Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Off to DC

Off to DC with the kids today. We'll be there until the 11th; then it's back into action, folks, with the first three meetings of

(drum-roll, please)

--my next NEH project, a year-long series of free workshops for middle school teachers.

If you teach grades 6-8, and live near Chicago, drop me a line. Spaces are still available, but they're going fast!

Summer reading, for the plane & after: From the Cables of Genocide, by Lorna Dee Cervantes; The Republic of Poetry, by Martin Espada; and The Mandolin Fretboard Roadmap, by someone or other who plays a lot better than I do. Two Shafts & I -- Two Shafts is the Fullerton Gloucester f-style, nickname courtesy of Meg, after an outlaw train robber in Beverly Jenkins' Something Like Love-- Two Shafts & I have some serious 'sheddin to do.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Back Again

Did I mention I was going to take a month off?

Well, I'm back: back from leading Say Something Wonderful, my NEH seminar for K-12 teachers; back from a month (a harrowing month, in the Penal Colony sense of that of fine word) of watching my wife watch her father go through heart surgery and a slow, painful recovery; back from a month of dragging my middle-aged butt out of bed far too early to beat the traffic down to Lincoln Park, at an hour when all normal people are already up and about, but I didn't go into academia to get up at 6:30 (he whines)! Not yet back from an assortment of anxieties: essays still to finish, book reviews to write, middle-school teachers to recruit for my next big NEH gig...

But back, nonetheless.

This morning I'm going through my bookmarks, clearing out some trash and bringing a few over here, to the links list. One thing that grew clear as the SSW seminar progressed: teachers don't have time to play gumshoe on the net (how's that for a metaphor!), tracking down useful websites, etc. I won't pretend to make this a full-scale clearinghouse; that's the job of a site like the Poetry Foundation, probably. But I'm going to rebuild my links list, inch by inch, row by row, so that this will be a bit more useful to teachers as a stop.

I'm also going to start posting (again) some more personal, less interesting material, just to keep the juices flowing. You know: day to day living stuff, for friends and family to follow. If you're here for professional reasons, just skip all that. My life isn't all that interesting, thank God: just busy (too busy) and happy, with just enough tsuris to keep me kvetching. (Oops: wrong blog. That sort of stuff should go on the Jewish one, probably.)


First new link to highlight: The Page, which is a sort of Drudgereport for book reviews, poems, literary news, even top-quality blog entries (not like this one) on properly literary subjects (not like popular romance). If I read it more often, I'd feel less cut off from the literary world--a thought which cuts both ways, come to think of it! Anyway, if you don't know about it, take a look here.

And now it goes up on the links, and OFF my own list of bookmarks. I'll track it down through here, just like you, whoever you are--