It’s gray and raining here, the leaves have begun to turn. I’m reading xkcd and Too Much Coffee Man. In a minute I’m going back to production work on the workshop anthology we’re releasing tomorrow, and a couple orders.
Saturday I drove down to Kent State in bright sunshine and spoke to an MFA class. I’ve been to Kent many times for the Jawbone poetry festival and to visit a friend, but I’d never been on campus. The building was deserted except for the one classroom. I could hear the teacher, the unmistakable cadence of his voice, as soon as I pushed open the door to the building. He sounds the same reading his poems at the mic or speaking to his class. He happens to be one of the best readers I’ve heard. It was fun to see him at work with his students and to bounce around a discussion of internships and small presses, submissions and rejections. I’m never sure what information will turn out to be helpful to students so I took questions and offered whatever tidbits I’ve collected over the years. Afterwards we ate lunch in town and it was one of those conversations where names of writers I don’t know were flying past like bees, I couldn’t grab them out of the air, I just knew I have a lot more reading to do.
Last week we found out, we are moving to Boston. We have no roots in the midwest, it was a job and other opportunities that brought us here and it’s a homecoming of sorts to head back east. We started prepping for this move some weeks back because we saw it coming, but when you’re not certain of an impending disruption you don’t announce it and get everybody in a kerfuffle. We are sure enough now, so I just want to say, during the next six months the wompus may be a tad more quiet than usual as we settle out affairs in the rust belt and lay the groundwork for our new ventures in the northeast. It’s sad to say goodbye to our many friends here and exciting to look ahead to our next phase. If you know anyone in the Boston area interested in training as a production assistant or joining us for an internship, send them our way, much of our staff will be reinvented once we move.
In a way, being completely overwhelmed with competing demands is a good thing. It underscores the futility of trying to do it all and the absurdity of thinking we’re actually in control of life. During the upcoming half year, I’ll be dividing my time between Cleveland, Boston, and Connecticut (wrapping up my friend’s estate there), and everything will indeed get done, but it may get done on a longer timetable and in bursts rather than a steady wave. And yes, despite all the commotion, the wompus will be at Seattle AWP, with bells on. And I’m pasting below the flyer for a play that was staged to excellent reception this past weekend, written by Chris Shipman (Super Poems) and the inimitable Sarah K. Jackson. The play will be published by us as part of a forthcoming book by Chris which includes some amazing wompus cat tales, stay tuned for more…
“The key to productivity is to rotate what you’re avoiding.” ~ Shannon Wheeler
with love, sammy