26 February 2012

Where to Find Me in Chicago

Friends, Fans and Fellow Writers,

Please come by and see me at the AWP conference in Chicago.  Hear me read from my chapbook Slow Depth and get your copy signed.

On Thursday March 1, 2012 from 6:00pm-8:00pm: 

I will be reading at the
Rane Arroyo Memorial Reading located at 624 S. Michigan Avenue
Columbia College North Library Reading Room (1/2 block from Chicago Hilton).

On Friday March 2, 2012 from 1:00-2:00pm:

I will be signing copies of my chapbook at the
AWP Bookfaire at the Chicago Hilton 720 S. Michigan Avenue
Booth 416 at 2:00pm-3:00pm and beyond.

19 February 2012

Those Reading Lists

I resolved last year to keep a reading list.  I was successful and maybe keeping a list helped me to reach my goal of reading 100 books.  This year, in January I read something like 3,000 pages for pleasure and as academic work.  3,000 Pages!  That is the most I have ever read in a single month that I know of.

Here is January's reading list for those who are interested.

January          (total page count 3,001 )

1.      1.  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick (fiction) 216 pages.
2.      2. The Best American Poetry 2011 ed. Kevin Young (poetry)  240 pages.
3.      3. Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud trans. John Ashbery (poetry) 176 pages.
4.      4100 Best-Loved Poems ed. by Philip Smith (poetry) 96 pages.
5.      5.  Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (fiction) 256 pages.
6.      6. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (fiction) 355 pages.
7.     7. Grab Bag by Derek McCormack (Short Stories) 200 pages.
8.      8. The Haunted Hillbilly by Derek McCormack (fiction) 128 pages.
9.      9. Transparence of the World by Jean Follain (poetry) 131 pages.
10.  10. Wild Mouse by Derek McCormack (fiction/poetry) 41 pages.  **
11.  11. The Art of the Lathe by B. H. Fairchild (poetry) 80 pages. **
12.  12.  Monologue of a Dog by Wislawa Szymborska (poetry) 120 pages.
13.  13.  Crush by Richard Siken (poetry) 60 pages.**
** The double asterisk denote that I am rereading the book.

And just to make a note for the argumentative, I HAVE read the Little House series before, but not for a good 20+ years, so I consider it a new read.  W

What are you reading at the moment?


12 February 2012

Music and the Page: Writing Soundtracks

As readers, we are often stunned by the prose of the page, but how many of us think about the author toiling away to get their words in front of us?

Writers do.

I sometimes sit in front of a poem, or sentence dazzled.  I think, "How could a writer do this?"  I then begin to imagine him or her in the process of composing the work of art.  Ultimately, this means that I am imagining myself writing it as well.  How could I write something this good?

When in my cups (the self-pity cups) I imagine that the writer I so admire is always brilliant and has completed the entire novel on the first draft.  We all know this isn't true, if for no other reason than editors love to edit.

Imagining other writers, helps me to consider my own writing practice.  A large part of that practice for me lately, has been listening to music.

I know that many writers compose a book or piece of work with a set of songs to help them "get into the mood."  For myself, I find words with music distract me.  I have a hard time considering the next line of a poem is "Baby Baby Baby noooo"drifts through my stereo speakers.  Sometimes the words even leak out onto the page.  The horror of find upon rereading my new draft, "The gate slapped shut, an ultimatum / a gunshot.  The car that gunned out of the driveway / the radio in the room playing on / as if nothing was going on at all/ and I was like baby baby baby ooooh."

For this very reason, I tend to listen to the classical NPR station while writing or reading.  Sometimes if I leave the radio on another channel, I will find myself composing and then yelling at the radio: SHUT UP!  When trying to summon up feelings from the past, I might play a song I associate with that period in my life or even a whole album.  I wrote an entire essay about teenage angst and The Cure's album Disintegrationhttp://kinemapoetics.blogspot.com/2011/07/jory-mickelson-on-cures-disintegration.html

My question for you this week is what kind of background noise fills your writing?  Is it the chatter of people in a busy cafe?  Is it the sound of your children fighting or playing Wii?  Do you impose absolute silence while you compose?

What is the soundtrack of your own writing life?

08 February 2012

In the Weeks to Come

Dear Readers,

In the weeks to come, I will be heading to AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) in Chicago.  Between 7,000-10,000 writers, publishers, editors, educators, and readers will converge on the Windy City to attend readings, panels, and party with the literati and academia.  It's fun.  It's draining.  It is also where my chapbook Slow Depth will be debuting.  I will be doing a signing at the press table and take part in a press reading while there.  If you are going to AWP, let me know and I will keep you in the loop.

The question for you my dear magpie lovers is what would you like to see more of on this blog?  More reviews?  More news?  More interviews?  More muse?  Photos?

Several of you have just started reading and I welcome you.  As we head deeper into 2012, take the time to let me know what you like and dislike about this blog...after all, without readers, it is just a journal cluttering up the internet.

Keep Reading!
Jory Mickelson


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