Tag Archives: T.S. Eliot

Sabbatical Productivity: March

I am on sabbatical this semester and have been keeping a list in my journal of the academic activities I engage in. This practice is partly for myself, so that I make sure I am using the time productively, and partly for my institution, which requires me to write a report about the sabbatical once it finishes. Here is a list of what I accomplished in March, generally in chronological order. Although March’s list is the same length as February’s (you can read about what I accomplished in February here), I did less than the previous two months because it’s been difficult to be productive due to the current pandemic. I feel like I am slowly getting back on track, though, so I have high hopes for April even though, as T.S. Eliot writes, it “is the cruellest [sic] month.”

1. Along with a colleague, chose four panelists for an MLA special session proposal on Dungeons & Dragons. All four accepted the invitation to be part of the proposal.

2. Sent rejections to the rest of the people who submitted abstracts for the Dungeons & Dragons panel.

3. Revised the three Mennonite/s Writing bibliographies throughout the month. They are here, along with the blog that lists all of the individual revisions.

4. Worked on revisions to my current book project.

5. Submitted a book proposal to the ideal publisher for my book project.

6. Wrote and submitted an abstract for an MLA panel on Samuel R. Delany.

7. Wrote a few senryu.

8. Corresponded with the rest of the planning committee for the Mennonite/s Writing IX conference that is scheduled for October (fingers crossed!) about which abstracts to accept.

9. Wrote a template for the Mennonite/s Writing IX acceptance email and sent out acceptances to around forty submitters.

10. Submitted five senryu to the 2020 Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology and received notice about which one the editor accepted.

11. Along with a colleague, wrote and submitted the proposal for the Dungeons & Dragons panel.

12. Began writing a long poem about the pandemic.

13. Got asked to review a book of poetry by a journal.

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Books Acquired Recently: Rocky Mountain MLA Edition

I’m currently at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference, which has been fun so far although the conference hotel does not have free internet access. This afternoon I took a stroll through the book fair and picked up a few things (plus ordered several more that I will write about when I receive them):

Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land and Other Poems. Ed. Joseph Black, et al. Peterborough: Broadview, 2011.

I love Eliot–he’s another one of those Modernists that I enjoy, but feel guilty about enjoying–and teach him from time to time. This volume, which I got free as an exam copy and might actually assign sometime, includes Eliot’s first three books of poems. I’ve assigned Broadview’s texts before, and have always been happy with them because they are handsome (much nicer looking than Norton critical editions), inexpensive, and well-supplemented by scholarly paratext.

Max, D.T. Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. New York: Viking, 2012.

I love Wallace’s writing (everyone who cares about literature should read Infinite Jest) and have wanted to read this biography since I read a review of it in the New Yorker and a short excerpt in Newsweek (of all places!). The Penguin publishing group always has fantastic deals at these kinds of conferences, as was the case here: I paid $10.00 for a $27.95 book!

Moon, Michael. Darger’s Resources. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.

I picked this up for free as a review copy from the Rocky Mountain Review. A free book in exchange for writing a review that will be published sounds like a swindle to me! The book is about Henry Darger, a janitor who wrote and illustrated an epic (over 15,000 pages) story about a children’s war in his spare time that was not discovered until after his death. The story of him as an outsider artist is quite fascinating and very controversial (some call his illustrations child pornography because the children are often naked, but others argue that the children’s nudity is innocent because there is evidence that Darger was mentally disabled [e.g., the naked girls in his book have penises, apparently because Darger had so little sexual knowledge that he did not realize how females differ from males]), so I am excited to read Moon’s book.

Patell, Cyrus R.K., and Bryan Waterman, eds. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.

I find the Cambridge Companions series very useful, thus as a New York City native I was intrigued by this volume. It was on sale for $11.00, down from $24.99. Aside from looking generally interesting, it has chapters on several of my particular interests, including Walt Whitman and the city’s role in LGBT literature.

 

 

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