Last November, I attended my first-ever poetry residency/workshop/conference at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, known as MASS MoCA. It was held in conjunction with Tupelo Press, a non-profit independent press located just down the road in the Eclipse Mill loft.
It was amazing, difficult, intense, valuable, exhausting, overwhelming, and dozens of other adjectives. (Poets don’t use many adjectives. Bloggers are allowed.) Anyone who would like to read more about my experience can check out the November 2015 posts in my archive.
One of the many lasting benefits is that I have written a series of poems about art. I had written a few before that residency, but not nearly as many as afterward. There is a fancy name for poems about art, ekphrastic. Note: spell check does not know what to do with the word ekphrastic.
Some of these poems, along with other poems about North Adams, the city where MASS MoCA is located, and the surrounding towns, will become my first-ever-attempt-at a poetry collection.
I grew up in a town about twenty miles from North Adams and went to high school in North Adams. We went there to shop and to visit relatives. The city has changed a lot over the years. I’ve changed a lot over the years. The poems deal with generations of our family, small towns and a small city, home, change, geography, and art.
It’s a lot.
It’s also a new experience.
I am about to print the poems that are completed and assemble them into sections and a manuscript, leaving space for some poems that aren’t yet written. I’ll look for holes that need to be filled. And try to fill them.
I am hoping to have a reasonable working draft by the time our group of poets, who were the first group to experience the Mass MoCA/Tupelo collaboration, return for a reunion residency in October.
We call ourselves the Boiler House Poets, after an art/sound installation at MASS MoCA where we made a video of us reading poems.
I am giving a shout-out here to one of the Boiler House Poets, Gail Dimaggio, who is embarking on another exciting collaboration with Tupelo Press. She will be one of their 30/30 poets in August. She and a small group of poets will each write a new poem every day for thirty days, which will be posted on a special section of the Tupelo Press website. Everyone is invited to follow along! Gail has a new blog to accompany her journey: https://gaildi.blogspot.com/.
Come join the poetry/blogging fun!
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “art.” Come join us! Find out how here: https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-3016/