Chop Wood, Carry Water: Publishing a First Poetry Book After Fifty

I asked writers who’d published their first books of poetry at or beyond the age of fifty to discuss their experiences. Was there any particular reason they’d waited to publish? Did they think there was an advantage to publishing later in life? How had publishing a first book changed their lives? The responses from over … Continue reading Chop Wood, Carry Water: Publishing a First Poetry Book After Fifty

The Making of a Winning Poem: Writing “The State of Jefferson”

More than two years ago, I started tinkering with a poem about my long drives up and down Interstate Highway 5, drives that began when I was a child and continued, with regularity, until the present day.  My first note was an entry in my journal, dated December 15, 2017: “I cross the border going … Continue reading The Making of a Winning Poem: Writing “The State of Jefferson”

Syllabic Verse

I was reading my Christmas present, The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963, when I came across a mention of syllabic verse. Plath’s poem “Mussel-Hunter at Rock Harbor” is written in stanzas of seven lines, each line containing seven syllables. In a letter to her brother Warren, dated June 11, 1958, she writes about the … Continue reading Syllabic Verse

The 2018 Oregon Poetry Association Annual Conference, September 29-30, Eugene, OR

After attending the Oregon Poetry Association’s 2018 conference, I’ve been thinking about what makes a good conference. I’ve attended many, from small events put on by a few dedicated volunteers to big noisy affairs (AWP comes to mind). What struck me most about the OPA conference was its collegial, non-competitive atmosphere. It was a pleasure … Continue reading The 2018 Oregon Poetry Association Annual Conference, September 29-30, Eugene, OR