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
I just received the proof from Lulu of my first self-published book, titled STONE empty chair. It's a collection of my best haiku, starting about ten years ago and ending in August, 2018. It's a little book full of little poems - just 6.5 x 4.5, with 50-odd haiku, in four chapters: Winter, Spring, Summer … Continue reading STONE, empty chair: Erica’s new haiku collection
A couple of times a year, I search my submission spreadsheets for poems with the dubious distinction of having collected the most rejections so far. If these poems are not currently under consideration for publication, they go into a special category: Most Rejected Poems.Then I print them out and spread them on the floor of … Continue reading Saving the Most-Rejected Poems
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
I’ve come to realize something about the reviewing process. Every book I review is unique, and therefore, dictates the type of review it receives. I call this style of reviewing The Exploratory Review, which combines elements of narrative, description, and exposition. In the exploratory review, the book leads the way instead of the reviewer. A … Continue reading The Exploratory Review