Postmath / by Diana Khoi Nguyen

[EDIT: I got to choose from a list and I'll be reviewing Joshua Marie Wilkinson's Swamp Isthmus]

Long-time mentor (and amaze-human) Cal Bedient asked if I'd be interested in writing a brief review on Rae Armantrout's latest book. Of course! But now this means I gotta brush up on all the Armantrout books I can get my hands on and then read the new one--and write the 600-word text block. Any excuse to spend time in the Poets House library!

Just put together a rough rough draft of potential manuscript this past weekend.

It was terrifying--I printed all poems which deserve to exist--but I'm not sold that all these poems should belong in a first MS (or any MS). But JB wanted me to send him all potential hopefuls and that he'd give me his hard-boiled editorial roundup.

I find it tricky to revise/edit my own MS since it's so hard for me to take a step back from the whole mess and to view each poem, section, movement--the whole shebang objectively. Instead, I just focus on all the spots I find boring, dull, or lame. Like examining my pores in the mirror and seeing only the filth lodged in my large pores. Sadness!

All self-disgust aside, today I looked at the MS thinking about all the cuts I'd like to make--to really pare down the draft into one momentous punch. I'd like to figure out the one true number of sections--and then treat each section like its own chapbook or book--am even considering named sections, instead of I, II, II, etc. Don't think the poems are baller enough to be alphabetically ordered and unsectioned (see: Harryette Mullen's Sleeping With the Dictionary aka most baller thing ever).

In other news:

Have officially started interning at the Textile Arts Center at the Brooklyn location (in Park Slope). And I love it! In exchange for helping them with operational admin work, they gave me a generous credit which I can use toward their classes. SADLY. all the weaving ones I wanted/could take are full (5 is max cap). But I've enrolled in a dye course and a needle-felting course. Maybe I can do a weekend intensive weaving course after I've moved to Lewisburg.

My dream is to intern at the Textilsetur in Iceland--as an intern, I've provided with housing/studio and use of facilities when I'm not working at the center. But I need skills in order to do this--and I really would like to intern in Iceland for 6 months or so! Amazing. I hope it can happen.

I want to do this: