I arrived at Civitella with no set agenda, no project which I’d conceived in advance. I had recently finished a book of poems, and while I had written one or two new things since the book’s publication, I was not feeling particularly engaged by my work. I thought that my time in Italy would offer a number of pleasant distractions of the predictable kind—food, scenery, art, picturesque cities and towns and some time to read and reflect. Almost immediately after arriving, I started to write poems. My usual requirement—a combination of mild boredom and anxiety—were available in just the right proportions, and there were no responsibilities or obligations blocking my path. I wrote both quickly and over long periods of time. Each day I would wake up, make my small, bitter pot of coffee and think that today would be a fallow day to catch up on reading. Instead, I found myself at my desk, writing and thinking about poems. I leave Civitella with ten new poems, each of them rather long. I have about a third of a new manuscript—perhaps even more than that. This residency has allowed me to be productive, and it has been a boon to my career. I am extremely grateful.
Fragment of Saint Julian
04/09/2021: Guggenheim 2021 Fellows Announced