Opera Update

UMaine Today’s December issue has an article titled “The Making of an Opera” about my collaboration with Beth Wiemann on Until the War Is Over, the opera about H. D. and D. H. Lawrence we workshopped some scenes from last summer on the University of Maine campus.

Last summer’s set, about to be dismantled

Just as this story was at press Beth and I found out that Until the War Is Over had been selected by the John Duffy Institute for New Opera to be workshopped in March 2017 by a select group of professionals from the opera world (including Paul Cremo, Dramaturg and Director of Opera Commissioning Programs from the Metropolitan Opera). The Duffy Institute “seeks out and supports the work of opera composer/librettist teams by providing professional mentorship and a professional process for the development of their new work, with the intent to see the works through to full productions.” What a privilege to have the opportunity to keep improving and refining this work!

Poets and Opera

It has been so intellectually and artistically interesting to collaborate with composer Beth Wiemann on this chamber opera. Unlike poets, composers are reliant on musicians and singers to perform their works. A brief ten-minute scene of this opera was performed at the Hartford Opera Theatre last November. Now we’ll get to hear excerpts from three different scenes right on the University of Maine campus.

Until the War is Over Poster

Surprised by Laurels

Ange Mlinko has awarded the Poetry Society of America‘s 2015 William Carlos Williams Award to my book The Open Secret.

Anyone who knows me and knows my poetry also knows that I haven’t participated much in the prize culture of American poetry. I wanted the work to speak for itself, and for publication to be a meaningful experience given my poetics and values. All of my books have been published by independent presses, and without blurbs (except The Line, which does have blurbs). The WCW Award—given only to books published by independent or university presses, and the money from which supports the press—feels especially apt and lovely. Actually, it feels great!