Monday, November 11, 2013

30/30 (Confessions of an Undisciplined Poet)

In December, I will be participating in Tupelo Press' 30/30 project. For the unfamiliar, 30/30 is a fundraiser that asks poets to spend an entire month writing, writing, writing. The press refers to it as a "poetry marathon," which is an apt description since my job during the fundraiser will be to write a new poem every day for thirty days. Along the way, I will be looking for donors to sponsor me (by donating to the press in my name, which you can start doing right now if you'd like).

I've written before about the financial challenges of literary presses and about the many ways different presses try to overcome those challenges. I failed to mention 30/30 during that post and in hindsight I feel ashamed about the oversight. It is, after all, a brilliant idea. And, in the end, everyone wins. The press gets much needed financial support. The poet gets some wonderful exposure (which is priceless for someone with a new book coming out). The sponsors get to read a bunch of poems by the person they're sponsoring as well as by the other poets (and in a number of cases, this may be the sponsor's first real immersion into poetry). And the sponsors learn about a wonderful press (Tupelo).

I am excited. I am incredibly nervous. I am, at times, ready to start right now and, at other times, convinced I am going to fail miserably. And I'm looking ahead realizing I still have a forty to fifty hour a week job, plus responsibilities at home (though, my incredible wife who I do not deserve is very supportive of this venture), plus one day a month where I literally work for seventeen to twenty hours straight, plus the coming holidays, plus... plus... plus...

And I'm supposed to find time to come up with, write, and craft (somewhat) a poem every day?

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But on the other hand, I haven't written a new poem since last February. And I am starting to ask if that really has anything to do with the paragraph above or if it really has to do with me simply losing my discipline as a writer. But that's for another post. For now, I will say that I have lots of poems I've wanted to write but simply put off. For now, I will look forward to being forced to write and to being forced to write for a really really good cause.

Keep your eyes posted to this blog. I'll soon be putting up information about how you can sponsor my marathon (and for my friends with no money, I'll let you know how you can encourage me). I'm also planning a post where I explain in a little more detail why I decided I wanted to do this. Then, when December comes around, I will have a post tracking my progress. The poems will be published on the 30/30 website. Here I will have a sort of extended cut of the marathon. I'll have the titles of the poems plus some sort of extras (a bit of commentary, maybe a scan from my journal, relevant links, etc...). Until then,

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