The press release goes out today, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, so I assume that tomorrow is day one of my tenure as Poet Laureate of Santa Fe. But I am in Marfa, Texas, occupying one of the Lannan Foundation's beautiful houses for 33 days, working on poems, stories, translations, and whatever else occurs. So this feels a little strange.
The last two months have been more than a little out of the ordinary, since I have been traveling, first with the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in Cambodia and Vietnam, then on to Barrow, Alaska, to work with a former student on a young adult novel. After a quick stop in Fairbanks to visit some poet friends and their (so far non-poet) daughters, I returned to Santa Fe and the excitement of my own daughter's wedding to her then fiance, now husband, Mike at the Scottish Rite Temple. After two weeks in Santa Fe, I shipped out again, this time to the quiet, small town of Marfa, Texas, population 2121, which to add strangeness to oddness, was temporary home to the vacationing Beyonce, about whom I know almost nothing, except that she sure caused a stir among the locals.
So knowing that I'll be Poet Laureate of Santa Fe feels more than a little surreal right now. I'm honored. I'm looking forward to getting started. But, hey, I'm in Marfa, Texas!