It would seem if you are a poet, you should have written a manifesto. Or at least you should have made an attempt to label your "movement." I take this charge very seriously and have been working on my manifesto and "a description of my movement."
Unfortunately, I will have to wait a month or so to unveil it because my husband and I are in the middle of a move. This will take up the greater part of my time for the next 4-6 weeks but I'll try to post short things in the meantime. Neither my manifesto or "the description of my movement" are short things.
Next weekend I'm also attending a writing retreat of sorts with three of my writer friends (two from Los Angeles, one from Alaska). I'm calling it our writing sequester inspried after the political events of this year.
American Poetry Review and other poetry magazines are filled to the hilt with ads for MFAs and writing conferences. Even writing conferences in my own back yard are asking for over one-grand to attend and this without airfare. There are hard times. You have to wonder where one is expected to come up with one-grand if it's not a down payment on a car or for a trip overseas.
Speaking for myself, I love workshops and college classes. If I were suddenly to find myself the beneficiary of an arts patron or a gold vein in Colorado, I would spend it all taking obscure classes from now into my future dotage. But who can afford the 10% tuition hikes? Higher education has already increased 42% over the last 10 years. Where is all the money going? Certainly not to teachers. They need to supplement their incomes working writing conferences. Certainly not to adjunct teachers. They need to supplement their incomes with day jobs. According to my mother, the highest paid person in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the president of Penn State. I think we know where the money is going. Money floats; shit sinks. And the student is on the bottom.
Colleges seem prime to self-destruct one these days working under the corporate greed model. So adding to my degrees doesn't seem like a sound move right now. Neither do writing conferences, although you'd love to support your favorite poety professor who's working one.
My solution is to create the mini-conference I'd love to attend...at a fraction of the cost. Lucky for me I've already grossly overspent to get my MFA and have all my MFA friends. So they'll be joining me this week. We've set up an itinerary of writing time, writing exercises, workshop discussions over supper, craft chats (our assinged book is The Art of Description by Mark Doty) and even some scheduled movies about writers. We've rented a house and each writer has his own room and we even a private pool and hot tub! Get that at a writer's conference if you can.
For all this I'm paying $275 for four nights, not including the gas it's gonna take to get me to Phoenix from Santa Fe.
I'm getting all this writerly socialising at a cost-savings of almost $725! Pinch me!