Thursday, December 31, 2009


Among the many, many things that I've been this year--mother, wife, newly published poet, assistant professor--blogger has not been high on my list. It's not that I don't have good intentions. I read and enjoy other people's blogs immensely, and I'm grateful for those poets who still keep them and haven't fully succumbed to the twitterversion of sharing information. But in a year full of changing and rearranging, time has become even more of a commodity, and I didn't manage to eke out very much of it for blogging. A new year's resolution to do better? Perhaps. But mainly I'm just promising to remember to be grateful and be present for my life.

This year brought with it so many things, some highly anticipated and others I wouldn't have seen coming. My first book came out. And people actually read it and discussed it and bought it--so much so that it sold out its first print run in the first nine months or so. It went into its second printing late this fall, and I was given the opportunity to make a couple of small corrections and changes when it went back to press, for which I am also grateful.

In support of the book, I got to travel--a lot. Oregon three times in a year. Seattle. Miami. Atlanta. I got to meet wonderful writers and festival-goers and organizers and booksellers, a whole continuum of people who value the written word and work to ensure its longevity and importance. Along the way, we had some harrowing times (a hotel fire in Oregon, for example), but those moments also served to heighten my gratitude and remind me again and again to be mindful and stay in the moment, wherever and whenever I am.

And the book led to a full-time, tenure-track job at SIUE, which led to start-up funds and more and more interested, talented students to work with and tons of new books for my office and a new netbook and a $10k grant to support me in writing the next book, which materialized and presented itself to me once I let myself sit down and listen to what was trying to be heard. Gratitude.

I got to spend good time with good friends and family and somehow we all managed to make it through the harder stuff. Gratitude.

In my personal life, gratitude.
In my professional life, gratitude.

And my wish for all of you for this and every year? Gratitude and much to be grateful for, known and unknown, seen and unseen.

Happy new year, everyone. May you live and love well in 2010.