11 October 2007

Sweater Weather

Autumn has arrived in Akron, Ohio. It's spitting out there right now, and in the 50s. At least it feels Octoberish. Sweater weather is upon us. I suddenly have the urge to purchase a ton of corduroy. As you'll see from the picture above, this fall is kind of lame in the color department, likely because it was a dry summer.

My Winter Wheat session is finally up. If you're going to WW and interested in the academic job market, check it out. I'll give you tips that the Chronicle of Higher Education won't (not even Ms. Mentor!), and now that I've been on the other side of the table I can offer a lot of new advice.

There's a nice piece about the Jeannine + Mary reading in Fredonia here. We're on page A-11. Many thanks to Elizabeth for writing the article!

I am teaching a Craft & Theory of Poetry class in Fall 08, and I need to think of a focus. I was going to do something pedagogical, but I'm already bored with that idea (which is not a good sign). Nobody seems particularly excited about prose poems, and I'm afraid I'll scare people off if I do experimental poetry as the theme. Sara thinks I should do something more micro in scale. All of my ideas are expansive: writing the Midwest, poetry of place, the body, first books.

We're reading Here, Bullet in my New Poetry class, and I'm surprised how divided the students are in their reactions to the book. It really gets under my skin. I have a hard time liking books after I've taught them sometimes, though. Anyone else have this problem?


Sara said...

Hey, I like that midwest idea. Besides, you don't have to listen to me since I'll never get to take the class. : (

Karen J. Weyant said...

I would love to see a poetry of place class --- only because I would want to see your booklist! (I would love to go back in time and become a MFA student!)

Penultimatina said...

Sara, don't make me frizzle out this new laptop with tears! ;)

Karen, I may just have to write up a book list even if I don't teach it!

Karen J. Weyant said...

Thanks, Mary. Oh, and by the way, I loved Here, Bullet.

Justin Evans said...

I would like to see a poetry of place class, for obvious reasons, but also because of this quote by my mentor, dave Lee:

Lee: American poetry is primarily regional. Eighteen years ago, I had a postdoctoral fellowship to study the American long poem with Roy Harvey Pierce at the University of California. In class, Pierce asked, "Is Four Quartets an American poem?" As you know, I'm a shy person in groups. Several people ventured answers. Then Pierce said, "All of you are missing the point. This is obviously an American poem because it is written about a specific place."

The full interview is here:


the idea of a course focused on place seems, in my opinion, to be expansive rather than constricting.

As for Here, Bullet, my take as a combat veteran, is that this is not only accurate as to the experience of combat, but to it's emotional weight in the aftermath. I don't know if any of your students are interested in my opinion, but having a first hand knowledge of what Brian is talking about (limited as mine is) takes my opinion beyond politics.

Adam Deutsch said...

I find I never teach the same book twice...but I've only been at this stuff for a few minutes.

Nin Andrews said...

I want to see your syllabus! I want to read the books your class reads. Could you mail it to me? Or can I find it on line?

Nin Andrews said...

I know that you were saying you don't like that book or something like it . . . But you have the KA book on your list, right?

I'm always looking for new reads that someone else is reacting too, either strongly up or down . . . So much is in the middle, sort of like milk toast.

Penultimatina said...

Nin, I will definitely send you my syllabus. I may have to ask for your input, too! :)

There's no way I'll stop liking the KA book (we haven't read it yet), and the only effect Midlife Crisis... had after teaching it has been my ability to only write prose poems. You wouldn't believe how much your book has helped with Saint Monica! So I guess there's hope for me yet.

J. Newberry said...

Hi Mary,

You've been tagged.

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