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Poetics Serendipity

9:26 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Jimmy Buffett singing Boat Drinks

Hello, all. Ugh. I slept in. In theory that’s lovely. In fact, I will spend the day feeling I have never quite caught up on things. Also, getting halfway through something before realising it’s not right… I just spent thirty minutes organising the first of my NaNoWriMo talks before my brain told me it’s still October. The good news there is I have that started, so next week will be quicker.

For those of you new, in the last year, I spend November focusing on prose, which is not to say the poetry disappears. The prompts on Tuesdays are written for prose but for the purposes of writing and posting a poem this month, will be poem friendly. Thursdays will be me talking about narrative writing with an occasional link regarding same. Okay, today:

1] First: Submissions for Gnarled Oak are about to close, so this is a last call for the Fall 2014 issue. If you aren’t quite ready, don’t despair. The journal is also taking submissions for Winter 2015 [as in January, not next year, December]. The editor, James Brush [whom many of you will know as Coyote Mercury], says, Gnarled Oak publishes high-quality poetry, short prose, artwork, and videos. We are interested in publishing work that leaps from the screen and keeps us up at night thinking. The kind of work that makes us want to rush out and share it with the people we love most. We like work that asks more questions than it answers. We want to read work that will inspire others to create. Go on over to read the full submissions guidelines.

2] This is the one to bookmark somewhere you won’t lose it. Purdue University offers a free Online Writing Lab, the OWL (clever, huh?). The site is overwhelming in all that it offers, but it is tightly organised and I found I couldn’t get lost, much. I am going to point you at the main area of interest for us, generally, Creative Writing. The link brings us to a window with the topics that are discussed. Click on any of the four topics listed and you will be taken to its page. In a small pane to the left you will see what is included, as well as the other topics. Elsewhere on the site you will find grammar usage, mechanics, the MLA and APA guides, exercises, other types of writing… just go.

3] I love this last, which is really pure entertainment rather than a learning something new post, although, as I say rather frequently, it never hurts the brain to have things it knows pointed out to it, again. The article, 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors, by Cody Delistraty, is a wonderful collection of quotes which must have been great fun to find and curate. Some of them are eye-openers regarding their authors. I particularly like Jack London’s: You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. Dorothy Parker’s got an out loud laugh. [If I have posted this before, my apologies — I try to keep everything organised but there is so much!]

I will see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for the first NaNoWriMo prompt; and next Thursday for a post on fiction tips, as learned by me when teaching the analysis of literature, as well as creative writing.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
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Posted by on 30/10/2014 in links, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:33 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to They Rage On sung by Dan Seals

Hello, everyone. As Fall and Spring try to make their way across much of the world, Washington DC gets hit with everything; as my daughter put it when I checked that she was home in one piece, It’s downright apocalyptic round these parts. They got hit with a hailstorm accompanied by thunderstorm and cyclone warnings. Exciting times. I’ll try to provide an eye of calm with a few things to read.

1] The first is an announcement from Red Wolf Journal. Red Wolf Journal requests your submissions for its Winter 2014/2015 Issue #4, and invites your poems to “Play. The journal has an interesting shtick: Poems are published on an on-going and random basis on this site. Each posting is announced on the Red Wolf Journal page on Facebook. Your poem may be published at any time from October 2014 to January 2015. The entire collection will be released in PDF format in January 2015.

Head over to read the submissions guidelines. You might click on the editors tab and read about your editors. Misky and Barbara are helming this issue. Deadline is 21 December 2014.

2] I’m going to let Robert Lee Brewer do the talking for this next post, which he titles The Poetry World A–Z. (There is an audible ad, but you can pause it after it starts — on the right, scroll down)

Poets, save this post! It just may be the most incredible, informational, controversial, and blah-blah-blah poetry-related post you ever read! Ever!!!!

After saving the post, be sure to share it with everyone–whether they like poetry or not. Because this post is about uncovering the wide world of poetry by using the…wait for it…alphabet! Spectacular, I know, and yes, I’m being silly right now.

This list includes poets, events, publishers, and more. Any and all omissions were either made intentionally (because I’m a snob) or more likely through pure ignorance (because I don’t know everything–that’s why blog posts have comments). If you see any glaring omissions, please don’t keep it all to yourself; share in the comments below.

I thoroughly enjoyed the list and Robert’s inimitable style.

3] Check out this next bit of play, Word as Image, literally (using the word as it should be used). Ignore all the bumph surrounding and push the play icon. The whole will take you a little under three minutes. Enjoy (someone has a strange sense of humour… thank goodness).

I will see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for my next prompt; and Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, all.

 
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Posted by on 16/10/2014 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Submissions Heads Up

anthology-icon

Hello. This is a special message for those of you who have posted poems to any of We Write Poems‘ past prompts. SUBMIT ALREADY.

If you have been meaning to, but haven’t quite gotten around to it, how about right now? The deadline for submissions to the Red Wolf anthology is getting close, November 15th. That’s only a little over one month to go.  As one of the editors says, We’d really like not to stack up submissions right at the deadline date. After all, the poems are already written, yes? Go find them. Submit.

However, if you suddenly remember on November 14th that OMG! you never hit send on that email sitting in draft, hit send. We Write Poems wants as many of you who have, over the years, written for their prompts, to have a place in their first anthology and you know you want to be there, not looking at the published anthology and bemoaning the missed date. As the above editor states, this is A chance for folks to get published and acknowledged for the labors of their poetic craft. Submit.

You read this even though you have not written to a We Write Poems‘ prompt and you want to be in the anthology? You have three or four weeks worth of prompts before the deadline. Write. Post. Submit. Easy.

This link will take you directly to the guidelines. Right. Go to it.

Happy submitting.

 
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Posted by on 11/10/2013 in poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

7:20 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to America singing Sister Golden Hair

Hello, all. Summer is approaching waaay too fast, at least, the part that involves packing, driving, flying, more driving, more flying. You know me, I like routine, my cave, no people (other than my husband ;-)); to be uprooted for two months… alright, no more whinging. Next summer will be even worse! We will be moving us and then my mother. Ack!

For today, we have three things to look at. I’m going to talk a little about the blog’s summer routine; I shall offer an opportunity for submission; and I will leave us with our favourite essayist David Marshall.

1] The blog’s summer evolved from a combination of my needing a bit of a rest (y’all are sooo high maintenance) and the fact that where my mother lives (where I spend a month each year) the internet connection is lousy and doesn’t like me — I swear, it’s personal. I sit, at Christmas, and watch three other people on their laptops, clicking away, while I am being told there is no connection. I do have, now, a mobile broadband connector that travels with me. BUT…

Thursdays goes dark. No links, or discussion. Fridays… last year I did Fridays. I haven’t decided about this year. I may give you a stripped down version. Links, no chat. Next Tuesday, I will be giving you a calendar of Tuesday prompts, so that if I don’t show up, you know what to write and you can post links in the first Tuesday’s comments. I am going to try to be there each Tuesday to post and talk a little about the prompt and give you a place to come to. The prompts themselves are recycled from the blog’s earliest days, but simplified for the summer — I know how busy you get.

I don’t comment during the summer. Wow, you are thinking, she’s even more curmudgeonly than she tells us. Yes… no… Some of you will remember two summers ago when I didn’t come back to the blog for a couple of months. I am trying to avoid that. You know I miss you like the devil when in dark, or minimal, mode.

2] Two of my fellow remixers from the Pulitzer deal-y, Mary Bast and Joel Preston Smith, came up with a proposal for a book. Joel is a photo journalist and has agreed to contribute 14 of his photographs from Iraq 2003 to the initiative. The photographs will be the spark for the poems. The guidelines and photographs are included in a pdf file, link below. I couldn’t get the link to open in another tab, so you will be taken from my page. Come back. If the link doesn’t work, let me know. You know how I am with tech.

call_for_submissions_image_poem_iraq26may2013lr.pdf

If you have questions, ask. Then try your hand at writing to a couple of the photos and consider submitting. I know that many of you particularly like image prompts.

3] I had planned to reblog this, but needed to write about the first two topics. Instead, I will leave you with a link to one of David Marshall’s essays, Speaking of You as Me (or the opposite). I have a few stacked in a queue. Fortunately, they are timeless. In August, plan on seeing another!

This post is a prose poem, as far as I am concerned. I read it the first time because I read his posts. I read it the second time for more understanding, the third time for its beauty. Marshall begins with a question: If you kept a part of everything you’ve broken, how big would the pile be? He goes on to talk as much about writing as about breakage and loss. He tells us, Writing means to make discarded cogs mesh and turn detritus into treasure. This is something we all know about. Now it is voiced.

Okay? That’s a wrap. Poetics Serendipity will return 15 August, rested, relaxed, tanned…

I shall see you tomorrow for this week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for the first summer prompt and a look at the calendar. The calendar, by the way, was designed by Briarcat, known by many of us as Barbara.

Happy writing, all.

 
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Posted by on 30/05/2013 in poetry, writing

 

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Thursday Thoughts: Writers’ Resource for Publication

8:20 am, Thursday, 27 January, 2011 – Atlanta

Good day! This should be short and sweet, as we have our first visitors to Atlanta and I have to inhabit my domestic goddess role for a while. I was fascinated and uneasy that there were no responses to last week’s Thursday post, as that means either everyone agreed, nodded their collective heads and moved on, or everyone disagreed, but were feeling polite. Whichever, that makes for a tiny wrapup and a suggestion for those looking for sources of publication.

First, two items I strongly suggest you read, both interviews. The first is with Elizabeth Crawford, who many of you follow already on one of her several blogs. She has a fascinating background and history to her writing. Poets United‘s Sherry Blue Sky interviews her. Whether you know her or not, the interview is well worth a read. If you have not come across Elizabeth here are the blogs I know of: 1sojournal, unraveling, and Soul’s Music.

The second, timely, appeared in my inbox this morning. The interview appears in The Indie Collective, is by Judy Clement Wall, and is with Derek Haines, who writes in several genres, including poetry, and speaks specifically to self-publishing. As we head more and more in that direction, what he has to say is of interest.

Some of you may know of the resource I have been alluding to. I have been getting it in my inbox for over twelve years.  Creative Writers Opportunities List-Serve (CRWROPPS) is a Yahoo group, moderated by the poet Allison Joseph. This group posts calls for submissions and contest information, and jobs, for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

I set up a separate email for this as, several postings arrive every day. My methods for dealing with the amount is to go through once a day and remove everything that isn’t poetry. Some of you write flash fiction, and fiction, so you may have more to deal with. Then I skim what is left, star the ones of interest to come back to, and delete anything not relevant.

The beauty of this is that not only do you know who wants what, by when, but you can go visit their online sites and read through their archives to see if your writing is a match.

Here’s how to join CRWROPPS-B:

Go to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crwropps-b
and click on “Join This Group,” in the top right corner. Follow the on-screen prompts to join.

or
Send a blank e-mail to
crwropps-b-subscribe(at)yahoogroups.com
(replace (at) with @)

You will be sent an e-mail message with further instructions on how to join the list.

I can’t recommend this resource too highly.

See you tomorrow with the Friday roundup.

 

 

 
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Posted by on 27/01/2011 in poetry, writing

 

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Thrsday Thoughts Part 2: More Questions Than Answers

9:28 am, Thursday, 20 January, 2011 – Atlanta

I have my coffee by me and have reread what I wrote last week, to make sure I follow roughly the same track. For those who have not read it, or who are a little fuzzy about what I said, you can go here. The curious serendipity that is life occurred again, as over the past week I came across an interview, a poem, and a couple of posts on the same question: Do I submit my poetry, or not? Part 2 is going back to that question, because I ended the week with more questions than answers. If I haven’t spent too long with the topic, I will go on to talk about resources, but that may become a part 3.

The topic has been a hot topic for a while. A few months ago Robert Lee Brewer, of Writer’s Digest, and a number of other members of the poetry community discussed the topic on twitter [#poettalk] with no real conclusion reached, but a lot of questions raised and a lot of confused writers, who, like me, want to know what the rules are now. And, therein lies the problem. In the pre-internet days, writers either wrote for themselves, or they wrote for themselves and for their work to be published, so that the truths their poetry told could reach others.

The internet has been a great leveler, which, in itself, raises questions and problems.  Anyone who writes, bad or good, can put their poems out there. I have, as I read through many, many blogs over the past four months come across some bad writing, but I have also come across poetry  that I find stunning, that moves me, that speaks a truth to me, and that I may not have ever seen if not for blogs.  So, posting in blogs, allows more opportunity for people to post their writing, no matter the quality and that’s wonderful for them, and allows more readers to read good poetry they might otherwise never have discovered.

Then why not have us all post, get our truths out there and be happy? That might be a place we reach some day, but it’s not where we are yet. I know that I submit because I want affirmation from the people who should know good poetry [publishers and editors], and their audiences, who become my audiences, if I am published. I want to work to a standard that requires me to hone and craft and continually [continuously?] work and rework my poems. That becomes another question. With posting, and even with all the ezines that have sprung up, because anyone can start an ezine if they wish, who sets the standards? Do we need standards set? Who says what a good poem is and what a bad, or weak, poem is? Do we need that?

For those who wish to post and submit, there is the dicey question of which poems to post. Of every poem I write, especially in response to the many wonderful prompts around, I ask myself whether it might be a poem I want to submit. I don’t like that I have to struggle with that question, but I am posting more. Magazines and journals seem more and more crystallized on the point that if a poem has been on a blog and been read, it, in effect, has had its first publication. And, I do see the editors’ and publishers’ point: when they publish a poem, they want to be the first to let readers see it. However, I also think that more and more writers will self-publish, and that the stigma that used to attach to that is lessening in some quarters.

There’s another question. Is having self-publishing made easy by the internet a good thing? I have two chapbooks that say yes. I would not have read them if they weren’t published at all. With the sheer volume of poetry being submitted now, there are many more poets, who might have been published in the days of snail mail, who find it much harder now to get their work out to an audience.

James, at a gnarled oak, says, in a comment on last Thursday’s post: This is something I go round and round with. I’ve also been in several categories. Lately, I’ve been developing a philosophy of submitting. Anymore, I am unlikely to submit to a journal/zine/site that does not a) take electronic submissions, b) publish online or at least have some kind of useful web presence, c) take simultaneous submissions, and d) allow submissions that have previously been posted on a personal site. I generally prefer to publish on my site. I enjoy the immediacy of it (even if the poem has been in revision for months or years) and I like the fact that people read my stuff and I (sometimes) get feedback. Occasionally, I’ve had to ask myself if my best stuff should appear first on my site where my readers can enjoy it or is it best to go elsewhere. Perhaps a balance is best and that’s why I do submit, but I focus submissions toward venues whose submission policies align with my idea of how submissions should be done.

You see, I knew once I got going this would be long and it has raised more questions than given answers. I am going to go give my poor brain more coffee. Let me finish with a point made by the writer over at The Rag Tree. I am going to give you his last point, but go on over and visit, because he has six other points worth reading. 7) A writer has only two obligations: to write as well as he or she can and to tell the truth. If you believe this, then you are writing for your community, whether it be the one that surrounds you, sympathetic souls on the other side of the world, or people who won’t be born for a thousand years. You may be published or not (or only in a minor way), but what counts are your words (not you) and the healing they bring. Many good people have died as a result of telling the truth as they see it.

I look forward to comments on this entry and will continue next Thursday with wrapping up if it looks like something needs wrapping and then, resources. Yes, I did mention a poem on the topic. Next week I will give you the link.

Tomorrow is Friday’s weekly roundup. See you there.

 
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Posted by on 20/01/2011 in poetry, writing

 

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Thursday Thoughts: To Submit, or Not.

10:09 am, Thursday, 13 January, 2011 – Atlanta

Before we get to a discussion about submitting, I used part of yesterday to think about this blog and how it needs to evolve. Looking over my general plan for the year [you know teachers – we do lesson plans], I figure I will be out of primary material in about six months. I know I can recycle [a reminder from my daughter that variations can be endless] but I do want to slow down my full tilting down the road.

I am restructuring so that Monday will be off, on the theory most people are clearing the decks after the weekend; Tuesday will continue to be a creative exercise; Wednesday will be off; Thursday will be where the mantras and any other discussion of aspects of poetry will happen; and Friday will continue to be a roundup of the week’s prompts. I may use Mondays and Wednesdays to post poems for prompts from other sites, but it won’t be regular. If there is something I want to share, I will always let you know on a regular day.

Over the past few months as I brought myself up to speed on the poetry scene in the United States, I realised that writers fall into roughly three categories. There are those who write and do not post or submit. My son and daughter are both better poets than I will ever be, yet my son has never had any interest in publishing what he writes and my daughter doesn’t have the time to write, as she once did. I suspect there are many writers who fall under this category

The second category is writers who post but don’t submit, whether because they feel more comfortable with the thought of sharing rather than going through the submission process, or they are not interested in submitting but still want their writing out there. With the onset of computers, I suspect some writers shifted from the first to the second category.

The third category of writers are the ones who want publication, whether in print or online. They spend much of their time crafting, revising, and honing. They also spend much of their time looking for places to submit. This category falls into splinter groups. One group does not post poems because they might be able to submit the poems for publication if they find a home for them. Another group tentatively [this would be my group] posts some poems, but, in general, holds onto poems that they want to see published. Yet another group wants their poems out there, no matter by what means, so they post, they self-publish and they sometimes submit. And, if they are established writers they have the luxury of doing whatever they want and they have earned that luxury.

There is no right or wrong. It’s what works for each individual and her/his writing.

This post has a part 2, which I will continue next Thursday, when I will talk about the resources for publishing. I will see you tomorrow for the roundup.

 
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Posted by on 13/01/2011 in poetry, writing

 

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