The year in review, ever so vague

December 29th, 2010

2010 was a strange year in poetry for me. The highlight of the year was attending Marge’s workshop. The low water mark has to be my plummeting acceptance rate; I published a grand total of one poem in 2010. Yet I feel like my writing has really developed and deepened this year. I stumbled onto a theme at Marge’s workshop: a simple exercise in using sound in our poems opened up a whole new avenue for me. Since June I’ve written just over dozen poems that work together as part of a collection. I’m half-way to a chapbook. These poems are new territory for me both in the topic they directly or indirectly address and in the voice I’ve found myself using in them. I believe they are good. They are certainly, for me, exciting to write.

I am trying to focus on that rather than the acceptance rate for the year. It’s easy to get hung up on the publishing game. I can fritter away hours on “market research.” But prior to the publishing has to come the craft and maybe 2010 was a craft year for me. I hardly published anything but I have found all this new work, this new vein to mine, this new voice to deepen.

Cecily wrote about her word for the year; I’m hesitant to put a word on 2010. It’s been a strange year. I haven’t written about the half of it. I figured some things out, and made some decisions, and even made some changes, or tried to at least, and have pin-pointed a few more changes that need to be made. I’ve been clearing some underbrush, literally in the garden and figuratively in my life. Navigating my way towards something different, yet still grounded in the here of my life.

Maybe I’ll call 2010 my navigating year. Which means perhaps in 2011 I’ll come in to port.