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