By this time in the conference, I am always exhausted. This year is no exception. It is not easier to be home, with all of the home demands waiting outside the door; it is not easier to be on site, with the constant pressure to be social and available, whether or not I'm actually in a class session. Both scenarios are tiring, and by day 4 I always start to feel the wobbles.
Because of this incipient exhaustion, and definitely because of the heat, I had a hard time choosing poems for last night's reading. I struggled to figure out what might echo, create conversation, surprise, satisfy, even sound good in the air. Funny how sometimes a damp sheet seems to drop over my confidence in my performance choices . . . which is essentially what a reading is: an actor on stage interpreting a script.
But my friends held me up: despite my misgivings about my choices, they listened and responded and cared, and I'll tell you: there's hardly anything more revitalizing than to bask in that sort of confidence. I am beyond grateful, though I had to sweat through two entire changes of clothing before I got through the day.
The conference proper finishes up this morning, and this afternoon we'll move into the Writing Intensive, a day and a half focused entirely on participants' own generative writing. My dear friend and colleague, Teresa Carson, will be directing the Writing Intensive and reading tonight. Here's her bio, and a link to her reading . . . and, by the way, all of the previous readings are now archived on the the Frost Place page so you can watch us at your leisure.
Teresa Carson holds an MFA in Poetry and an MFA in Theatre, both from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of four collections of poetry: Elegy for a Floater (CavanKerry Press, 2008); My Crooked House (CavanKerry Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize; The Congress of Human Oddities (Deerbrook Editions, 2015); and Visit to an Extinct City (Deerbrook Editions, 2021), which is the first book of five in her The Argument of Time series. She lives in Florida, where she co-curates two programs aimed at fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations and putting art into public settings: The Unbroken Thread[s] Project and Art in Common Places.