Sunday, November 21, 2010


After downloading TweetDeck for my computer, I'm officially addicted to Twitter. I imagine if I ever get a smart (read: modern) phone that has things like—oh, I don't know, the Internet—it'll get even worse.

I don't necessarily think that Twitter has revolutionized or will revolutionize social media, grassroots organization, or literature in general, but I do think that it opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for the written word, particularly poetry. While I've so far only really used it to tweet links to electronic versions of my poems on the Internet, I'd like to eventually use it to incorporate media from Facebook and YouTube, tweet poems directly, or participate in on-line poetry events.

For example: tonight I'll be taking part in 32poems' poet party on Twitter (you can follow via the #poetparty hashtag). There'll be a Q&A segment going on for about an hour, and I'm actually really looking forward to being asked questions about poetry, communicating/commiserating with other poets, and (somewhat selfishly) earning a measure of exposure and getting the opportunity to network with poets, literary magazine editors, and independent booksellers.

I really like the immediacy of Twitter: the ability to reach writers all over the globe, the "timely updates," and the more-or-less real-time conversations. It's sort of like sending and receiving text messages to the whole world at times, but ultimately I think the access to a greater literary community it permits is definitely worth it.

So, if you have time tonight: #poetparty, Twitter, 9:00 pm est!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After Adam (Poem)

This poem first appeared in the spring 2010 issue of the Colorado Review and was reprinted in Vivisection.

After Adam

A stillness over the face
      of the water. Cranes remain
motionless. The air settles,

      colonizes the bowed spines
of pine, of cedar, of oak.
      The trees exhale, unheard in

the wide silence of the world.
      For once there are no voices,
humanity gone, as through

      a mirror, looking over
his shoulder as he goes, &
      vanishing down the many

paths to the world after men
      & the heavens fear neither
skyscrapers nor zeppelins.

      His fires burn out. Only the
stars are radioactive,
      trillions—the bubble image

of a thousand galaxies
      reflected & vanishing
in the distance, through mirrors.

      Who could look on that & not
weep, not tear his clothes, his hair?
      Creation, so much larger

than we’d feared. Yes, then, better
      none remain, the garden of
the earth dimming toward twilight,

      shadows over the deep, the
partial darkness of water:
      & man, asleep, dreaming of air.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two O'Clock And All Is Well

Finally, the long-promised update on my mfa experience thus far—

For those not familiar, New York University's mfa program is (full-time) two classes per semester for four semesters. Four workshops are required and no more than one workshop can be taken in one semester; further, at least one craft course is required, although up to four craft courses can be taken for credit toward the degree so long as they're all taught by different instructors.

In short: if you're enrolled full-time, you have to take four workshops in four different semesters, as well as at least one craft course. The remaining three courses can be craft courses, but needn't be. You can take any graduate-level course as long as both the creative writing program and the department in which that course is offered approve. Being a big fan of intellectual cross-pollination and interdisciplinary work, this was a huge draw for me when I was applying last year.

Also, before I get into specifics: I'm enrolled full-time and working full-time, so it's definitely possible to earn your mfa at nyu without quitting (or precluding the possibility of) a full-time job.


This semester I'm taking a poetry workshop with Breyten Breytenbach and a craft course with Anne Carson. Breyten's workshop has helped me tremendously with my writing in the nine weeks I've been attending. My cohort is tremendously talented and helpful, Breyten is a fantastic workshop leader (as well as an attentive reader and incisive critic), and the workshop environment (complete with deadlines! Real deadlines!) has revitalized my writing schedule, despite my being fairly regimented in the years between my undergraduate and graduate writing classes.

Anne's craft course is an interesting animal: highly collaborative, chiefly performative, and very much hands-off in terms of instruction. I think I've only written one or two poems for her class so far, but the class has 1.) gotten me to work closely with other writers, which I've never done before, and 2.) forced me to think in ways I generally don't via exposure to other artists' creative processes. Both have been, I think, healthy for me as a writer, though I suspect I have yet to realize the full benefit of the course, which may take months or even years. I've also learned a thing or two about other artistic disciplines (performance art, painting, dance, theater, &c), which has also been to my advantage.

The program in general hosts a reading series and a number of literary events throughout the semester and academic year; I've had the pleasure of introducing poets such as Howard Altmann and D. Nurkse, attending events co-sponsored with The Academy of American Poets, and working on the graduate creative writing program's literary journal, Washington Square Review.

I love the program at New York University so far and am tremendously glad I decided to attend; if anyone has any questions about the program, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here or e-mail me at eric [døt] q [døt] weinstein [åt] gmail [døt] com, and I'll be happy to answer them as best I can.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Forthcoming Poem

Just got the good word that my poem, "Debridement," will be appearing in a future issue of Prairie Schooner (most likely sometime in 2011; details TK)!