20 years later: in Chicago Reading, Teaching, Podcasting: Poet Life, Pt 1

This weekend I'm talking to some undergrads in the new U of C Creative Writing Department about the practical processes and pitfalls of getting their work out into the public. And how to advocate for their personal brand and value in a moment where late late capital could care less about poetry--probably because it's the least likely thing to be the source text for a good Nextflix original. 

We talked there best placed to find out who's taking work (Entropy), how to assess a journal without breaking the bank, spreading kindness in poetry, journals to aim for (Thrush, Sixth Finch, Fence, Prelude, etc), ignore (______), what to do when someone's digital mag disappears with your work on it for good, how to budget for worthwhile submission fees and raise hell when $5-$35 is standing between them an a waiting public. We talked about the rising cost of doing business in academia (the writing (or other) PhD, and (thusly) why all MFA programs should be scott-free and provide support. Awesome students and I hope some of them will be generous enough to out their minds into the institution of writing along with their work cause we could use it.

Asked how to make ends meet and live the life of a poet I drew this diagram:

The import of the black hole.

Which I would have done like this, except I didn't fly all the way out here to sew confusion and worse:

Love your trap.

Love your trap.

I promised I'd update this blog with some questions to think about and some worthwhile recommendations--and will. Keep eyes peeled and we'll have more by the weekend. 



Read at the great 57th St Books, new work and old, fulfilled a promise I made to myself to scream during one poem, and had the best lit discussion Steven Made of the Chicago Review. Look for  pod of that talk or my own lo-fi recording, 

More to come, lots more. But its been a tight few days, My gratitude to the U of C is bottomless and especially to Bill Hutchinson for making it all happen. Many thanks to Anselm Berrigan, Dina Hardy and others who gave me some insight to carry with.  

Below find a video trailer I make for the event, Thanks to Julia Madsen for some great editing advice. 

A Promo Trailer for a poetry reading & discussion at the University of Chicago