Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mentor Me

Our local literary non-profit, The Loft, has announced the opening of their annual Mentor Series contest. The Mentor Series selects 12 emerging writers, 4 from each genre, to study with 2 experienced mentors. You get to study with the mentors over the course of a year.

Of course, there are guidelines: you have to be a resident of Minnesota, you cannot be a full time student, and you cannot have published a book length manuscript in your genre. You have to submit a statement of purpose and a writing sample.

I applied for the mentor series 2 years ago, after leaving graduate school. I didn't get in and I had a helluva time trying to write my statement. I wouldn't have even considered applying for the mentor series, but once I saw who the mentors were, I'm probably going to apply.

Heid Erdrich, a Minnesota poet, is the first mentor. She is the author of two collections of poetry. Her first book, Fishing for Myth, is amazing and I read it during my thesis year, because it was so connected to my own artistic intentions. She's also the sister of Louise Erdrich, who is pretty rockin' as well.

The second mentor is none other than Rafael Campo. He is the living, breathing definition of a working writer. Besides being an amazing poet and author, he is a doctor at Harvard Medical Center. I read his first book in graduate school and was devastated for weeks afterwards.

So I don't know if I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a mentorship, but with the opportunity to work with poets like these, I have to try.

1 Comment:

Poet with a Day Job said...

Well, you sure do have to try and I sincerely hope you get in! And if you do, I'd have to give my vote for Campo. I love his work, and have reviewed him both positively and negatively on my blog (I admitted I was in a bad mood when I re-picked him up again to no avail the very next day!) But you are correct: there's not really a harder working writer out there - and he's very prolific, and I feel he has a style somewhat in the vicinity of yours. Could be a match made in heaven!