Poetics Serendipity

05 Sep

8:03 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Tennessee Flat Top Box sung by Rosanne Cash

Hullo, all. Shall we? Where to start?

1] How about A Conversation With Li-Young Lee published in Rattle, earlier this year? The conversation is from ten years ago, but it’s Li-Young Lee, for Heaven’s sake. Caveat: It’s long and it rambles. After all, it’s a conversation. If you don’t like Lee, scroll to the bottom, where you will find links to other poets. If you don’t know Lee, check out ‘Early in the Morning‘. The site belongs to PoemHunter and if you like the Lee poem, the rest of his poems are right there.

The best way to approach this is with a cup of coffee and a bit of time; or, to skim through — totally doable.; or, to look at the questions and stop when you see one you are curious about.

FOX:  And what would you like your work to be remembered for?

LEE:  Oh, man, I don’t know, just, I don’t know. I just want to write a good poem.

2] One of the communities I follow is We Wanted to Be Writers, named for the book of the same name, which came out in 2011. The introductory paragraph for the page about the book can also be read for the community: ‘Iowa workshoppers discuss what we learned in the Workshop back in the mid-70s—and what we didn’t learn—and what we learned in the decades since about life, art, the creative process, teaching, the lit biz, and more. Our goal is to provide advice and counsel and analysis, how-to, maybe some inspiration, and a cautionary tale or two. Along the way, I hope we also entertain with some good yarns and a little gossip…’.

You do not have to buy the book to follow the site [the book is front and centre because that’s how they earn a bit]. I have received their newsletter a while, now, and find it full of useful and interesting tidbits. One of their missions is to help young students of writing. They say of their site: ‘Here we will continue conversations begun in the book with regular blog posts, a word from the eds, and more. We Wanted to be Writers is full of insights and inspiration for readers, teachers, and anyone who ever “wanted to be a writer.”’

Mosey over and see what they offer. You’ll recognise a few of the 70’s workshoppers’ names. The site is for all genres.

3] I’m working you hard today. My third offering is a read all at once and visit every single link until you are completely ensnared and can’t find your way out post; or, you can savour slowly and put the links in an order that pleases you, then read as you will. The post is from our [yes, I have gotten territorial, Dave] essayist David Marshall at his blog Signals to Attend. His year runs from September to June, as many of your years do. The post is his state of the blog and writer rumination. I enjoyed the post for itself without going to a single link… then I came back and went nuts. Enjoy.

I will stop there, as your brains can be exhausted by any one of these, never mind all three. I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompts; next Tuesday for a prompt that uses a specific form of repetition as structural shifts; and Thursday for more links and stuff.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 05/09/2013 in poetry, writing


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3 responses to “Poetics Serendipity

  1. georgeplace2013

    05/09/2013 at 10:13 am

    I will get to this later – must run now -but I read the ‘Early in the Morning’ poem. Oh, heavenly, beautiful, understated… I have a new poet to follow. Which reminds me, you recommended Mary Oliver in an earlier post. I read a little on Amazon and ordered “The Leaf and the Cloud.” Oh, my, goodness, I love it. Thank you so much for all your links. I never got to go to college so this is wonderful to be introduced to new to me poets.

    • margo roby

      05/09/2013 at 10:24 am

      It is my utter and absolute pleasure. Until I read Lee a few years ago, Frost had been my favourite. ‘Understated’ is the perfect word.

  2. Hannah Gosselin

    05/09/2013 at 3:04 pm

    :)!! Thank you.


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