Right now, hundreds of fires are burning in the Western United States. The air in Washington and Oregon is the worst in the nation. Every morning, the sun shines an eerie bronze light over the land. The sky over Eugene, Oregon, where I live, reminds me of the smog-choked summers of my youth in Southern … Continue reading Fire Season
Thanks to Trish Hopkinson and Dick Allen for this wonderful list! I especially like 2, 3, 4, 12, and 13.
Great guest blog post rewind up today from Dick Allen… the 13 ways to support poetry below include what to ask your local library, how to support the poetry community, and quotes from others in the lit mag industry.
“It is difficult to get the news from poems yet [humans] die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”—William Carlos Williams
1. Ask your local public libraries and college and university libraries and even perhaps public school libraries to regularly order and display books of contemporary poetry. A first guideline to encourage them might be to ask these libraries to make sure they have available the current year’s Pulitzer Prize winning book of poems, and probably the current year’s National Book Award book of poems, the current year’s National Book Critics Circle Award book of poems, the current year’s Poets Prize book of poems, the current National…
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I’m an inveterate recycler. I have a compost pile and six chickens so I can turn food scraps into soil and eggs. I love repurposed items: quilts sewn from old clothes, wind chimes made of bent spoons, collages of torn magazine pages. Therefore, I was delighted to discover that poet Eileen R. Tabios has created a … Continue reading How to Create a Poetry Database
I’ve been so excited about my new poetry project, Field Notes, that I forgot how difficult it is to organize a poetry collection. So far, the 40-odd poems I've assembled fall into the following themes: Tree, Plant, Weather, Flowers, Seed, Insects, Earth, Grass, Compost, Bird, Stone, Ocean, Animal, Desert My first thought was to put the poems into seasonal categories, i.e., Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. … Continue reading Organizing the Field
During much of this spring, I’ve been in a creative lull – not exactly writer’s block but a definite slowdown. I wrote a few poems, I kept up with my twice-a-month blog posts and the newsletter, I wrote daily entries in my journal, but the energy I normally bring to my creative writing felt muted. … Continue reading Field Notes
I found this list in a 2003 letter from my father. At the time, I was beginning my MFA degree in Creative Writing at San Jose State University. My father was worried that I would succumb to the "tricks of rhetoric, which are the opposite of poetry." In the same letter, he went on to … Continue reading Flowers of Rhetoric: A List of Obscure Literary Terms
Recently, I came across an article titled “An Anatomy of the Long Poem”. The author, Rachel Zucker, states “there are many short poems I admire and, of course, too many wonderful mid-length poems to name that I adore. But I have a special love for a good long poem.” This gave me pause. I admit … Continue reading The Long Poem Project
My first encounter with Terrance Hayes’s poem “The Blue Terrance” occurred in my car. It was the spring of 2009 and I’d been listening to a CD of an episode of “The Playlist,” the Poetry Foundation’s podcast, on my way from one teaching job to another. The drive from Saratoga to Cupertino took about ten … Continue reading An Appreciation: Terrance Hayes’s “The Blue Terrance”
Definition: An abecedarian poem is one in which verses or words begin with the successive letters of the alphabet. I recently wrote my first abecedarian poem, and while I enjoyed the process, I nearly stalled out when I got to the letter X. Hardly any useful words begin with X. My crumbling, 1965 edition of … Continue reading What About X? Writing the Abecedarian
In this post, I share my method for reviewing books of poetry. My reviews appear twice monthly in my newsletter, Sticks & Stones, which is free to subscribers. I read the whole book several times. First, I read it as if I were not planning to review it. I just enjoy the book. I read … Continue reading How I Review a Poetry Collection