Resolve


2010 in Real Life was tough, trying, bitter, rewarding, and it's over. Finally. There's not much more to say than that.

2010 in Writing Life was me living the dream. A baker's dozen of poems published. Won the New South Prize, and received two Pushcart Prize nominations. I completed multiple revisions of my manuscript and arrived at a final draft, titled it Praise Nothing, and it's currently out and under consideration. On the whole, the poems are coming along and I feel at peace with my labors.

That said, I do like to use the beginning of each new year to make new poetry goals, and I've decided that, this year, I'd type 'em up as a way of making sure I hold myself accountable.

Over at The New Republic, Ruth Franklin has a piece titled "How I'll Be a Better Reader in 2011." You should click over to read the rest, but here's an excerpt:
New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holidays—not so much for the champagne and crowds, but for the call to renewal that it brings. As a child I was an avid New Year’s resolution-maker, always with an eye toward self-improvement: I would pledge to write in my diary more often and keep my room neater. By now, I’ve given up on both of those endeavors, but, this year, I thought I’d try giving the classic New Year’s resolutions a literary spin.
Modeling this after Franklin's, here's my list of 2011 Poetry Goals:

Lose Weight -- Get first manuscript published; finish the long poem projects; give away poetry books, especially during National Poetry Month; revise older work and submit it.

Exercise More -- Write and publish six book reviews; blog more consistently; a draft of a new poem every three weeks.

Learn a New Language -- Read more critical theory.

Quit Smoking -- Submit poems to the "Discovery"/Boston Review Prize; submit poems (for the first time) to Poetry, AGNI, Ploughshares, Paris Review, The New Yorker, Georgia Review, and The Atlantic; resubmit to BlackbirdSouthern Review; submit to more poetry contests.

Spend More Time with Family & Friends -- More workshopping with poetry friends via the interwebz; attend a "virtual" reading; be more consistent with the poetry email list.

Basically, my primary poetry goal is the same as it always is: do something for poetry every day.