A new look for the website

A landscape photograph in fluorescent green and pink, with a blurred foreground featuring a tree, and an outlined background featuring a mountain city skyline.

New school year, new look, new website, right? No, not quite, but I did decide to spruce things up a bit around the website, in order to make it simpler to navigate and easier to read. If anything has become clear in the process, it’s that I didn’t miss my calling as a web designer. If this whole internet thing goes on much longer, I’m clearly going to need a professional to clean up my shoddy design. At the same time, I do hope this amateur revamp will make visiting my site a little smoother, since I do plan to be updating it more regularly this year. And we all know just how well plans laid with good intentions tend to turn out, right?

On one hand, I have a short backlog of news that has piled up since late spring, including research publications, literary publications, public presentations, etc. On the other hand, I’m deep into my DFA thesis now, and it’s about time that I start doing a better job of assembling materials here for the future. I know that doctoral research is technically years of commitment and effort, but my prevailing feeling is that time is working at an accelerated rate, and I don’t want to come to the end of this particular phase of my professional life without some kind of account.

Very shortly I’m going to include a research section on the site, to supplement the section on literary publications, because even if I don’t necessarily see them as fully separate activities, enough is happening that it seems appropriate to give that work its own room, so to speak. Later, of course, I’ll probably be at pains to figure out how to reestablish the continuity between what I separated on the site, but first I need to split things up before I can worry about undoing the division.

It’s funny to think that I needed, for myself, to mark time and the end of summer holidays by sprucing up my site. When I was a teenager in the Hudson Valley, I used to take a commuter train on an annual trip to The City at the end of the summer to buy a “cool t-shirt” to wear on the first day of school. For some people it was a pair of new shoes (Reebok pumps or the LA Gear imitations?), or a piece of jewelry (before crystals were cool, crystals were cool), a new haircut (shave it underneath?), or the whole shebang. I was set on the t-shirt, though, and that was the real marker of being ready for the new school year. For the official record, I was particularly enthusiastic about t-shirts from a skateboarding-adjacent clothing company called Split, who often had graffiti-inspired and slightly surreal designs. In any case, I would never wear it early, even if I bought it a month before school started. I would fold it, set it someplace safe in my bedroom, and leave it waiting for the first day. I guess this was my way of participating in the ritual of resuming my studies, and in many ways I’m still doing it. Check out my new virtual threads!

Oh. The image for this post isn’t new. I’m also a bit of a sentimentalist sometimes. This was the main (hard to see) image from the last version of the site, and I had wanted it to remain. Unfortunately, I either don’t have the skill or the patience to make the page work in a way that I could use the image well on this version, so here it is.

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