The Turn Back To Fiction
With my novel, Conquering Venus, back out at two publishers (three if you count the one in London that's had it for nearly a year with no response. I'm talking to you, Legend Press!), I turned my attention to the 208 pages I've written on the second novel. I hadn't looked at those pages in a year or more and was delighted to find that more than half of them are viable. I need a little poetry break, so the next collection is going back in the drawer for a few months while I bring novel number two up to speed. I'm actually excited about diving back into it.
Of course, I won't be turning totally away from poetry. I have readings coming up, individual poems that need revising and a short list of journals I plan to submit to in the coming weeks. But going back to work on the collection just doesn't fill me with unicorns and rainbows at the moment. I glanced at it over the New Year's holiday weekend (before illness descended upon me) and it needs significant work and, frankly, I just ain't in the mood. And besides...it's not like I'm the J.K. Rowling of poetry. Or Mary Oliver for that matter. No one is going to be waiting in line at midnight wearing a wizard cape to get their hands on my next collection of poems, so there's no rush.
Some heartbreaking news in Atlanta today: the incredible staff of The Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House was laid off. As a matter of fact, the entire workforce at the house was let go save for one staffer and a couple of part-timers. The Atlanta History Center, which owns and operates the house, cut 74 employees because of the economy. My friends Julie Bookman and Melanie Eisenhart did incredible work at The Literary Center, including Poetry Out Loud, which is apparently in limbo now. Just before the holidays, Julie and Melanie had asked me to emcee the state finals of Poetry Out Loud later this spring. It's a huge loss to the literary community in Atlanta, and it's unclear if the AHC will continue The Literary Center in any shape or fashion. Here's the article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.