Tuesday Nov 21

hoppenthaler I’ve been preparing for the month that brings not only the annual AWP Conference (more on this below) but also the vernal equinox, Easter, my wife’s birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, ECU’s thesis season (I’m directing four and on two other committees), a couple of professional appearances in New York, and a spring break during which I will put the finishing touches on my third collection of poems in preparation for its delivery to the desk of my publisher.  Every month is make or break these days, but this particular March seems particularly crucial to me at the ripening age of fifty-one.

While the popular sentiment would have it that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, that proverb is more about the human need for catharsis and the anticipated triumph of good over evil than it is about the facts of weather.  March is much more capricious than that; it is marked by its eccentricity.  In other words, who knows that the hell will happen in March?

March is also Women’s History Month.  Thinking of that, March also seems particularly crucial to me this year.  I have, during the past few weeks, witnessed the hysterical posturing of a procession of monstrous politicians who seem dead set on turning back the clock on women’s rights in terms of decades.  It needs to stop, and it needs to stop right now, in March, when anything can happen.

I hope to see many of you at the AWP Conference in Chicago, where Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and the Congeries will have a robust presence.  On Thursday the 1st, make a beeline to Kasey’s Tavern, 701 S. Dearborn Street for Connotation Press: Getting’ Our Read on.  From 2:30 to 6 pm, join us for a drink, listen to writers from a number of CP’s monthly features read from their work, and schmooze.  Congeries-featured readers include Natasha Trethewey, Carol Frost, Campbell McGrath, Keetje Kuipers, and Dan Albergotti.  Conference registration is NOT required, Chicagoans!

On Saturday at 9 am, join us in the State Ballroom in the Palmer House Hilton for a reading to celebrate A Poetry Congeries.  Reading will be Camille Dungy, David St. John, Mihaela Moscaliuc, Brian Turner, and Anna Journey.  You must be a registered Conference goer to attend this event.

And now, I’m out.  Baaaaaa.