squaw valley

Torrential by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Been meaning to share thoughts--but it's difficult to do that on the road and I'm increasingly less and less diligent with setting aside discipline to update blogs. But! That doesn't mean I'm not teeming with inane/quasi-news to share at any given moment in a day/week/diana-lifespan. 

In the aftermath of stress from writing first poetry review (and I failed as I thought I would, which in turn, in a kind of success: accurate self-awareness), I had to rush and pack for 1+ week in California, emotional prepare myself to a trip home, etc. And I am always so stressed before meeting strangers/potential poet/writer friends. But Squaw Valley was really incredible. And intense. SO intense. Sleeping/resting did not happen much since a poem was due by 7:15am/9am (depending on which deadline you chose--of course I never chose the 7:15am one)--so that's 7 days! So much for leisurely hikes to waterfalls and building miniature log cabins in the woods.

Even after doing 30/30, it was surprising that I could still churn out something of a poem for discussion in workshop--new poet-leader each day (and such amazing poets!) and new poet-peers (wonderful new friends now). I'm not going to lie: it was excruciating to pull out poems by the end of the week--when all I wanted to do was find a swimming hole. 

It'd been a sad previous week in my own poetry-world since I'd been getting rejections in the evenings all in a row! As if slush-readers conspire to pack one powerful punch-- I was prepared for this--but of course I was sad! But not debilitated. Just secretly discouraged, which is a ruse, because I won't stop writing poems anyway.

What I mean to say is that Squaw Valley was incredible. Playing softball with Forrest and Bob was a definite highlight--I love being active--especially after all the siting at a desk in the wee hours of the night, staring at moths in the window, hoping one of them will gift me a poem. In the middle of my week there--I got an email from Poetry --and didn't want/care to open it, but JB saw it and said I had to! "But it's just another rejection," I said, with my mouthguard still in--since we had just woken up and were still in bed. "What if it's good news, ham?" JB asks. Uh--somehow, surprisingly, it was.

So there's that! Just when a heavy rush of one direction flows--a sign of an other  arrives. And I am so grateful.

Am looking so forward to poeming in Provincetown and work with Martha Rhodes at the end of this month. I've been lucky.

Moving Onward by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Hopefully there won't be too many apologies during the lifespan of this blog--where I apologize for long gaps between posts: I'm sorry! 

Been unraveling after the grueling 30/30 month in April--and thoroughly enjoyed my birthday month (May) / wedding of JB's birthday (busy!). But, all relaxation/celebrations aside, I've still been reading mucho--maybe not 5 books a week, but at least 2-4. Am taking notes toward fodder for the poems I'll have to originate during my time lakeside/poet-side in Squaw Valley (Tahoe) come June 22 - 29 (so excited!!!!). 

Also gave my notice to work, which makes me sad--since this is the most supportive work environment I've ever had the pleasure to work in. JB and I are moving to Lewisburg at the end of August. But! I've got such an exciting summer/year:

June 21 - July 2: California! (LA, Tahoe, SF) 

July 4 - 7: Countryhouse living w/ JB's family, Pennsylvania

July 28 - August 2: FAWC Provincetown thing w/ Martha Rhodes! 

August 3 - 10: East Coast road trip / JB chapbook reading tour/BONANZA. Am in the midst of booking venues, asking poets/writers to read, etc. Never done so much event planning for such a short period of time (nearly every day that week), ever! Going to be fun. Our other main focus for this trip is to eat only delicious things and relax/see America!

August 11 - 24: Bread Loaf! (likely my last summer--so grateful for any time here). 

August 25 - 2014: Life in Lewisburg/at Bucknell University! 

And ...  

I've secured at least a 3 (hopefully 6 if I can get a residence permit) month internship at the Textilsetur in Iceland starting in August 2014!!!! My current internship at TAC in Brooklyn is amazing and I'm learning so much--and I love the classes (last week I learned how to needle felt!). My goal is to do weekend intensive weaving (and dyeing) classes in NY in the fall. In Iceland, I'll be working in exchange for living quarters and a studio/use of textile arts facilities. So I'll need to save up funds for living expenses/art supplies/plane ticket. I really want to devote part of my life to fiber/textiles. Consider me happy.

I'll leave you with images of John Berryman and his wife (he married 3x). 

These photographs, taken from the LIFE archive, show the poet on vacation in Dublin in 1965.