LAST RESIDENCY AT STUDIO 10

DAYS EIGHT, NINE, AND TEN

STUDIO 10, The Commons Building
Montalvo Arts Center

DAY EIGHT

Today I woke up in my own bed. Six a.m. is too early, but a group of us go to most of the rehearsals at Davies Hall in San Francisco. They’re on Wednesdays six or seven times a year. Some I miss, but today is Yo Yo Ma and Michael Tilson Thomas. Yo Yo Ma gave an amazing performance. I plan to write a poem about today’s concert. So much action on stage—inspiring.

Tonight we said goodbye to one of the residents, on his way back to the East Coast. He and his former working partner were doing a virtual reality house. They now have a studio and can continue the project they began here, when they’re in New York. Two of the residents have shows scheduled, the collage composer at Stanford and the Swiss oil painter in San Francisco. They promise to let me know the dates—such a talented bunch.

DAY NINE

So here’s what I’ve accomplished:


 A letter and packet of poems about Hollywood, its films and its stars. The poems are by well-known poets and by those who’ve written good poems about the movies. Permission has been granted to print two of Bob Hass’s, one of Brenda Hillman’s, one of Denise Duhamel’s, and Nils Peterson and Ed Smallfield both have poems about stars. Some from local poets are as good  as those from who are famous. Some are better. Willis Barnstone, whom I met at Jean Emerson’s workshop, tells me I must use only famous poets to be considered by a press or to sell my book. I’m torn.

Uncovered a chapbook on Asia, put aside and forgotten for years. After updating some of the poems in the chapbook, I’ve sent it out. What’s amazing about the poetry is its coverage of a wide range of Asian countries: Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong. I thank my husband, who gave a disk drive presentation each year in Japan. Actually seeing the bridge on the River Kwai brings what a poem contains to life. Finished now and in the swim. No interest from any press as yet.

Completed my manuscript, Finite Infinity, and found it needed division into sections and the switches of a couple of poems to be finished. It’s out there in the competition for awards. I’m now in the midst of a class on The Best American Poetry of 2009. It must be the editor, David Wagoner, but these are poems I like and understand. We are analyzing each of the five poems we liked the most for our first class covering the first third of the book along with a poem from each of the poets in the class. Some fine poetry in the Santa Clara valley.

Filed and discarded.

Found memoirs that my kids will enjoy if I ever get around to putting them on the computer.

Still searching through old writings I’ve never transcribed. Doing just that last year, I discovered the poem “Remains” from an Oregon day in the woods.

My chance of wandering in the woods here at Montalvo or hiking the trails was impossible in driving rain. Concentration came easily, though, because there was little else to do. I’ve never accomplished so much in so little time. A great experience and so worthwhile. I’m inspired,

DAY TEN

Packing up and leaving. I filled out the exit interview and gave five stars to most of the items in the questionnaire. A five-star experience for sure.

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