High Gear with Bright Spots

Have you noticed it’s that time of the semester again? It’s been a month since my last blog post, and that’s because I’ve been busy! It happens every semester that school takes over, but this time it seems to have happened earlier than most. I’ll blame it on SACS. For those not in education (in the South), that’s the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and it’s time they evaluate Mississippi University for Women for accreditation. That means lots of people on campus have to scramble to tell them who we are and what we do (and to get our ducks in a row before we have to do that!), and I’m one of those scrambling, since I head one subcommittee and serve on another. A few more committees have cropped up, and then there are the usual classes — it’s midterm time and grading is in full swing.

But there are brighter moments, even if they’ve added to the stress. For one, the family all gathered in Albuquerque last month to celebrate my niece’s wedding with a lovely ceremony out in the desert with a view of the Sandia Mountains behind. Great food and even dancing were enjoyed by all. Aidan proved he has rhythm, and his parents even took a step or two on the dance floor. And we got to spend a few days with Rudy, Michael, Elizabeth and the whole Lucero clan, which is always great fun. Aidan, Rudy, and I took a hike one day up a trail into the mountains a ways. On that hike we even saw a tarantula cross our path. That weekend was a much appreciated break from the daily routine of school.

Another Bright Spot in the fall is always the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. It keeps me hopping, organizing authors (every plane ticket has been reserved and I have al their other travel plans), buying books (making my last orders for the book table this week), planning food and beverages for our lunches, dinners, and receptions (have met with food services once, more meetings to follow, I’m sure), writing publicity (our press release is out, the poster is printed, and the program is almost ready to go press). Things are looking pretty good, though there’s always the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something (usually true, though usually I remember in time). It’ll be a great group and a wonderful weekend when it arrives in just over two weeks. I hope to make a few posts on this year’s authors before the time comes!

So my apologies to my blog readers that my attention has been elsewhere. It’s part of the cycle, maybe a bit more intense this time around, but I hope to be able to post more frequently again soon!

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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