Author: Lesley Wheeler

  • Filaments & telephone lines

    Filaments & telephone lines

    A potential alternate title for this post: talking myself out of post-book-launch blues. Yesterday, as I was troubleshooting on various book-related fronts, I started wondering if “troubleshooting” was another of the military metaphors that colonize my vocabulary (“front” is one). The original meaning of troubleshooting, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was a pleasant surprise. […]

  • I’m floating in a most peculiar way

    I’m floating in a most peculiar way

    Book launch days bring a weird energy. That combined with the planetary riffs in Poetry’s Possible Worlds has Bowie’s “Space Oddity” looping in my head, which is a pretty good soundtrack, really. Not that I’ve become untethered like Major Tom, but yesterday was full of “Big Bang Day” social media tweets, pre-party anxiety, and a […]

  • Countdown…and teaching ideas for Poetry’s Possible Worlds

    I’m getting very close now to the launch of Poetry’s Possible Worlds and therefore working hard on Poetry’s Possible Publicity. The task is a supermassive black hole tugging at my effort and energy, most of which will vanish without a trace–but I still believe in putting it out there. As Claudia Emerson framed it to […]

  • My mother’s haiku

    Daughter, it seems that I talked nonstop now I speak without talking Somewhere around 2010, I taught a class in our four-week May term on writing poetry in forms. One project we did together: after reading more serious haiku and renku, my students had to staff a public booth and write haiku on commission in […]

  • Poetry and the truth of it

    My mother died a year ago April 30th, so I’ve felt haunted these past few weeks. Many kind friends have been checking in with me; for now I’m just saying “okay” and wondering afterward what I meant. Truly, I’ve watched people go through life-rocking grief that lasts years, and that’s not me. My mother died […]

  • Poetry’s Possible Worlds for pre-order–so there, Three of Cups reversed!

    One great thing this week: Poetry’s Possible Worlds arrived at the distributor, so you can pre-order it from SPD! This is particularly excellent because of the great thing NEXT week: the first book launch event! Virginia’s Poet Laureate was kind enough to connect me to the Muse Writers Center, which is hosting a virtual event […]

  • Ashes to bluebells

    “Early on, I divined that this book already exists in the future. / After all, I thought of it; it’s a probability somewhere, complete, on a shelf. / My intention is to consult that future edition and create this one, the original, for you.” -Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, from A Treatise on Stars (2020) At first, when […]

  • Hard lines, soft lines

    Next week I should receive my advance hard copies of Poetry’s Possible Worlds. I feel like I’m facing a portal, a door to strange woods opening at the back of a wardrobe. I know book launches are lucky and thrilling, but they also ramp my anxiety right up, especially the tasks that involve talking up […]

  • Differently to #AWP22

    It’s been a packed week, but also kind of a splendid one. I feel more connected to literary people again–and more conscious of how much the first pandemic year, especially, disconnected us. I returned from a good conference last Sunday to visit with the wonderful poet January Gill O’Neil, who talked to my class the […]

  • Fairy monster godmother gets the chair

    Yesterday, at a NeMLA panel called “Hybrid, Feminist, & Collaborative,” the writer and artist Mary-Kim Arnold talked about “feeling like a hybrid” as a child born in Korea then adopted into a New York family. Explore her whole amazing website if you have time, but here’s one piece that literally stitches image to text in […]