Just finished breakin bread with the Fiction fellows here at VONA. Not only was the discussion fruitful (mad talk on what we’re reading and how we are goin to infiltrate the system) but it also proved profitable in that I sold two chapbooks which equals free meal which equals a moment of poetic happiness.
It has been an interesting workshop environment that I would like to emulate in the future- first we have an open mic (poems that we were assigned to write the night before based on another poem), then we go over an interview of a poet-of-color regarding politics and/or process and then we start workshopping poems. What I really dig is how the middle discussion tends to exhaust personal political tangents so that when we talk about the poem in workshop we are focusing on language, intent and emotion instead. Good stuff, for sure.
To back track for a second, the interviews also tend to revolve around what (if any) responsibility a writer has and more and more I keep coming back to this conclusion- My responsibility is to make the best art I possibly can and present it in a professional manner.
Well, at least that’s how I feel today and I am looking forward to seeing how I feel aout this in 10 years or even 10 hours.