Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Donald Hall Standard - January through June 2008

I’ve written about the Donald Hall standard before here and here. It’s my semi-annual ritual of benchmarking my work as a writer against the standard of my idol/mentor, Donald Hall. Hall writes in Life Work about publishing one piece per week in general. So that is what I have been trying to do for the past year or two.

Although I’ve done an extraordinary amount of work in the past six months, I do feel like the volume of poems and reviews that I am publishing has decreased. Until recently, I had only a few things pending publication. That has changed in the past few weeks, but it is my general sense. I’m not worried about this, rather, I think that my poems are getting better and taking longer to germinate.

This productivity though isn’t just about poems and reviews. It is about my writing life writ large. So here’s the report on what I have done from January through June 2008:

2 poems in print journals (“Dear Donald” in billet-doux and “My Father’s Mimeograph” in MiPOesias - sort of a hybrid between print and online, but I’m calling it print here.)
4 poem in an online journal (Mahnaz Badihian ran four poems of mine here:
1 poem in an anthology (Letters to the World from Red Hen Press.)
3 column - outside of the CIVILesbianIZATION series
4 columns for CIVILesbianIZATION (you will note CIVILesbianIZATION is down - I’m going to relaunch it elsewhere)
1 article
7 reviews
1 readings
3 conference paper presentations

I also wrote a seminar paper and an encyclopedia entry and many creative non-fiction pieces - but I’m saving those for when they are published. It’s all about the pipeline!

So the goal is to have 26 items published (an average of one a week which is what Hall said he was doing in his book) and I had 26 items out. I feel a bit like I squeaked by, which amazes me because I am working like buggery. Oh, well, I made it with the number. I don’t think that I will in the second half of the year though unless something bizarre happens. Nevertheless, so far, it’s a great year of writing.

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