Thursday, July 7, 2011
Greetings from Marquette, Michigan
I managed to lose my digital camera today (yes, it takes a special kind of person), so these are mere Google images, plus I am a (albeit content) wrung-out dishrag from 3 x 4 = 12 hours of poetry workshop leading these past three days, but I want to share my exuberance and gratitude for being in Marquette these eleven days as the guest poet at Northern Michigan University. It is indeed an honor. In my class I have had the pleasure of working with some of most personable, graceful, caring, and articulate students I've ever met. They are trying hard to be the best writers they can be, and it is infinitely gratifying to witness their growth. I am spoiled, and in a big way.
I also love Lake Superior and its pinkish-sand, so soft, the lake so vast I could almost be walking down a beach on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.
I also must share my just-this-moment realization that I am NOT in the mitten part of Michigan. Silly me, I did not consult a map until ... just now. Silly me, I did not realize that the U.P. was not part of the mitten. I really honestly did not know that the part of Michigan I am in is above Wisconsin, and should, essentially, BE Wisconsin. Or how quite close I am to Canada (the lake that touches the shore down the street is the same lake that has a shore, across the way, in Onatario--at least I think it's Ontario).
Yes, yes, another dingbat American, another poet without a map, another detail-wise and big- picture foolish kind of gal.
What I can't understand is how the flight from Minneapolis to Marquette took less than 40 minutes. That diesel engine must've been switched out with some heavy-duty rocket fuel!
Other than teaching, I've been cookin' up a mess o poems. Half a dozen in the hopper since I took off from Seattle on Monday, with many more ideas illuminating my future. Miles to go before I even think about taking a hike, but that's just my ambition speaking. Seriously, I need to hoof it to the store before I run out of Wheaties.
Peachy as all get out to be in Roethke's state, in Jim Harrison and Bob Hicok territory, in Susan Blackwell Ramsey's backyard, though (curses, curses) no direct flights from Kalamazoo to the U.P.
Susan Blackwell Ramsey, by the way, is the 2011 winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize! Whooty-hoot-hoot! One of my fav poets! Yay! Though it kills me I'm so close, and yet she's not here to catch the cork, etc., weep weep.
And now back to learning about ore boats and that beautiful brick-red lighthouse ... thanks for stopping by!