Category: Diary of a Poet

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. […]

Words with Pictures: Ekphrasis

Ekphrasis: (meaning “description” in Greek; expanded to mean “the use of detailed description of a work of visual art as a literary device.”) Merriam-Webster: a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art I published my first ekphrastic poems in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Ekphrasis, […]

What’s Wrong with Inspiration?

Plenty, it seems. Ask any writer who’s been at the craft for awhile what inspires her and you might get this pithy answer: everything. Or nothing—“I don’t need inspiration,” says the truly advanced writer. “I can write a poem, or a story, or an essay, just by staring at the […]

My Worst Poetry Reading

I recently received an exquisite little treasure: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Poets & Writers Spill Their Worst Reading Experiences, edited by Richard Peabody of Gargoyle Magazine and Paycock Press. This charming book of flops and failures gladdened my heart, from its laugh-out-loud moments—i.e., Dinty W. Moore’s very first reading […]

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