The Ides of March
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19
Every year I get involved in judging a local high school writing contest and screening the Hope College entries for the Academy of American Poets Prize. I have on a couple of occasions--not this year--also been one of the judges for the Great Lakes Colleges Association First Book Prize. This is fun and worthwhile work; something I think poets have a duty to do when called upon. Like the obligation I feel to write blurbs; it's an honor to be asked and a small way of giving back to the art.
But it can also add up to a substantial time commitment. I am in the middle of several of those sorts of projects right now, which is a long way of explaining why I haven't been such a dutiful blogger as of late.
I had one of my recent broadsides framed and it (along with a couple of my books) will be available for purchase tonight during the annual Walden Green Montessori School Benefit Auction at the Grand Haven Community Center. I can probably buy the broadside back at the Auction more cheaply than I can get another framed, so I will be one of the bidders. Okay, perhaps the only bidder.
The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Hope to see you there. Please don't bid up the broadside just so you can watch me squirm.
I have also been revising the poem I posted earlier in the week, and am pretty happy with the way it turned out. This weekend I will be working on the second poem of the six I've pledged myself to in the Great Poetry Leap Forward. It has been quite a while since I sent anything out, and I only have a few things being published this spring--in Prairie Schooner, The Dunes Review, and the Bellingham Review. Unless something pops up on my radar screen, I probably won't send poems out again until next fall.
I used to feel a great deal of pressure to keep my work in the mail; not so much anymore.
As promised, I will be updating my blogroll later this weekend.
I hope you bloggers and readers in the Atlanta area are all safe.
NOTE: The painting is "The Death of Caesar" (1867) by Jean Leon Gerome.