Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Living The Dream, Part 2: Day 1

In case you missed Part 1, click here

Day 1

6:45 AM.  Two angry birds scream at each other. This will be my alarm clock for the next nine mornings. On my run, it begins to rain and then thunderstorm. I turn up my headphones and sing “Born This Way” at the top of my lungs to prevent hearing thunder claps.
9-10 AM: Check in old friends Kassie, Beth, Jina. Facebook each check-in as I go. 
10: Campus tour…I remember everything from the list T gave me except pointing out to new students the “safety room” in PDR. What’s a “safety room”?  
  1 10:30 AM: Orientation From Meg
  • “[We, as writers, sometimes think] Somehow someone’s success takes away from your own. The antidote is to fall in love with the work of someone else. By some magical process your own work improves and envy goes away.”
  • Students from 18 different states
  • “Keep an open mind. We all approach our work in different ways.”
  • “Positive criticism. Not tearing someone down. It’s all about making that poem the best it can be. “
  • “We are here because we are hopelessly intelligent…When you reach the point between intelligent response and kindness, choose kindness and intelligence will follow. “
  • “I hope that you all want to be seen…don’t expect to get discovered. Even if you meet agents and editors.”
  •  Program highlights: Dennis Lehane, Jacki Woodson, Lee Hope…Student Readings.
 GGrad lecture:  Kate Schmidt- Allusion in poetry…The negatives…Getting a handle on allusions. What is an allusion? It takes the reader outside the text, forces the reader to leave the familiar, brings in material that has nothing to do with the poem. “The first task of poems that I want to publish is that they are open to the reader.” – anon. Allusions can make it hard for the reader–that’s the negative. Sometimes writers sneak in agenda. Sometimes things are better dealt with indirectly. 
    Grad lecture: Suzanne Deshchidn: Contemplative Writing. Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Walking to get the creative juices flowing. Induce creative capacity in the brain. Contemplative, trying to get out of the left-brain and into the right. The artist way “changed my life”. You have to translate out of poetry (to the fiction/prose writers). “Beat out with your feet the words and rhythms…”says Suzanne about using walking to help induce creativity. Making your bed…anything you do can be a contemplative act…be present to the moment…meditative mundane. Using rocking chairs, creative impulses. Anything rhythmic. No agenda. No time frame.  “This isn’t for poetry only…”

T  The rest of the afternoon to evening...
Later in the day, as I hustle from a grad lecture to the office, Meg takes my pic 'cause I look official with my Solstice t-shirt and clipboard. Then T and I meet about selling books…but it barely begins before we realize we are missing books…T goes to find said books, and I go around to double check rooms. Along the way, I see a lost student and scribble a note on my clipboard about said student. (Later I will have the chutzpah to retrieve lost students and deliver them to workshops). Then, finally, moments before the Welcome Reception, T and I meet about the book-selling…It all seems easy until I have to do it. (Grad assistant secret:  T  likes to come in here and touch all the books each morning). She tells me to think of this as a “lemonade stand”. It’s stressful at first, but when I see T at the end, she is so reassuring, I figure all is okay…Then, we have our first faculty readings: Favorite line from T’s reading: I was aware that I was enunciating wildly and using my stage voice. 
Love what Joanne says about David in her intro: “David scripts the edginess of the tumultuous years.” David reads "Turning Japanese" from Rush Hour and I remember why I love David so much. Great line, “Cleaning my tonsils so hard I almost threw up.” 
Susan introducing Sterling: “It’s my pleasure to introduce the writer I want to be when I grow up.” Great lines from his reading, “For Adam and Eve, the past was a ruined garden.”  “There lips together in a rocking kiss…”  “Separate from his will his skin recoiled.”

Stay tuned for Day 2 tomorrow...


Laure-Anne Bosselaar said...

Great, Hannah -- you got me hooked and ooking forward to more

Angela Foster said...

You did a great job at residency, Hannah. I can't wait to read tomorrow's post.

Beth Grosart said...

No pressure but... MORE MORE! This is really great, Hannah. Miss you!

Rick Carr said...

The clipboard holding picture is clutch!!!

Joanne Carnevale said...

Love the line about falling in love with the writing of others in order to be happy for their success and not feel it blocks our own. Indeed, that positive feeling should lead to positive results like improvement in our own writing. The negative feeling of envy can only spiral downward toward undesirable negative results.
BTW, you do look official in your t-shirt with your clipboard and pen. What a splendid experience for you! I must admit to loving your writing and feeling thrilled for your success and the wonderful opportunities it has brought you. Yay!

Anonymous said...

I've loved reading all of these, Hannah, but I'm posting on this one, because I love this photo of you with the clipboard. So wonderful.

Hannah R. Goodman said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone. Good to see that people are enjoying it (even those not in the program but who should be JOANNE!!!)

Thank you from the bottom of my (uh, I mean Tanya's) clipboard! xoxo