Wednesday, May 19, 2010

tennis and poetry

I went to college with a guy who used to attend the debates and then sum up what he'd heard in rhyming couplets (composed during the event). I say, the more people are exposed to good poetry, the better. Here's a nice example of the same, courtesy of Yahoo Sports News:

WIMBLEDON, England (AP)—If Roger Federer’s performances at Wimbledon weren’t already the stuff of poetry, they certainly will be this year.

The country that gave the world Shakespeare and Wordsworth will have a “Championships Poet” at Wimbledon to write a poem a day about the Grand Slam tournament.

British comedian and poet Matt Harvey is the first bard summoned, charged with writing “on all things Wimbledon.” The All England Club said that includes everything “from umpires and racket stringers to the ball boys and ball girls; from the grass and its bounce to rain and the roof; strawberries and cream and all the unfolding drama of the matches and players.”

The raft of possible topics may well include Queen Elizabeth II, who is planning to attend June 24, her first visit to the grass-court showcase since 1977.

The poems will be made available on the Wimbledon website during the June 21-July 4 tournament and as an audio podcast read by Harvey.

Harvey, who regularly appears on British radio shows, said he was “delighted” by the assignment, “with a little bit of healthy anxiety thrown in.”

“It’s an honor,” Harvey said. “And I’m acutely conscious it’s the only time I’ll come first in anything at Wimbledon, unless you count the queue for strawberries.”

The idea of a Championships Poet came from Honor Godfrey, the curator of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. He said it will “provide a novel and interesting way” of interpreting the tournament.

“It will be fascinating to see both Matt’s take on what we see year-in year-out, and indeed the public’s reaction to the poems,” Godfrey said.

Harvey has already written his first Wimbledon poem, called “Grandest of Slams,” which is available on the website of The Poetry Trust, a British organization collaborating on the project with the All England Club.

In “Grandest of Slams,” he writes of the tournament, “Where tough tennis cookies have cracked and then crumbled in/Top seeds have stumbled, have tumbled, been humbled in/Wimbledon.”


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

world photography

The New York Times had anyone with a camera in the entire world take a photo last Sunday at the same time (here it was 10:00 a.m.) Click here to link in with photos from around the world.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

pet therapy

Unfortunately, this isn't our campus that's offering pet therapy...maybe an idea for the future?

UW offers stressed students pet therapy

MADISON (AP) - The University of Wisconsin-Madison wants stressed-out students to drop the books and pet some pooches.
University Health Services will offer its annual pet therapy session to help students cope with the pressure of final exams. Counselors will bring in their dogs for students to pet and play with to alleviate stress.
Counselors also will be available to listen to students' problems. Their advice includes setting attainable goals, striving for excellence rather than perfection, laying off the caffeine, deep breathing and maintaining a sense of humor.
The pet therapy session is set for Wednesday afternoon on campus.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

writing life

It's the start of another month, which means the posting of another month's writing total. It seems that 20 pages/month of revision is my rate, at least, during the semester. The last day of April saw me onto page 59 (and it took about 5000 words of writing to get there). It's nice to say that I'm now a quarter of the way through the book.

Also, this past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Children's and Young Adult Literature Writing Conference at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. When I went last year, I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to make the book YA, and all the names that came up were completely new for me. This year, it was nice to recognize the names.

Speaking of which, review of M.T. Anderson's /Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing/ forthcoming soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day

On this day, May 1st, five years ago, I met my husband for the first time, randomly, at a May Day festival in Minneapolis. Five years sounds like such a long and short time to have known each other. This got me thinking about how much my life has changed in the past five years. In addition to meeting Matt, getting married, and settling into married life, I've
-started and finished my MFA
-supported my husband through his masters (almost done!!!)
-stayed in the midwest (and moved to WI)--2 things I would never have anticipated
-lived in community in a house in the city with four wonderful roommates (living in the city in community being a dream I had in college)
-moved to the smallest town I've ever lived in (16000 ppl)
-taught at the college level for the entire duration of those five years
-published a chapbook and written two books (one poetry, seeking publisher--one novel, in revision--monthly word count coming soon)
-introduced my dearest friends to Maine (via our wedding)
-been to Ghana, Panama, Amsterdam (twice), and Venice
-learned to bake both pie and cheesecake (and many of the other recipes I know)
-grown my hair the longest it's ever been, cut it short, and started growing it again

You make the time period long enough, and you're bound to come up with some impressive accomplishments. But seriously, it is amazing to think how much has changed from 22 to 27. I can't even imagine what this list will look like in a further five years from now.

What's on your list?