it's okay if it's hard
on failure + a New York reading for The Long Devotion
Hi there. I’ve got just two quick things today.
1. a quick note on failure. (or feeling like you’re failing)
I’ve been thinking about a great sentence from a recent essay by Elisa Gabbert in The Paris Review: Faulkner believed failure was what kept writers going.
It’s beautiful as a sentence—the alliteration of the Fs in Faulkner and failure, the hard consonants of the Ts and K that follow (what kept writers), the lilting ing at the very end—but it’s mostly a sentiment I needed to hear right now, and I wanted to share.
It’s okay if you feel like you’re failing. That failure will keep you going. Faulker says so.
2. The Long Devotion is coming to New York!
And also! I’ll be in New York (Greenpoint, Brooklyn more precisely) two weeks from today for a Long Devotion reading at WORD Greenpoint on Thursday, July 28 at 7PM.
If you’re new here or have somehow escaped my talking about the book, The Long Devotion is an anthology of poems, essays, and writing prompts about the complex and fruitful relationship between writing and mothering. Katherine Indermaur wrote a really lovely review of it for Colorado Review recently which said that “The Long Devotion is not just for mothers or mother-writers, but for anyone who has been marked and shaped by the act of mothering.”
We’ll have readings from three great contributors—Sherine Gilmour, Eugenia Leigh, and Lynn Melnick—and Emily and I will also share some work from the anthology. (I was going to say “some favorite poems” there, but we selected everything in the book, and I love it all!)
Most of our events for the book—other than a truly knock-out panel and reading at this year’s AWP in Philadelphia—have been online, and I’m really looking forward the chance to celebrate it in person. If you’re in the New York area, I’d love to see you there. You can register to attend at this link.
I’ll be back on Sunday the 31st with your August goals and intentions email. I’d love to hear from you between now and then. You can always reply to this email, comment below, or find me on twitter (@nancy_reddy) and instagram (@nancy.o.reddy). If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, I’d love it if you would share it online or send it to a friend.