Busy Week

It’s been a busy week around here, what with trying to get lots of details wrapped up for the Eudora Welty Writer’s Symposium. Our press release is now out, flyers are printed and distributed around town, the last of the authors’ travel arrangements are taken care of, and I”m nearly done ordering books.

Oh yes, and then there is the food (check!), the arrangements of tables and chairs at our location (next week), the online program (check!), and the printed program (nearly complete). Then there’s the little detail of a retrospective issue of the Dilettanti, Ephemera and Oh Lady!–student literary magazines MUW has produced over the past 102 years. Thanks to the scanning marathon conducted by Bridget Pieschel, we have plenty of text to work with. My job this week (extending well into the weekend) is to enter that text in our publishing program (InDesign) and get it to our printer in time to have it back by Oct. 23. Should be fun…

I shouldn’t forget those pesky classes and grading. Keeping up can be a challenge that makes you sympathize with your students around midterm time. In Poetry Workshop we were talking about personal poems and whether a poem should be about the poet. Not surprisingly, most of my students felt it should be. Maybe I’ve convinced some of them that it doesn’t have to be and that when it is, the choice is not so simple as it seems. There are so many ways a poet can include him or herself in a poem — as the subject, as the mind behind the poem, as a ‘persona’-like character in his or her own work, as a barely present observer whose personality is hardly important, though it informs the way the observed world is portrayed. Undoubtedly there are more ways to do it or there are combinations of the above. I don’t mind how students write, as long as they are conscious of their choices and struggle with them somewhat.

Our son, Aidan, has also been busy, working on the National Anthem, which a group from his school will sing at the high school football game soon, auditioning for a play, and going to 3 soccer practices (thank goodness the rain finally stopped!), violin lesson, fiddle lesson (the first one of the fall), and orchestra. Thursday we were dashing to three activities in one afternoon. From what we understand, it will only get worse as he grows up…

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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