD daily poem (though I’m sure I’ll be doing as much crossover as possible) for Poetic Asides
– giving away some books for the Poetry Giveaway (post to follow)
– perhaps the occasional prompt (see below)
– my usual workshopping extravaganza once to thrice per week

You’ll have to forgive me if I’m a bit frazzled for the next several weeks. But I live on frazzlement.

Yesterday I went to the Rainbow Book Fair, as I often do, and had a marvelous time, as I often do. Someday I might try to get more involved in it: reading at the poetry salon, putting out a book, something. But for the time being, it echoes the Poem-a-Thon project I’m doing. I’ve posted this on Facebook and whatnot, but I’ll say it here: please consider donating at this here page I’ve set up once April begins (or sooner, even).

What’s it all about?Kristin LaTour started this event (last year, I think?) where poets write a poem a day, and charitable folk donate. I’m taking part this year!
Which charity are you funding?I’m raising money for the Ali Forney Center in New York. The Center provides shelter and services to homeless or disadvantages LGBTQ youth in the city, including mental health services, medical care, and just a roof to sleep under. They were hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy and had to move to a new space; while they’ve been recovering, they’re still dealing with rough times and need all the funding they can get. My goal is to raise $1000 in the month of April to help with their programs which are absolutely essential to an ever-growing population in New York.
What do I get out of it?Besides the thrill of helping people? I’m working out a system similar to Kristin’s, where depending on how much you give (and presuming I figure out some way you can show me your donation record), I’ll do a poem on a theme of your choice and/or mail you a broadside done all artistically and whatnot. Note, however, that because of the socially-conscious nature of the project, most of my poems for the month will probably be in the solar system of LGBTQ youth life (limited as my experience is with some of the hardships that these teens face), so don’t ask me for a poem about Jesus bunnies or a contemplation of scallops or something.
How much do I have to give?I believe the donation site accepts any amount, but I’d recommend dropping at least $10. (I have no idea what the threshold is for tax incentives or whatever.) Every little bit helps, seriously. For the stuff above (theme, broadside), I’ll probably set a fairly high threshold: $50 maybe. Look for a post on Tuesday to kickoff the project.

I already talked about Oulipost elsewhere, and the Book Giveaway gets its own post once I scrounge through my shelves and figure out what I’m going to offer…

…but also, a brief word about prompts. You may have noticed that I haven’t dropped a “resonance” post in a while. I’m trying to figure out if I want to continue that series, because things honestly haven’t been resonating with me lately. I’m thinking about going back to the Renovation series for April (when I took found lines from “poems of the day” around the Internet and random things in my vicinity), since they’re much easier and less headspace-consuming to set up and post. I’m also always willing to bring back the Refinery if people want me to look at poems (when I have time, eek!), but ultimately I’m looking for your feedback. Do people find this all helpful? Is there enough on my plate that you’ll forgive me if I take a break from prompting, even though I love it so? Opinions needed and welcome!

They’re going to kick me out of the cafe soon, so I’d better scamper. But thanks for slogging through all this, and guys: I’m so psyched for life. I’m even more psyched for April. I’m most of all psyched to have you on the journey with me.

6 thoughts on “meta-blogging: the state of things

  1. b_young says:

    But wait! PhD????? Where? And the Res? See what happens when you keep close to the chest. We have questions, sir.

  2. Misky says:

    Wonderful news about your PhD, Joseph, and many congratulations.

    I enjoy your Resonance prompts. I’ve been quiet during March because I was off-line visiting family. I’d miss your prompts, but ultimately your time is yours to use as you will (not mine to decide). Renovations is also a favourite of mine. Whatever time in whatever quantity you can offer is welcome.

    I regret that during my time off-line I received notice/invitation of Oulipost but without a computer I did not respond in time to join those prompts. I intend to do so unofficially.

    Again, well done, and happy writing during April

  3. Dear Superman, when you come back down to earth, please accept my felicitations and best wishes for your success in all these undertakings.

    I have been cutting back too, and haven’t picked up on your prompts for a while. Whatever you decide is fine by me, as I always read the gist of your prompts in my email.

  4. Hi Joseph
    Vermont sounds lovely, a phd is great. Nice to hear of nice thinkgs happening. I will go with “Miz Quickly” this aprill – too many people in Robert’s site.

  5. tanbiere says:

    Good luck! It’s a lot on your plate. I’ve been reading you quite a while now. and while I prefer a kind of zen approach to poetry, I’m really interested (vicariously) in your various complex approaches to it. As an aside, I think you could cross-post anything from NaPoWriMo to your poem-a-thon.

  6. Yousei Hime says:

    Congratulations!!!! I’m hoping to start mine next fall. Who knows, I might invite Prof. Harker to do a poetry workshop on our humble campus.

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