Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Confession Tuesday - Writer 2 Writer Edition

Dear Reader: It's been one a round trip to Washington DC,  more days and nights of anguish over the state of America than I care to count or admit, one AWP Conference, one Rhino Reading and 6 weeks since my last confession.

Please follow me to the confessional....

Reader a lot has happened since my last confession. I confess some good and some not so good.

As I write this tonight I have concluded watching Trump's speech before a joint session of Congress. Yes, I confess I watched it. I also confess that he delivered the speech in pretty respectable form. That is to say that he was more presidential that  we are accustomed to seeing. I believe he came in to this with a pretty low bar and in fact preformed above that bar. That said, he did not woo me with substance. It is clear that his replacement for the ACA, if up to him would not have an individual mandate. This means it is unlikely to provide affordable insurance for those most in need of help. This returns us to a nation where health care is not a right but a privileged.  This is unacceptable,

I won't hammer away at every disagreeable position but I will say that  I believe his budget numbers will be tremendously flawed. I remain concerned about a trade war and he simply is not going to bring back hoards of manufacturing jobs. The misconception is these have all gone overseas. Some yes, but the bulk of job losses in manufacturing are due to automation.That is a reality that is not going to change.  I could go on, but I confess that is not what my focus is tonight.

I confess I remain concerned about the Russia - Trump connection and believe it needs to be fully investigated.

I confess that the AWP17 conference was exciting and draining and that is nothing new. My one previous conference was 2015 in Minneapolis and it too had those components.

Some highlights if the conference were meeting Shaindel Beers one of my favorite poets and one of my 2016 Poet Crush List members, and meeting Martha Silano another extraordinary poet.

There was another part of the conference that  is worth mentioning. Over a period of time I have applied on six occasions for the AWP Writer 2 Writer mentoring program. (I'm nothing if I am not resistant) and I learned a couple days before the conference that I was one of 25 writers chosen out of 400 applications for this session.  I confess that I have wanted this for so long and it has in fact been hard to believe that  it finally happened.

I have been matched with another poet, Ken Waldman and Ken and I were both at the conference and we therefor made certain that we met face to face.

The Writer 2 Writer program is a open to members of AWP.  There is an application process and I believe it is just one of many positive benefits available to writer who are members.  I am just now in the second week of the program and I plan update readers on the experience as I make my way through it. But for tonight, let's just say there has been something good to come out of 2017 already.

Best to all of you & talk to you again soon.