I came to Civitella trying to finish a collection of essays (tentatively titled The Magic Kingdom of the Feral Victorians) that I’ve been working on for about a year and a half, and feeling as if I’d really lost clarity about how (and if) the project was working. Since I’m usually a poet, prose memoir (and trying to do justice to, and make sense of, the blurred lines between fantasy and reality within my family, which are at the heart of this project) has been challenging for me in so many ways I hadn’t anticipated. Being immersed in this brilliant creative community at Civitella, and daily conversations and questions about themes and processes and aesthetics, has helped me clarify what I’m trying to do with several of the essays, and to see my way through three essay revisions. The time here has also allowed me to draft most of a new essay, and I’m feeling confident that with this perspective and creative recharging I’ll be able to finish a draft of the manuscript by this fall/winter. I’ve also taken notes toward several poems, and started drafting the first poem in new series for an interdisciplinary project on gun violence . And finally, copies of my third book of poetry, Or What We’ll Call Desire, arrived when I was at Civitella, and I gave my first reading from it! The enthusiastic, smart conversations I’ve had with fellows (from all disciplines) and others since that reading are already helping me to contextualize that project in new ways, as well as to consider additional artistic collaborations.