Not that anyone on earth reads this blog… but I have some good news to report. 

Two more poems of mine have been published. “The Dialogue” and “The Dialogue II” are now available to be read in both print and online versions of Burning Word. 

Here is the link to them: http://burningword.com/2012/01/zoe-etkin/

It’s really nice that they seem to like my work so much. Enough at least to publish me twice in a decently short amount of time. 

Hm… what else is new… well in a week and some I will be completing my last semester of graduate school at CalArts. That’s kind of a mind blower. I have worked pretty hard on my thesis–and it’s paying off with publishing–and I feel like it is in a good place. This semester I want to get it in shape to start sending out for first book prizes. Even though I do feel a sense of accomplishment, in terms of how much work I’ve done, I still have the typical bipolar [using this term liberally] writer syndrome of loving and hating my work. It’s probably just lack of confidence. But at the same time, I’d rather be self-loathing about my work and try and make it better, than being complacent thinking it’s perfect. I do what I can. Writing is hard. My mentor, Maggie, is going on maternity leave this last semester. That will change things, certainly, not having her around. But our visiting professor, poet Amy Gerstler, is taking on the role of mentor and I think she’ll have a lot to offer. She’s very in touch with the contemporary poetry that’s being published and just edited an anthology last year. I want to work with her to structure my book. It’s kind of a mess in that regard. How to arrange it. How to shape the narrative. I’m a little bit surprised I wrote narratively driven poems. Not every single one is narrative, but they collectively build to one. I think that’s good though–to start with something cohesive. Maggie told me that so many first poetry books are sort of “here’s the best of what I wrote in the past x years.” Almost like a portfolio rather than a book. I hope it gives me some kind of edge to have something that is really, cohesive isn’t the right word, something really knit. 

Last semester was interesting. Learned a whole lot from being a TA. Next week I need to go over my materials and rethink my syllabus a little for the coming semester. A few things need tweaking and some need a complete overhaul. 

I’m trying to get a job line up for next fall. Teaching. I’m asking around at private schools. I’m more interested in teaching at that level right now than doing the adjunct thing. I’m not sure what made me come to this decision. I guess I want something more fixed–but don’t we all. I’m just sending my energy out there, hoping something positive will come as a result. If all else fails, I can always be a tutor. Sigh. But I really don’t want to do that. I want to teach. I like teaching. I’m good at it. I have a good CV–good experience. California is hard though. I’d have an easier chance if I had a teaching credential. Too late to sign up for one of those programs for fall but maybe the next year after that. I’m such a planner. It’s hard for me to go with the flow. I want to know what my next move is because I know what it is like to flounder after you finish a program. That year after undergrad was brutal–but it taught me a lot. And that’s why I am trying to be proactive about this coming fall. 

Some goals before the semester starts:

1. Get the first issue of my lit mag Red Sky DONE and ready for eyes

2. Rework my TA syllabus

3. Write a syllabus/course proposal for CalArts (Southern Lit course)

4. Continue to go hiking

5. Go to yoga and boot camp class

6. Write something

I guess I am writing something now. But I’ve been having an odd craving to write fiction–or maybe prose poems. Just something different, not for my thesis. I just keep distracting myself though. I’ll get there–maybe. We’ll see what kind of writing the new semester brings. I hope I can cultivate a better writing practice because when school ends I don’t want my writing to dry up as it did after undergrad. People seem to think I am good at this thing so I want to make the most of my talent. 

Well, that’s all for now.



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