While walking around and talking with writers and poets for a few days, I could see the silky new dreams rolling out. This is just to say to you: keep watching, keep loving, keep singing your poems, friends. It will work. So grateful for everyone I met at AWP's annual conference in Washington, D.C. All of … Continue reading Re-dream
We dismembered poetry and created some Franken-verse, as a little break today from revising work for the end of winter session at Writopia Lab. Reminding them (and myself) that cutting up the writing is still fun, startling, and rewarding.
It had not acquired one permanent wrinkle after all its ripples. ---Henry David Thoreau In poetry, circumambulating an object is the same as walking into the center of it. These two---poetry and walking near water---are my favorite ways into the deeps. And keeping a poetry notebook next to my busy life has become that necessary shortcut to serenity.
I hardly remember this---photo of a recent high school graduate and her younger sisters, visiting India in 1992. A past life, it seems. I've been reading high school seniors' writing portfolios as a volunteer juror in the Scholastic Art & Writing awards this week. I'm remembering, and happy to support those purer ideals growing into the future, … Continue reading To judge
The holiday catalogues have started to arrive in my mailbox. And while I'm admiring how pretty they are as decorations for my recycling bin, I felt the need to write a little guidance on surviving this annual season of materialism. Here's my top-20 list of reasons to make it easy on yourself --- buy poetry books for everyone on … Continue reading Top 20 reasons to give poetry books as gifts
Hearing new writing, even before the ink has dried, before the coffee has turned cold, we imagine bright lights into a newly formed sky. In the free-write group that I host every Friday afternoon, I invite participants to engage with a simple writing prompt for a 15-minute composition (it usually goes a little longer). Then … Continue reading With prompting
My shelf of how-to-write-creatively books is pretty small, but since someone asked me today, I made a quick list: Claims for Poetry, ed. Donald Hall. Some of my favorite essays on poetry are collected here. The Making of a Poem, eds. Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. Lovely to read this primer on poetic forms, partly … Continue reading How-to
Tissue and construction paper collaboration with my four-year-old daughter reveals that I sometimes need to do unrevisable artwork. Poetry involves a lot of revision and even rewriting, and that's been most of it for the past few weeks. But I also began teaching my first poetry workshop this week, revealing what I already knew about inspiration … Continue reading Space