Brookdale Writers Conference

Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the annual Brookdale Writers Conference. Although I’ve shown my own and others’ electronic literature projects in a variety of contexts at a variety of gatherings and conferences, other than the mammoth and alienating AWP conference, this was the first time that I showed my work at a conference that was expressly for creative writers. It occurred to me that e-lit should show up at more gatherings of this type. I also attended a panel on “The Writer’s Life” before my presentation at the “Crossing the Boundaries” panel. It was great to hear writers talking about they manage to fit their craft in with their lives. It also gave me appreciation of my comparatively healthy balance between the work of teaching and my own work. Some of the writers on that panel are getting up at 6AM to squeeze in a couple of lines of a poem before they shuffle to their 5 course teaching load community college jobs. Although I sometimes covet the lives of my peers at major research institutions who have a 1 or 2 course teaching load that allows ample time for research and writing, at least I have some time for own work during the year, and I get to teach courses I’m interested in, to students who at least often appear to be interested in the topic. It was nice also to hear from Jim Elledge, a poet who used to teach at ISU when I was there, and to catch up with Charlie Flowers, who I knew from working with the Academy of American Poets when the ELO was first getting started. Charlie was on the panel along with me, promoting Bloom magazine, a literary magazine he publishes. After the panel, Charlie and I took the train up to New York, where I caught with old friends, Kendra, Jenny, and Kurt Heintz, the director of the e-poets network. It’s nice that I’m close enough to New York that I can pop up for the weekend now and again, to slake my thirst for city life and catch up with friends old and new.

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