When I was in college, I had a crisis. At the end of my Sophomore year at the University of Michigan I was required to declare the degree I was pursuing. Until that point, at the earnest behest of many a well-meaning course counselor and several wonderfully dedicated Graduate Assistants, I had taken a broad variety of courses on any topic that piqued my interest. And I had many interests. I took courses in linguistics, medieval history, astronomy, the science of climic change, the economics of globalization, and even choir. You name it. So when I was asked to narrow it down to just one thing I had a full on melt-down. I eventually settled in on English as my major, but it was a tough choice.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because as petrifying as that decision was, it was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever had to make. I don’t say that just because I picked the right Major, I say it because narrowing down my field of focus allowed me to explore the field of English literature with much greater depth than I ever had previously been able to do with all of my other interests buzzing around. I found that I suddenly had focus, and focus is a true gift.
This is all a long-winded and rather self-indulgent way of telling you that I’ve decided to pare down my focus in the literary, or “books and writing” as I’ve called it, section of this blog. Thus far its been dedicated to the wide gamut of things I like to read, from sci-fi to the classics to poetry. While I’ll always retain my love of many genres of literature, I think it’s clear that my creative leanings have been solidly in the direction of poetry for some time, and given the that the stroke of the new year is so imminent, the timing feels right to introduce a bit of change.
From now on I’ll be focused mostly on reviewing collections of poetry in my literary section. This will include literary journals, stand-alone titles and chapbooks, and larger collections of classic works. I intend to spend some time putting together something of an informal course for myself in contemporary poetry, reading classics I probably should have long since finished by now and exploring the works of newer poets as well. If you have a favorite title or journal or if you’re a poet with work you’d like to get reviewed, please leave me a comment at the end of this post.
Finally, I’m excited to announce that I’ve put together a cohesive body of work that I will be working to publish as a chapbook in the coming year. I also will be submitting individual poems to journals for publication. I will, of course, keep you abreast of any poems that are published and where you can find them.
This all got rather long winded. My next literary post will be a review of a collection of poetry–most likely the gorgeous chapbooks from Dancing Girl Press pictured above. I hope you’ll join me as I delve deeper into this genre.