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April News Round-Up

There have been a few new developments I wanted to let everyone know about:

First, we have decided to make a change in the Network’s membership policy.  From now on, every new writer who joins the Network – and every current member who wishes to renew – will have to take an online writing test to see if they qualify for Network membership.  Each test will be graded on grammar, cogency, and originality of metaphors and similes.  The test will only take a minute (literally; it’s timed), and asks for 10,000 words; poets will be expected to write their 10,000 words in dactylic hexameter.

Second, in a break from tradition, the 2010 Fall Conference will be held on Grand Cayman Island over Labor Day weekend.  The 2011 Spring Conference will be in Cozumel sometime in mid-March, to coincide with most colleges’ Spring Break.

In non-Network news, president Carolyn Sakowski of John F. Blair, Publisher, has announced that Blair is shifting its focus, from regional nonfiction and fiction, to epic poetry, specifically epic poems that extol mid-major college basketball conferences.

Network member Melissa Delbridge, the new Regional Rep for Orange and Durham counties, and the author of the award-winning memoir Family Bible, has announced plans for a Family Bible tour of her hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  The tour will include sites mentioned in her book, and will conclude with a contest in which participants guess the true identities of people whose names Delbridge changed in her memoir.  The winner gets lifetime season tickets to University of Alabama home football games.

Finally, researchers studying the papers of T.S. Eliot have discovered the first draft of his poem The Waste Land.  In this draft, the first section, “The Burial of the Dead,” does not begin with the famous line, “April is the cruelest month.”  Rather, it begins, “April First is the cruelest day.”

Happy April Fools’ Day, y’all.