Friday, January 2, 2009

Reflecting on the Work of 2008

I'm going about this backwards, having looked forward to the year ahead in my post yesterday. Call it memory, call it flashback, call it the writer's business to mix up time.

At the end of 2007, I received an artist enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women to begin writing my second collection of poems. I recently finished my final report reflecting on the activities and artistic growth of the past year. Admittedly, I was a little nervous to review the year, to examine carefully the work I accomplished...and that which I did not. The approach I took was to let the poems develop organically through the year, without thematic direction (although I had outlined expected themes in the original proposal) because you just can't force a poem to be something it's not. Although some of the themes and images did not develop, many did, and, to my delight, new themes and images surfaced. During the year, I did not always feel like I was making progress, though a couple poems immediately felt like "breakthrough" poems. With the recent introspective period, I discovered the year had resulted in many significant changes and growth in my work. Perhaps most noticeably, I see a lightness, even humor, in the new poems, which is not present in the poems of my first manuscript.

Grateful beyond measure for the many benefits the grant provided, I look forward to completing the project and to continued growth as a writer.

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