Poetry Survives Latest Death Threat

Poets, writers, teachers and parents are wringing their hands over the November 2022 release of ChatGPT, an AI program which can “answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests,” according to descriptions at its creator’s website, OpenAI. No doubt you’ve seen the ChatGPT-written […]

Visualize the Reader—or Don’t

When I was a graduate student at San Jose State University, I stumbled across a rolling cart (literally stumbled—I tripped over my own feet and almost fell) displaying the tempting label “Books $1 each.” That’s when I found 50 Contemporary Poets, the Creative Process, edited by Alberta T. […]

Poetry: the Sneak Attack

As a poet and writer, I’m always trying to figure out ways to encourage people to read poetry. With so many distractions, how do we create opportunities for poetry to reach more people? Put another way, how do we get more people to like poetry? According to a 2006 study funded […]

The Waiting

After reading and following the submission guidelines—i.e., no name or identifying information on your document, no more than five poems, nothing longer than 1000 words, etc., etc.—you finally click “submit.” A few seconds later, you receive a confirmation email that looks like this:  Dear Erica, Thank you for […]

Embrace Influences

I was deep into W.S. Merwin’s last book, Garden Time, when I felt the urge to write a poem. Garden Time has a dreamy, disquieting quality; Merwin writes about the passage of time, about the mystery contained in calendar days, and about how he can clearly see his life coming to an end. […]


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