This time of year always seems to bring a mixture of joy and sadness. The spirit of the holiday seasons no matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or of any other belief denote a massage of love and hope. While there are elements of joy associated with the season, in many places individuals face harsh weather without the normal elements of comfort not do to anything other than current misfortune.
The stark difference between the joy and the sadness do not go unnoticed by most of us. I think poets may actually be more keenly aware of those who divergent emotions and how they apply to real life situation involving real live people.
I am thinking of one such person tonight that means so much to me, though I am sure there are many. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them, that they may find the resources to maintain utilities and be safe from the elements of their weather in living quarters compromised by lack of utilities. And for those on the streets as homeless, too.
I would ask us each to offer our own prayers for these people as I do for my friend as well.
AWP 21 has come and gone. It will likely be remembered as the Pandemic Conference. The conference that was to be in Kansas City, Missouri, and for me it was, but not in the way I had hoped or wanted. I did the conference from my living room on my laptop virtually. I would like to tell you it sucked, but it didn't. I would tell you it was great, but that too would be incorrect.
In the end, I benefited from it. It was cheap with no hotel or air flights. No meals out. No Uber rides to off site location.
It was in some respects a lonely event. It was harder to connect directly with friends and meet new people, although I was able on a very small scell to do so. There was no swag. There were no hugs. I did enjoy some readings and a couple of the panels i felt were very beneficial to me. There were quite a few instances where my mind seemed to be challenged in my thoughts about literature in various genre, not just my own. I also feel the conference suggested to me that I should try to move beyond to poetry in some ways. Memoir and essay most came to mind. But these thoughts were more like giving me permission to try, to explore a bit, not driving me to abandon poetry or even implying that I should follow such efforts seriously. I
I of course ordered books and they have started to trickle in. I missed not bring a suitcase full of new books home and promptly unpacking them and exploring them right away.
So far I have received the following:
Michael Allyn Wells - notes & musings