Got some very exciting poetry news recently, which I should be able to share later this month.

I haven’t been blogging like I thought I might, since quitting FB in March.

I have, however, been writing a lot more, at work on my book-length poem. It’s undergone a massive reorganization, which it needed, and I spent several weeks this summer getting all the notes for unwritten portions into one master Scrivener file, and lately I’ve been writing new pieces for it again. The Book as Lyric Experiment panel we did at &NOW was helpful—hearing Jennifer (Firestone), Emily (Carr), & Catie (Rosemurgy) talk about and read from their projects was illuminating, and articulating my own process and how this poem is different from my other work was too. That has been the bulk of my learning curve—how to sustain the energy and spin out the narrative structure. It’s taken a lot more behind the scenes organization than I am used to building, to keep it from wandering off. (I let the short poems generally wander where they like, having no plan at all beforehand, usually.)

It turns out it’s not unusual for a long-form project to take this long, they said. And each of them works only this way, vs. writing shorter standalone poems, so they would know. The first pieces are 2009, and I realized it was going to be a long-form thing at some point in 2010. The first “complete draft,” which of course was not complete, was “done” in 2012. And here I am still writing it. I can see the end from here though, this time. It’s a much better (and weirder) book than it was in that first awkward draft. I’ve been reading from it some too, most recently last month at KGB.

I have some of the shorter poems forthcoming in the meantime—Shock of the Femme, Bone Bouquet, Bennington Review, Oversound, the Couter-Desecrations anthology. I’ll post about those and the aforementioned Big News as things pop into the open.

Most of my leisure reading has been in service to this poem too, but not all. Right now I’m reading this, which is terrific. (Just like everything I’ve read from Dorothy so far.)

This poem by Rosmarie Waldrop is the most exquisite thing I experienced this week.

Followed by this rainy river view last night.

O, what’s this? I think I have blogged!





Hello, blog.

Pile of discarded variously colored fishing ropes in foggy landscape

I’m leaving Facebook this week, shifting my social media activity to Twitter (@Shanna_Compton and/or @BloofBooks) and Bloof’s Instagram (@bloofbooks). And yes, I know Insta is owned by Facebook.

Remember how we used to title our blogs? I was Brand New Insects when some of you first knew me. I remember your titles too. I remember your distinctive color palettes and fonts. How your spaces seemed individual, like studios strewn with the fits & starts of your making. I remember your acrobatic appendages, the comment boxes dangling below. (Yes, I remember when those rotted off the body too.)

I took this photo in Stonington, ME, last year. On the last morning before we go, we take our refuse to the dump, which they euphemistically call the Transfer Station. I have a thing for colorful remnants and the poignant beauty of garbage, but I sure wish we made less of it.

Which is to say: I’ll be returning to this space too for longer semipublic thinking—the stuff that is more urgent to share than journaling, less pulled together than essays or reviews. Often lately I’ve realized how much I miss the blogs. Don’t you? (Are you blogging somewhere, again or still? Do you have a Tiny Letter? Let me know where you are.)

But this site badly needs an update. I’m going to switch over to WordPress and redesign everything. So that may take me several weeks, between other projects. At that point the URL may change, but the domain will stay the same.

For the month of April though, I’ll be posting daily drafts (along with several other poet comrades) at the Bloof Books blog for NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. I’m pretty sure this is my fourteenth year to write poems in public with Maureen. I’m not sure what I’ll be working on yet. Thinking about it.

I’ll be in New Orleans in April too, for the New Orleans Poetry Festival, doing a reading and working the book fair.

Here’s a new poem from the March 19th issue of the Nation. (The online version collapses the spacing in the final line, and sometimes there’s an ad for Quaker Oats in the middle.)

Magazine page from the Nation with poem "Where the wall meets the river"