The Danger of Notebooks

“A journal always conceals vastly more than it reveals.” – Verlyn Klinkenborg, The Rural Life In “Notes on the Danger of Notebooks,” an essay in Synthesizing Gravity, Kay Ryan writes, “Isn’t it odd to think that in order to listen we must be a little bit relieved of the intention […]

Sticks & Stones: The Fourth Year

Here’s to another year of celebrating poetry! Each book I reviewed in 2021 was a tremendous gift. As we endured a second pandemic year, poets wrote about navigating an unquiet and often frightening world, about Nature, humanity, and relationships, about heredity, abuse, and the rewards of long love.  […]

Fear of the Blank Page

The blank page. A rectangle of absence, it fills the writer with equal parts expectation and dread. A stark reminder of the writer’s apartness, it demands that you pay attention to it and not your family, dogs, messy house, or whatever else might distract you.  We could compare […]

Generating New Poems from Freewrites

I’m a dedicated freewriter. I especially like that freewriting has roots in poet Jack Kerouac’s stream of consciousness, “spontaneous prose,” the Surrealist Movement’s “automatic writing,” and in Yeat’s “trance-writing.” (Check out this videopoem by Helena Postigo, “I Think of Dean Moriarity.”) My first introduction to freewriting was in a college English class in 1980. […]

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, […]

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