So it was an intense weekend in Cape May at Peter Murphy’s Winter Getaway. I spent time in two 2.5-hour sessions of workshopping, started seriously thinking about plans for a full-length manuscript (it turns out I actually do have something of a theme going), and drafted four new poems, variously about a) a dead friend, b) hippos, c) a brain tumor and d) feral children. Yes, I said hippos. I spent some time with some of the Stockton crew (who we never get to see as much as we’d like to), as well as with people I only ever see at the Getaway, including my favorite Chicagoan, who is working on a great new series of poems inspired by Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

Donna also had a productive weekend, producing three new short fiction pieces which hold much promise. She reconnected with an old teacher and has a new energy about her, which is contagious.

I also started thinking seriously about applying for a scholarship to a week-long program in May, which, if I won, would give me the chance to work with Dean Young, whose work I love and who occasionally reminds me of Ric Ocasek (which I say fondly):

The weekend also offered me the distinct privilege of attending a reading given by Mark Doty and his partner Paul Lisicky. Though I left the reading before Doty started (migraine), I heard Paul read something brand-spanking-new, a memoir piece in honor of his friend Denise. It was beautiful and sad and wonderful, and there was a storm rising outside the hotel. Because Paul was reading before a bank of windows, we watched the lightning flash behind him as he read.

As productive and exciting as the weekend was, I was intensely pleased to come home to this:

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