Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Year that Was

So it was a pretty good year. Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake came out (in They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, which was #2 this Summer on SPD's best seller list). I did 17 readings. Which seems impossible to believe. But it was a busy, busy year in that way. The highlights were: reading at Good Luck Bar with Lidia Yuknavitch (I have to say, I am a little bit in love with her), reading at the QAF in Vancouver BC with Wayne Koestenbaum (I was totally geeked out to be reading with him, and was in the middle of one of the most horrible weeks of my life. The result of that reading was half a dozen people coming up to me after and telling me the reading made them cry. I did feel while I was reading that I had never read better, which felt good). The best reading was in Kansas though at Pages. The community I found there in Newton almost made me want to move there. Almost. The whole evening was just fantastic: the hosts, the turnout, my fellow readers, how the Q&A after turned more into a whole-audience conversation, then the porch drinking/talking until I had to leave for the train at 2am, just fantastic.

Last year I spent less time focused on getting stuff published, which was good for my sanity. That whole scrambling race is pretty tiring. I sent less individual pieces out and, once Conspiracies got picked up by Jaded Ibis Press in June, I quit sending the newer ms out as well. I spent more time revising it. I also spent some time making a few new poems for Conspiracies and reworking the stuff that I had initially cut to make it the palatable-sized <80-page ms (JI is happy to have it longer if it works that way). I traveled a lot. Focused inward on where I am in life and what I want. Which was good. Good to have some balance when the world out there doesn't always cooperate.

I am a little worried about getting everything done each week for the next three months. That is, getting everything done without getting an ulcer, having a breakdown, or becoming completely intolerable to the people around me. I woke this morning with a hot ball of stress riding high in my chest. I am working through the long to-do list I made at 3am.

I spent too much money last year, something I don't think will rectify this year. I read a lot, though sadly the quick clip slowed in Fall; I don't expect I'll read this much in 2012. Several were books I reread (The Book of Frank, Crush, Mule - which are three of my favorite books ever, btw). New to me favorites were probably: Reasons to Live - Amy Hempel, The Chronology of Water – Lidia Yuknavitch, Bone Pagoda - Susan Tichy, The Madeleine Poems - Paul Legault, and A Natural History of the Senses - Diane Ackerman, which just had so much trivia for my brain to absorb.

1. Where We Think It Should Go – Claire Becker

2. Doctor Copernicus – John Banville

3. The Book of Frank – CA Conrad

4. The Irrationalist – Suzanne Buffam

5. Bobcat Country – Brandi Homan

6. The Book of Questions – Pablo Neruda

7. The History of Violets - Marosa di Giorgio

8. Octopus – Tom C. Hunley

9. The Planets – Dava Sobel

10. Accident – Nicholas Mosley

11. A Natural History of the Senses – Diane Ackerman

12. Crash Dome – Alex Phillips

13. The Country of Loneliness – Dawn Paul

14. Dayglo – James Meetze

15. Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrl Revolution – Sara Marcus

16. The Terror of Living – Urban Waite

17. Tocqueville – Khaled Mattawa

18. The Island of the Colorblind – Oliver Sacks

19. Black-Eyed Heifer – Shelly Taylor

20. Stalin in Aruba – Shelley Pahuk

21. Breaking the Map – Kim-An Lieberman

22. The Last Waltz in Santiago: And Other Poems of Exile and Disappearance – Ariel Dorfman

23. What Kind – Martha Zweig

24. Sasquatch Stories – Mike Topp

25. Coming Through Slaughter – Michael Ondaatje

26. Gallowglass – Susan Tichy

27. Models of the Universe: An Anthology of the Prose Poem – ed. Stuart Friebert & David Young

28. Nox – Anne Carson

29. A Moveable Feast – Earnest Hemingway

30. Hunter Mnemonics – Deborah Woodard

31. Easter Rabbit – Joseph Young

32. The Worse-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel – Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

33. Recipes for Endangered Species – Traci O’Connor

34. Blue for the Plough – Dara Weir

35. The Bodyfeel Lexicon – Jessica Bozek

36. The Myth of the Simple Machines – Laurel Snyder

37. Green Cammie – Crysta Casey

38. Mad to Live – Randall Brown

39. The Nightyard – Stephanie Anderson

40. The Energy of Slaves – Leonard Cohen

41. Pee on Water – Rachel B. Glaser

42. The Tiny Wife – Andrew Kaufman

43. Chelsea Girls – Eileen Myles

44. Hinge & Sign – Heather McHugh

45. A History of the Human Family – Sasha Steensen

46. Man’s Companions – Joanna Rucco

47. Sing, Mongrel – Claire Hero

48. The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits – Kim Gek Lin Short

49. One More Theory About Happiness – Paul Guest

50. The Spell of the Sensuous – David Abram

51. Cut Away – Catherine Kirkwood

52. Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More – Mark Strand

53. Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson

54. The Field Guide to Flash Fiction – ed. Tara Masih

55. Alive and Dead in Indiana – Michael Martone

56. The Long-Legged Fly – James Sallis

57. The Father of the Predicaments – Heather McHugh

58. People are Tiny in Paintings of China – Cynthia Arrieu-King

59. Invitation to a Beheading – Vladimir Nabokov

60. The Art Lover – Carol Maso

61. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence – Victor Marchetti & John D. Marks

62. Halfsteps + Cloudfang – Daniela Olszewska

63. Strange as This Weather Has Been – Ann Pancake

64. Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives – David Eagleman

65. Soot- Jeff Walt

66. The Inquisition Yours – Jen Currin

67. The Tears of Eros – Georges Bataille

68. Advanced ELVIS Course – CAConrad

69. Theory of Religion – Georges Bataille

70. Vertical Hold – Jeff Simpson

71. The Dragonfly: A Selection of Poems 1953-1981 – Amelia Rosselli

72. How the Broken Lead the Blind – Matt Bell

73. Reality Hunger: A Manifesto – David Shields

74. At the Point – Joseph Massey

75. Rust Or Go Missing – Lily Brown

76. Reasons to Live – Amy Hempel

77. Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master – Kevin Prufer & D.A. Powell, eds.

78. Goat Song – Brad Kessler

79. Deviant Propulsion – CAConrad

80. 2666 – Roberto Bolano

81. Saint Monica – Mary Biddinger

82. Refinery – Claudia Keelan

83. The Jiri Chronicles & Other Fictions – Debra Di Blasi

84. Dear Ra – Johannes Goransson

85. When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris

86. The Chronology of Water – Lidia Yuknavitch

87. Everlasting Quail – Sam Witt

88. Discipline – Dawn Lundy Martin

89. Speech Acts – Laura McCullough

90. Mascara – Ariel Dorfman

91. The Nights Also – Anna Swanson

92. No one belongs here more than you – Miranda July

93. Ask the Pilot: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel – Patrick Smith

94. Glean – Joshua Kryah

95. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World – Haruki Murakami

96. Lord Brain – Bruce Beasley

97. Dien Cai Dau – Yusef Komunyakaa

98. The Good-Neighbor Policy - Charles Ardai

99. Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn (with George Vecsey)

100. Humiliation – Wayne Koestenbaum

101. This is What Happened in Our Other Life – Achy Obejas

102. Bossypants – Tina Fey

103. Reality Sandwiches – Allen Ginsberg

104. Daughter – Janice Lee

105. Notes from the Red Zone – Christine Pacosz

106. Citizen – Andrew Feld

107. Feel This Book – Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller

108. Birdland: The Story of a World Famous Bird Sanctuary – Len Hill and Emma Wood

109. The Descent – Sophie Cabot Black

110. April Galleon – John Ashbery

111. The Price of Light – Pimone Triplett

112. Betty Superman – Tiff Holland

113. Bone Pagoda – Susan Tichy

114. Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality – Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

115. Music and Suicide– Jeff Clark

116. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction – Michel Foucault

117. Times Square Red, Times Square Blue – Samuel Delaney

118. Shoulder Season – Ange Mlinko

119. Epistemology of the Closet – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

120. The Queer Art of Failure – Judith Halberstam

121. The Cloud Corporation – Timothy Donnelly

122. The Madeleine Poems – Paul Legault

123. Predatory – Glenn Shaheen

124. Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State – Chandan Reddy

125. Crush – Richard Siken

126. Earth Day Suite – Joseph Harrington

127. The Rest of Love – Carl Phillips

128. The Displaced of Capital – Anne Winters

129. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination – Avery Gordon

130. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex – Stanley A. Stanley & Nat Smith (eds.)

131. Cruel Optimism – Lauren Berlant

132. A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood – Allen Braden

133. The Evolution of the Flightless Bird - Richard Kenney

134. Tell me the Truth About Love – W.H. Auden

135. Mule – Shane McCrae

136. The Grief Performance – Emily Kendal Frey

137. A Little White Shadow – Mary Ruefle

138. Awe – Dorothea Lasky

139. Lake Antiquity – Brandon Downing