And so the madness begins again. Apparently my tradition for the residency is to oversleep the first morning but this time around I knew that being late for breakfast/meet and greet was not that big of a deal—except of course that I was late in signing up for the wildcard workshop, which meant that my choices were somewhat restricted. But no matter, I was satisfied with what I ended up with.
I ended up with some nice wide stretches of free time during the day, which I used partly to socialise a bit and partly to try and complete unfinished critiques (of which I am still behind). The lone seminar of the day for me was Ben Lerner’s presentation, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” We began the seminar with a close reading of Robert Creeley’s poem “For Love” which is more about the difficulty of writing a love poem than it is a love poem in itself. From there we looked at how this brokenness could be applied in our own writing. I thought of, but did not mention, Steven Spielberg’s film A.I. which is a wonderfully flawed film, and given that some of what we were talking about in this context was a number of variations on the Pinocchio story, it makes the flawedness of A.I. even more profound.
The evening’s readings were held in a new venue, The Oxford Exchange, an odd mix of coffee shop, tea shop, restaurant, bookstore, tchotch store, and study and reading space. We began with Arielle Greenberg, one of the new faculty members in poetry and then Ben Lerner again.
I had little opportunity to meet very many of the new students, and I need to work on my sociability, something which I hope to address as the residency progresses.