It’s incredible how the time flies because I seriously feel like I sent a newsletter out last week and it has been months! The last one was on the winter solstice actually, so maybe I am on equinox time. (I also feel like 2019 was last year, so there’s that, too.)
We’ve entered spring and there are tiny crocuses along our street and those bursts of yellow and purple give me hope.
This weekend I took my kid to see Girl in Red at the Paradise for an all-ages show. I haven’t been to live music in so long and it was so awesome to pop to music with Ollie. They are always so passionate about live music, so it’s a joy to watch.
Every month I have been setting intentions with a group of lovely & badass women. It does help me look ahead with purpose because it gives me a little bit of distance and allows me to articulate what matters most. I have lots of hopes and dreams. In April, I may have to think about letting go of some responsibilities. I want to help you and will before I do anything for myself. This gives me the opportunity to try many new things and push myself. However, it also gives me a convenient excuse for not working on my own poems.
I am doing homework on assertiveness. I am learning to articulate my needs without being frightened out of doing so because of the potential response. I have always known what I want out of something. I stop myself because I worry about how the person might respond and what ripples it might cause and then they may hate me forever. (Obligers in the house!) Let’s revise how we handles this, shall we? (And did this homework come up because I had to confront a macho 12-year-old at the skate park and because that confrontation made me nervous? Why yes, it did.)
And buried beneath all of this good news and positive thinking is my concern for Ukraine, the rise of covid-19 cases in Boston, the heaviness I feel in my chest for the spiraling of trauma. Is it too much to ask to not have to worry about nuclear war on top of the misery we are all facing? It’s like watching a show in which every moment impacts me but there’s no way to stop it.
So what’s new?
The Notebooks Collective is officially an LLC, meaning that it’s a real actual small business. It took a lot of courage to take the leap, and now that we have leapt it feels so good. We launched Randall Horton’s new memoir with an evening of reading and conversation. It was a joy to see how many people joined us in celebrating his work.
Looking forward, we are hosting Soledad Caballero on April 5. Soledad and I took a Grub Street writing class together in 2006 with Morgan Frank and from there our paths have crossed occasionally and I am so excited that 16 years later I can host an event for her award-winning debut collection.
To close out April, we are going to have a great conversation and reading with the poets José Angel Araguz, Quintin Collins, and Daniel B. Summerhill on April 23.
We are also figuring out ways to teach classes and bring in workshop folks and do other collective exercises maybe in writing grief or meditating on joy. Please sign up to learn more of what we’re doing…
Next up, there’s AWP which is happening this week in Philadelphia. I can’t believe I am going to a conference. This is me going from a 0 to a 100 really fast. I have barely left my house in the past two years and now I am going to hop on a train to Philly and hang out in a convention center with god knows how many people. But the truth of the matter is, I have realistic expectations. I want to see my poets in person, I want to get a few books, and I want to hear people read.
Speaking of reading, I will be reading too! I will be a part of the Lily Poetry Review reading happening on Thursday, March 24 at 12:10. I am grateful to Eileen Cleary for making a space for me. I am looking forward to reading from the chapbook that came out in 2019, too late for AWP that year, and then fell into the mire of the pandemic. I will be helping out at the LPR table on Saturday morning so come say Hi!
For now, this seems like enough. I hope you are all well and seeing signs of life in your yard as well… Everything feels very fragile. Here’s to tender hands and strong hearts!