Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Toasty-Warm and the Harsh World I Propose

Over the next few days I will post a multi-part series where I will discuss in detail how a book or creative project of mine came into being. I'm sharing the ways how I did things. My point will never be to say this is the right way. My point is to demonstrate a way, one of many ways. I hope by doing this I will inspire someone else to consider her own resources, resources that perhaps aren't being recognized and utilized.

In the last post Charlie Jensen suggested that it was brave for a poet to step outside "the toasty-warm world of academic and prizes and tenure and books and summers off." I want to note that my chapbook collaborator is a tenured professor (he received tenure after the chapbook was published), my publisher is a full-time lecturer at a university and through No Tell Motel, The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel anthology series and my micropress, No Tell Books, I have published well over a 100 working academics ranging from adjuncts, assistant professors and tenured professors. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's livelihood or tenure has been imperiled by his association with my projections. Nobody had to get a summer job because of me.

Of course the night is still young.

While I have never applied for a single teaching job and have no plans to do so -- I don't burst into flames when I walk onto a college campus. As recently as a few weeks ago, universities invite me speak on panels and to classes about publishing and poetry. Often they even pay me to impart my crazy cat lady wisdom onto young, impressionable minds. One time, my book was assigned reading for an advanced undergrad poetry workshop. At least two college instructors intend using The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel a classroom text. Blogging, self-publishing, online publishing, micropressing and my general assholitude have not completely ruined me. I still get dates to nice restaurants.



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