Back from Spokane

I returned from my trip to Whitworth College intact and in good spirits. The students there were fabulous, a clear reflection of their superb mentoring.


Actually, I guess I didn't come back intact. I had left my cell phone in the hotel room as well as a pair of pants and a t-shirt (Ramada was kind enough to ship those to me). I also caught a cold.

Gah. I hate being sick. What's more, I have to go to Atlanta tomorrow for AWP. I DO NOT want to be sick at AWP. Period.


We're talking about aesthetics in my graduate seminar. Students were up in arms about Alice Notley's "Descent of Alette" because her use of quotation marks at intervals between phrases:

"sort of" "like this" "throughout" "the book"

I showed them an essay by Garcia Villa taken from the "Anchored Angel" and they were outraged by his seeming arrogance. Additionally, I showed them excerpts of Chelsey Minnis's "Zirconia." Again, outrage.

Look folks, that's art. Sometimes it's difficult. Sometimes it's irascible. Sometimes it's flawed.

Artists are difficult, irascible, and flawed. They're also very human and what we as readers try to do is negotiate. Dialogue dialogue dialogue.