Thursday, October 06, 2011

I'm afraid I have been remiss in keeping up this blog.

I have recently had the good fortune to be appointed as the "Sydney City Poet": in this role I have been creating a new blog/website. I very much if you have stumbled on me at Miss Kate Underground that you will follow me there:

Friday, March 06, 2009

Now I realise that I've left this blog lying fallow for a little while, so I have no idea if it will do any good to post this info, but my book is apparently in shops in Australia now. Selected shops. The independent ones that usually have poetry books. I imagine. I don't really know anything.

I've been told it's pretty, so that's nice. I know at least 2 copies have sold. That's also nice. That said, I looked at a handful of the poems the other night and wanted to edit them. It's hard to let go...

So. There. I'm proud of it, even as I'm aware of my little book's shortcomings. Fire Season is out in the world.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A year ago the idea of leaving Australia again was really difficult—this year it’s not as hard. Which is not to say that this hasn’t been a wonderful trip home, or that it hasn’t reinforced once again for me just how Australian I am. I guess I feel like I have made something like a family for myself in DC, and I plan to enjoy this last six or so months there, since I probably won’t live there again. The fact that I will go from calling it home to being just a visitor—it’s a strange feeling. I haven’t quite got my head around it all yet.

So—Friday I fly out again. I’ve talked my friend B into picking me up (very little talking-into involved… he’s very kind) and then the weekend—and then—class on Monday. Is that all?

Being home is such a shock. It’s lovely to be with my family—but I’m a little bit shell-shocked with the idea of catching up with people.

I feel like this is going to be a good year. Something in the sky.

I went through old files the other day—throwing some things out (I’m going to try to throw out when I get back to DC too…) and was amazed to find a lot of old essays and drafts I had been working on. Filed carefully. That I was determined to apprentice myself that way, so seriously.


On a frivolous—not to mention shamefaced—note, I’ve become addicted to a bad television show. I used to occasionally watch it when I left the television on after watching something that was… marginally better. And its contrivances drove me crazy. And now, I find the contrivances, the blandnesses, the banter that’s not funny oddly endearing. Oh, the show is NCIS. There, I’ve outed myself.

I think it might be a little bit less of a blog-fueled year. I’ve been discovering the pleasures of pen(cil) and paper again. But I’m going to try to stop in when I can.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So, flying today. Have apparently misplaced my paper ticket. Yes, that’s right. There are still people who ISSUE paper tickets. Rang United, who it was all booked with. Their response? “We have no record of you.” They said—you’ve lost your ticket? Well you’ll have to buy a new one and fill out an application. Then if there are no problems we’ll reimburse you. Seriously? So I rang Lufthansa, and they were great. Confirmed that, yes, as far as airlines are concerned I exist. Also, that with a handy six digit reference code I could go to a ticket counter and they would sort me out. And no mention of “oh, and buy your ticket all over again.” I hope I never have reason to call United again.


Rant over, I can’t believe I lost the ticket. It was all together, and I have the folder it was in. I remember the ticket, and am sure that when I pulled it out to give my ticket number to my travel agent to confirm my final flights that I would have put it back in the folder. Apparently not. Demonstrating once more that I apparently will be the sort of person who ends up keeping her tax information in the fruit bowl. Though I suppose if it’s all in the same fruit bowl that won’t be too much of a problem.


I anticipate a week of reading—being in places where I don’t know the language always leads to deep reading—and, hopefully, a little writing. Though I find writing hard during the period I am actually on the hoof. Notebook writing.


Reading Sontag’s diaries. Reading other bits. Books in the bag for over the break? Desnos. Darwish. Carson (of course). Perhaps I should add John Clare. A few novels. Am going to read Kafka’s diaries when I get home—they’re calling to me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

End of semester—exhaustion. Finished my final paper, and it wasn’t what it should be. But then, I always think those final papers at the point I hand them in are really a starting point, and not an end point. So, perhaps I have the start of something.


I’ve been sad since my mother sent me the news that Dorothy Porter is gone—too soon. I have a number of friends who knew her much better than I, but she is someone that I admired, and wanted more of.


Leave tomorrow for Frankfurt, then Bulgaria. I guess there’ll be a lot of sleep on the place.


Anticipating lying on Australian ground, trying to figure out what Anne Carson is doing with error, and exactly makes it different from how other poets might choose error.


Packing, now. Triage: must take, can take, don’t need to take.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The past weeks and the next few days are incredibly busy—such that I haven’t really had a chance to write. (Or update the Independence Day Project… a lapse I am ashamed of, though the project will be finished, when I am able to finish it.)

My prospectus is done, and now it’s just a matter of finishing the final paper. Oh wait—is it really just a matter of that? Okay, perhaps a little more complicated.

I leave the US on Thursday—flying first to Frankfurt overnight, where I’ll have about half a day before I fly onward to Bulgaria. I’m visiting the lovely Carolyn Emigh! (I’m hoping, too, that there will be time for a side trip to Macedonia, to visit the poet Nikola Madzirov. It’s not certain that that’s going to happen.) Then I’ll be dashing home, via a night in Singapore, with an overnight in Frankfurt… and then… home.

So I have a few days to finish this paper—which is due the day I leave anyway. And it will be done. Having written and made notes for the full length of the paper, I now have a thesis. One which I can make work. So. That’s nice.

I am also applying to MFA programs… which I am hoping (determined…) to have finished before I leave as well. Madness.

Then there’s that whole packing/making sure I know where my stuff is/paying bills list of things to do.

Oh, and I spent the weekend getting stuff in order my advisor’s study (since I’m also the research assistant.) Making a list of where everything is. How to contact me in an emergency. Etc.

So. That’s the status report.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The past weeks have, again, accelerated. I know that I should have written all about election day, and the day after—but I didn’t. It’s been a busy time.

Belatedly, though, I will note that on election day I:

- first tutored at Duke Ellington (no students, but I got the crossword done…)
- had coffee at Baked and Wired, chatting with the Baked Girls. (Nathan falls into this category too… I don’t think I’ve told him that yet.)
- then C picked me up to go drive around North Virginia for a while. The idea? To find some polling places for him to photograph, and me to make whatever notes I felt like making. The method? Cross a bridge from DC to Rosslyn and get lost. The theory? After getting lost, something interesting will happen. The outcome? Didn’t find the polling places, but instead found an “Oriental Supermarket” that, among other things, sold Milo. So I’ve had a week of excellent chocolate milk… and now the Milo is all gone.
- Back to C’s place before heading toward Meg’s for the special election edition meeting of the Baked and Wired Knitting Society… except then Meg had to cancel at the last minute.
- Impromptu invitation (after assurances that I would not be intruding) to the house of one of C’s friends. Me, glued to CNN and MSNBC electoral maps for 4 hours.
- Obama! Obama!
- Joining the spontaneous crowd gathered outside the White House between midnight and 2.30am. Wow.

I slept in the next morning. You’re shocked.

Since then, there’s been more stuff to get done. I presented papers at two conferences last weekend. I feel like I am living in the aftermath of Friday, when I flew to New Hampshire and back on the same day, in order to present a paper at the Milton conference at the lovely St Anselm’s College. The day itself was a little hellish—I got up at 3am to get the shuttle to BWI airport and didn’t get back home until midnight. Still, I met some lovely people, including a Benedictine monk who was knitting a brightly coloured hat.

Oh, and knitting has been treating me very nicely. Such fun! Such madness! Let’s have a caucus race!

This week has been a bit of a marathon. I’m still going to work for another hour or so tonight… of that’s the plan. If sleep takes over, I won’t object…
As a form of training…it is important that the poet develop a strong bond with life, to be able to observe and able to choose his subject matter. …Afterwards, he can abstract things by abstracting coincidences, and symbolize them. This time of observation (for a poet) is an elementary process akin to learning reading and writing.

—Saadi Youssef