Monday, April 6, 2015

Six: The Favorite Poems Project

I graduated with my BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing in Fall of 2007.  I didn't expect to graduate at all, but it happened.  At the time, I was deeply involved with my school's creative writing club -- The Poets and Writer's Coalition (PWC).

Everything was going through a transition then: different presidents, different ideas, and different directions.  Well, not me per se.  Theoretically, I could've gone back to my retail job after I graduated, but instead I decided to "search" for a job while helping out the PWC.

At the time there was a transition to a different president.  I'm not talking about the future of Obama -- I'm talking about organization.  It has to happen.   And with different presidents come new ideas and directions.

One side wanted to put resources into one event, Favorite Poems Project, another side wanted to put resources into a different event, Howl -- a public reading.

But to create events, resources would have to be taken account, but weren't.  In the end, I spent a whole bunch of my time helping set up the Favorite Poems Project.  Not that there wasn't help, but I was the one that followed through with what fell through the cracks.

It was my first time being frustrated, so much so that I said, "I could've had a job instead of doing this" to the organizers.  But of course, there's no money -- experience is worth something, right?

Here's some things I learned during that time frame:

1) Grants are set in stone.  We received a grant to perform the Favorite Poems Project.  And no amount of me pleading that we need more time would be dismissed.  Grants wait for no one, just like audits.

2) When push comes to shove, family can make up an audience of speakers and listeners.  For the Favorite Poems project, I asked a friends brother, sister, aunt, father, etc. to perform their favorite poems.  They were great.

3) The figurehead receives praise from the community.  The coordinator receives praise from the figurehead.

4) Success is what the grant states as successful.  "How many people did you think were in the audience" "I don't know" "60 I think 60."

Both events were successful.  After the event, I had 700 dollars in my bank account to last me five months until the start of grad school.

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