Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Spring Break & DIY

Josh Young

So, as I’m writing this, I’m smack-dab in the middle of spring break. When you read this, I will be smack-dab in the middle of the week following spring break. I’m sorry.

The Poetry MFA Admitted Student Day was last week, and I got to meet a bunch of people. They had good questions and seemed like a great group! I’m stoked for them. I’m also glad they got to see a good chunk of how the program works. Thanks to Abi and Daniel for making this whole day easier (and thanks to those of you who came to the Coffee Hour to hang out!).

The admitted students met with the staff from the Graduate Admissions & Services Office, had coffee with five of us students from the program, and went to Jill Magi’s (she’s so great!) Poetics class—they got to see a pretty typical discussion and classroom demeanor. (It was great to see my cohort in action as a pure observer.) Next, the admitted students had a Q&A with faculty and students, followed by the Court Green 10 release reading, and capped off the day with some pizza in the 600 basement cafe (that I did not know existed). I felt like they got to see some of the best of this program.

Also, last week I handed in the final draft of my thesis to my Thesis Advisor, Tony Trigilio, for proofing. This means that I am basically done. After I get proofing notes from Tony, I’ll fix them and be ready to turn DIY in. Since I’ve been working on this project seriously for two years (tinkering with it for three or more and thinking about it for possibly longer), there’s a real sense of relief now. Though, part of me is going to miss the research and writing that I’ve done. Even a couple days ago someone posted an article about the physics of a mosh-pit, which I would’ve loved to use. But here’s the thing: There will always be more stuff to cram in. The trick is knowing when the project is done. Mine is done. Sure, I could write about the relationship between punks and hippies and why having long hair at that time was a problem. I could write more about the battle between “punks” and “straightedge,” or I could right more about the bands I didn’t quite get to. But that would make this book different, and maybe a few years down the road I’ll come back to this. (I doubt it.)

RIght now, DIY is out at a few presses waiting. I submitted to some big prizes (something I’m sort of against), but that I felt I needed to. This book is a hybrid. It’s not poetry, and its subject is aggressive, so I wanted more people to see it. With my other books and projects, I understand that I will have a smaller audience, which is okay. But DIY is LOUD. It needs to get into the mix and bump against other books in the poetry academy. We’ll see if anyone likes it enough to publish it.

In the meantime, I’m working on other projects: another hybrid-project, a second play-in-verse, and a book about a flood. I’m also working on other non-poetry projects. And, of course, submitting other manuscripts and poetry to journals.

So, anyway, back to spring break. Elliot and I are gonna play “Dinosaur Train” on my guitar, eat some breakfast, and work on some puzzles. It looks cold outside the window, but I know we’ll need to go for a walk later, possibly to the park. I gotta make sure all my warm clothes are clean.

Alright, till next time,

J

Spring Break & DIY

So, as I’m writing this, I’m smack-dab in the middle of spring break. When you read this, I will be smack-dab in the middle of the week following spring break. I’m sorry. …

Creative Writing - Poetry MFA Josh Young, joyoung@colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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