Poetics Serendipity

21 May

8:06 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to `Auhea Wale Ana `Oe sung by Keali Reichel

Hullo, all. Many of you will be getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend. We are driving down to Florida for some R&R at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s place. John loves to cook a Chinese feast, so every time we go down, we know that treat is waiting. Four new dishes, this time! Speaking of dishes… okay, that segue is not going to work. Let’s see what we have on the menu. There we go.

1] The first is an article I read earlier this week. Will it help your writing? Probably not. But, I knew, half-way through, that I would post ‘The Bizarre, Complicated Formula for Literary Fame,’ written by Joshua Rothman for the New Yorker. (I came across the article thanks to Peter Murphy’s newsletter.) I found its topic fascinating and beautifully written (it is so good to read something well-written).

What is it about? Rothman says: Jackson never denies the excellence of Wordsworth’s poems, or the brilliance of the novels of Jane Austen, whom she also writes about. But she does show, convincingly, that a number of other factors, some of them quite bizarre, help literary fame to endure. It’s a good read and won’t take you long.

2] Again with thanks to Peter Murphy (it is a particularly good newsletter, this month), another article worth reading. You know all the poetry is dead, poetry is dying, there’s no place for poetry stuff? Jennifer Benka, executive director of The Academy of American Poets has written, for The Huffpost, ‘National Poetry Month Ends and the Great Work Begins,’ in which she takes on the nay-sayers and doom prophets.

While the article centres on the American poetry scene, I’m guessing much of what Benka says, holds true around the world: …poets today, especially younger poets, seem comfortable working beyond binaries and with a greater appreciation for fluidity and genre blurring in their poems. 

Poets who had focused on publishing in print, are now making videos and podcasts of their work. Poets who came of age on the slam stage are publishing books. Poets have seized the fact that poems are highly shareable art objects.

3] Someone at Poets & Writers has put together a tremendous database of Creative Writing Contests. While most of us are probably not going to enter, some of us might. Whichever way, the database is an interesting stroll. We are given: Entry fee, genre, cash prize, prize includes, and application deadline. There is a search function that includes several perspectives to search from. Note that there are twelve pages.


by Mick Stevens

by Mick Stevens


I’ll see you tomorrow for the roundup; Tuesday for our image prompt; and Thursday for more links and things.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 21/05/2015 in links, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Poetics Serendipity

  1. Hannah Gosselin

    21/05/2015 at 1:25 pm

    Oh yay!! Have so much fun, feast and relaxation!! Thank you for the post, Margo.

    • Hannah Gosselin

      28/05/2015 at 3:10 pm

      Oh here!! This is a goody I found in there…thought it might apply to more than just writing for you especially, Margo, ““The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain” I love the practical balanced feeling to this quote.

      • margo roby

        29/05/2015 at 9:31 am

        This works, Hannah. The trick is to remember to break it down. Then the first step is almost easy. Thank you for reminding me of this. I’ll keep it in mind the next few weeks

        • Hannah Gosselin

          29/05/2015 at 4:04 pm

          Nice!! You’re right…break it down…causes me think of you busting out in a dance move though…break it down now!😉


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