It Begins

Whether I'm ready or not, school begins on Monday. More than most years, I have been putting off getting ready. Partly this is simply knowing already pretty much what I'll be doing -- the classes I'm teaching are ones I've taught many times before -- but I've also finally begun to clarify for myself the structure of a long sequence of poems I have been working on for a long time & that has taken most of my intellectual attention. I'm reluctant to turn away from it. This is the sequence, Island Universe, that I took to the Blue Mountain Center earlier this summer, where I didn't so much work on them as worry about them. It was a productive worry, filled with directed reading, though, & it has begun to pay off. I also need to mention James Smith at The Southern Poetry Review, who has offered some pointed & useful editorial advice over the last couple of weeks while considering some of the poems. I have never, in thirty years of sending poems to magazines, had such a sense of editorial engagement with my work. I'm grateful.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.