Proof of Life

No, no, don’t get too excited.  There’s no poem attached to this blog post.  But it’s been a minute since I’ve posted, and I didn’t want you all out there waiting and wondering if I’d fallen off the face of the earth, or had my typing fingers crushed in some weird baking accident, or perhaps gotten wrapped up in some cult that believes poetry should only ever be recited aloud and from the top of a mountain (or, at the very least, a small hill).  Nothing quite so interesting has occurred.

However.  I did acquire a new superpower that’s going to allow me to save the world from ignorance and hate (one high school English teacher at a time).

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A Room of My Own

If you’re just recently arriving at this space, welcome!  This blog has been part of my writing routine since the fall of 2010 when I left academia for a spell to travel abroad and work independently as an editor/freelancer.  Over the years, it’s been a place to write and publish book reviews, commentary (read: snark), author interviews, literary happenings (and other happenings), thoughts on the publishing industry, and – most often – as a work space for drafting new essays and poems.  Since 2011, I’ve been following (off and on) the poetry writing prompts offered by Poets & Writers’ Magazine called The Time is Now.  In its current iteration, this space is being used solely for that purpose.  Comments are always welcome as are your own attempts at doing this thing we call writing.

–Gabriel

P&W Prompt: New Language

This time last year, when I made the, what some might call “radical,” decision to leave my lucrative, work-from-home, Assistant Professor of English position at Ashford University to take a lectureship offering half of my Ashford salary and requiring a move to deeply conservative Texas, I had high hopes for what that decision would mean.  I’d been with Ashford for four years, and for four years, I’d been swept up into the most corporate, insane, fast paced, high pressure gig I’d ever experienced in my career.

And I hadn’t written a thing.  Not. One. Thing.   Continue reading

MFA Programs: The Eternal (God Help Us) Debate

So, I’m reading Mark McGurl‘s piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books, “The MFA Octopus: Four Questions About Creative Writing,” and I’m thinking: aren’t we done with this yet? I mean, haven’t we all heard the many arguments both for and against the MFA program? And what is all this debate and discussion getting us anyway?

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The Author Bio (Sigh)

Edan Lepucki bemoans the struggle that is writing the author bio in her piece for The Millions titled “MFA Grads and Former Acrobats: Approaches to the Author Bio.” In it, she questions the growing trend in bios that seem to mention everything about the author except what he or she has accomplished in the literary world. We’ve all seen them. Just scanning the bios of the latest edition of the Oxford American gives us a pretty good picture of how far afield the author bio has gone:

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A Girl and Her Dog

It took me and Buford a little while to fall in love with each other. No doubt – the dog was adorable from the get go. But he was also (and remains) the most stubborn animal I had ever encountered. No joke. Two years ago I wrote an essay about how we had decided to give up Buford. Not because we didn’t love him. It was because we simply couldn’t afford to continue replacing broken doors, torn screens and shattered windows. The dog would just not be contained.

We did, in fact, give Buford up. A family member graciously agreed to take him on. And we moved on.

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Into the Madness

Welcome to the world again. Now that you’re here, do you like the way you move?

–Johnny Blackthorn, “Into the Madness”

Hello again.

Quite a lot has happened in the literary world during The Great AngelSpeak Hiatus of 2011. Jennifer Egan not only won the much coveted Rooster (as predicted by Kerry at Hungry Like the Woolf), she also won the Pulitzer for her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad; Tom Franklin won the LA Times Book Prize for his mystery/thriller, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter; and a British library took the plunge and paid £32,000 for the email archive of poet Wendy Cope.

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AngelSpeak on Hiatus

In case you weren’t aware, we’re in the middle of a full-on kitchen remodel over here. The bad news is: I have little time for regular posting while the madness invades my home. The good news is: it should all be finished by the end of the month. So, AngelSpeak is officially going on hiatus until May 1 when I will return in full force with Poets & Writers’ prompts, interviews, book reviews and more. Until then, keep your hats on!

And thanks for being such loyal and amazing readers.

xx.

So, This Is What Happened.

I took a trip overseas for a couple of weeks. The first week, I was dedicated to daily posting. Because this blog is dedicated to literary topics – I struggled a bit. I struggled because I was out of my routine. I wasn’t keeping up with my reading. I wasn’t keeping up with my writing. The second week, well, I went to Munich. And I know it’s completely understandable that one might get a bit sidetracked while walking the streets of Munich. But then an unexpected thing happened. I become unplugged. Rather than checking my email, my facebook, my blog stats, I was outside walking, exploring, taking pictures and sitting in the park.

I’ll admit. It was a little uncomfortable at first. My attention span has apparently shrunk to next to nothing. And that, I have to say, is more than a little disturbing.

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Did You Miss Me?

Hello, lovely readers,

I’ve been in renovation mode this week – which means something absolutely MUST go wrong. This time – it was the severing and subsequent burying of my phone line under several hundred pounds of fresh concrete. I’m pleased to report that AT&T has found a fix and I am officially back online. Poetry Weekly and other related posts will be forthcoming over the weekend. Also keep a look out for an interview with poet Annie Finch and a new edition of Editor Spotlight.

Until then, happy surfing!