Two events stand out in my admittedly thin-broth of a writing life: my first piece ever to be accepted for publication (by the journal happy—anyone ever heard of it?) for which I still have the check, dated December 21, 1998, pinned to a bulletin board (it was for $5, so not a big sacrifice), and being accepted into a poetry workshop taught by Tony Hoagland.
Needless to say, if you are a lover of contemporary poetry, the second event was much more momentous. It was even tinged with aspects of intrigue. I had been working for Inprint for about two years and had been writing poetry for only a few more, and mostly undercover, hiding it like some drug addiction that I did not want family and friends to discover, when I found out that Tony had come to Rich (the big fromage at Inprint) and offered to teach a poetry workshop for us. Even more surprising, and what nobody but the staff has ever known, he said that he did not want to be paid for it; he wanted to do it as a service to his new community. Continue reading