Editors’ Corner: On Waiting

Thank you postcards for my chapbook.

These days, my life is very full. Of work, of editing, of coding, of teaching, of conversing and community-building, and—for the first time—of writing and thinking and speaking about not just about my work as an editor, but also about my own poetry, its context in the world, how I see it in conversation with broader discourses.

My first chapbook, Periodicityis being published in February. I’ve been living in a bit of a fugue state since July, when my publisher first relayed the good news to me.  Everything has been heady and surreal; suddenly, a wealth opportunities have been given to me to talk about my work, my writing, my personal literary interests. My evenings have been filled with logistics and correspondence: I’ve been gathering addresses for mailing lists, maintaining a Facebook page, conversing with friends and family about what a chapbook is, negotiating shipping refunds, designing promotional materials, scheduling interviews and reviews, and writing reams and reams of heartfelt thank-you notes. But in the midst of it all, I’ve found, somewhat disconcertingly, that I have had very little time, opportunity (or even physical energy) to write new poems.

I’m going to be honest here: I haven’t completed a full first draft of a poem in more than three months. I’ve written a few sketches here and there, most of which I’ve later thrown away. I’ve tried, with varying degrees of success, to make inroads on revising drafts from this summer. But since finishing the final revision of my chapbook manuscript in early August, I haven’t been able to write so much as a stanza. Every time someone congratulates me on the chap, I brace myself for the usual follow-up question: so what are you working on now?

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