Cohorts, Cute Kids, & Kirsten Clodfelter

One of the best parts about MFA programs is the people you meet. I love the word “cohort,” but not the way most grad students or academics use it. To me it’s not a statistically linked group of study participants or a bunch of students who happen to belong to the same graduating class. I like to use it in the old way, the Roman way. My cohort is like the army of Macedonia: a band of warriors united in defense of a common cause.

What’s our cause? I think we all have different answers. My answer–my cause–is the protection, preservation, and expansion of creative space inside one’s brain, inside one’s social world, and inside the universe at large. It’s hard out there for a poet.

That is why it’s worth so much when one of my cohort reaches out across the internet, across state lines, across the years it’s been since we’ve seen each other and makes some of my poetry mean something. And Kirsten Clodfelter, in particular, is one of those people who’s just beautiful inside (and out, but I’m talking about inside right now). Here’s proof:

First, she made this adorable being:


Second, she reviewed my chapbook, which is not an act that I am in any way equating to the making of another human being, but an act which means a lot to me, all the same.  Kirsten, I’m glad there is you.

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Reading at The Green Drake

My friends, Julie Johnson and Abby Minor, have assumed organizing duties this summer for the 4th Fridays Poetry Reading series at The Green Drake.

If you’re a fan of poetry or music or artistic people in general, I highly recommend (in this order): 1. making friends with people in Millheim; 2. spending time at Inglebean Coffee House, Elk Creek Cafe, and The Green Drake art gallery; 3. taking any opportunity to spend an evening just wallowing in the creativity of the people around you. Seriously, I’ve never been to an event that didn’t make me inordinately happy and much less lonely (in the way creative people–read: odd people–get lonely sometimes).

They’ve kindly offered me a slot this month (this week actually) on Friday, June 28, at 8pm. I’ll be reading with Jackie Campbell. And I got the scoop on the order of events for the night. Says Abby:

  • Julie and I  open the reading with 10-15 minutes of selected poems loosely organized around a theme
  •  Invited reader #1 reads for 15-20 minutes
  •  Short intermission 
  •  Open mic
  •  Invited reader #2 reads for 15-20 minutes

It promises to be another wonderful night. So please come. And grab a Winkleblink Ale at Elk Creek on your way–I know that’s where I’ll be.

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