More on the NEA, Too Many Commitments, and the Tail-End of the Academic Quarter
So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I applied for an NEA. I have never won an NEA, and therefore take what I say with a grain of salt.
Here's what made the process easier for me:
1) I read the directions. Yes, it's easy to make light of this, but it's easy to assume so much when filling out these forms.
2) I saved copies of my supporting documents from previous years. I was very fortunate to have copies of the 2008 forms--I saw what I had submitted (and thought to myself, what the hell was I thinking) which really helped me put the rest of the package together. I have a feeling that this online methodology is going to stay put for some time, and there's no guarantee that I'll get an NEA grant, so by saving all these forms I'm preparing for 2012.
Now, as far as what gets picked in terms of "winning" grant applications, I have no idea. Last time I sent work, there was a clear project--I sent work directly from Furious Lullaby. This time I selected a sample of work--2 poems from each of my books plus 2 from a new project and 2 newer pieces. Is this what the committee's looking for? I have no idea, but this manuscript package shows a wider swatch of my work than my 2008 entry had.
I know many of you are applying for the NEA. Many of you should--you're all deserving of the grant, and I wish you the best of luck.
Over committed, but I'm getting through it all. I have papers to grade, a contest to judge, several poems to screen, and a plane to catch--heading to the Midwest and praying for good weather. I've got a 11:15AM flight out of SeaTac (which by car is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from my house). So all the magical work that's to be done must get done tonight, on the plane down, and on the plane back. I think I can manage to finish a good chunk of it, at least.
Week 8 of the Winter quarter. The Winter quarter is the shortest of the three quarters in the quarter system (unless you count Summer), and I couldn't be more thrilled. My class on the Long Poem has been both rewarding and exhausting. The students are writing some really great stuff, and I think such a sustained meditation on a topic has allowed them to experiment. But they're also tired, as am I. I'll be very grateful for Spring Break.