So… tomorrow I leave for Washington, DC. For the AWP Conference. Where I get to put on my poet-hat and play grownup. Where I get to go to readings and drink wine, and attend panels, and schmooze and reconnect with old friends…
It isn’t something I’ve fully processed, this fact of my becoming a children’s author. A fictioneer. A prose-writer. I don’t know that I’ll ever process it. In the deepest, most primary, earliest part of my writing-self I’m a poet, so I guess I always will be. I like words. I like to t(h)inker with words. I like to feel out the way things sound. I like economy. I love line.
But the truth is, I am mostly a writer of children’s books now, and most of the words come out in prose these days. And I like that they do. Love that they do. Feel lucky as hell that they do. But that… gets… complicated… Hmmm…
The truth is, a lot of the time, I lose track of my poet-hat. There are kidlit blogs to read and calls with agents. There are children’s bookstores to visit, and picture book conferences to attend. There are drafts to revise, and editors to respond to. The poet-hat gets lost in a pile of other things. Lost in my job. which I ADORE.
But I still love poems (and poets) too, so there is still AWP, my yearly vacation in poetry-land. I’d like to think that it reminds me, yearly, to weigh each word. In anything/everything that I write.
I’d like to think that reading and writing poetry makes me a better author.
And maybe, someday, in the not-too–far-off future, I’ll publish another book of poems too.