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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Aleshire

Upcoming publications, conferences, workshops

Not gonna lie, these plague times have thrown me (and my writing) for a real loop. Besides all the terror and dread, April is typically my most lucrative month as a poet-for-hire—the festival season of New Orleans. In mid-March, my residency at the Vermont Studio Center was postponed, and I came home to cancelled gigs and zero income. Skye and I hunkered down in Gentilly for 6 weeks, and then I sold almost everything I owned and we drove up to Vermont, just as the riots and protests were flaring up all across the country.

En route we made a pilgrimmage to William Faulkner's house in Oxford, Mississippi

Despite everything, there are some glimmers of good literary news here and there—Skye had a poem accepted at RATTLE, and her 6,000-word interview with Pulitzer Prize-winner Jericho Brown went semi-viral at French Quarter Journal. And I was a finalist for the Iowa Review Award, and have some poems from my manuscript forthcoming soon in North American Review, DIAGRAM, Cortland Review, and Indianapolis Review's special issue on visual poetry.

What started out as a pretty slow, dread-filled summer is getting a bit more interesting—both Skye and I received scholarships to attend the Frost Place Conference on Poetry, with some great faculty like Afaa M. Weaver and Gabrielle Calvocoressi. And today I learned the Port Townsend Writers' Conference is giving me a full scholarship for a summer workshop with Paisley Rekdal, the badass poet laureate of Utah who's editing the 2020 Best American Poetry anthology.

This autumn, though, so much is still up in the air. I had been planning to move to New York City, since NYU gave me a Goldwater Fellowship to study there—but now their program is going hybrid, so I'll likely stay in Vermont for the fall semester to save money, reconnect with friends, and avoid a potential second wave of the pandemic.

As the ol'-timers say here in Vermont, "Hard tellin', not knowin'"—

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