Son Number 1: Did you just wipe old milk on your pants?Son Number 2: It wasn't old milk.
And now, onward and upward. I am excited to tell you about a gift that has fallen into my lap. Autumn House Press has, out of the blue, invited me to edit an anthology of writings about poetry: not contorted critical theory but real literature--Plato, Horace, Wordsworth, Shelley, Pater . . . in short, the work I love and believe in. About two-thirds of the book will be older, classic works about poetry; the last third will be more contemporary, including, I hope, writers such as Nabokov and Woolf and Adrienne Rich. The intended audience will be undergraduate and graduate writing and English classes, but the publisher and I have some hopes that it will also be useful for high-achieving high school students.
If you have thoughts about essays, interviews, or even ars poetica poems that have influenced you or your students, please do share them with me. I would love to expand my list of Asian, African, Latino, native and black American, feminist, and gay/lesbian/transgender sources. But I'm not necessarily looking for brand-new voices, though I'm happy to consider them for inclusion. Part of the point of this book will be to introduce students (and, I'm sorry to say, their teachers) to the wealth of the past. And I must admit that it's thrilling to have suddenly been offered a project that gives me a tiny bit of pedagogical power. "Yes, kids, you do have to read all of Shelley's 'Defence of Poetry' by this time next week because it's in the textbook so it must be important." Hah!