Monday, 25 April 2011
Three days of NaPoWriMo, I've begun anew an exercise I came across in a listserv's archives: Begin with "In that kitchen," continuing writing until you're stuck, and when you reach that wall, write "In that kitchen" again and continue accordingly for 10-15 minutes; this becomes the first draft of a prose poem. In my three pieces, the kitchen is always the kitchen at 220 Arlington Drive, Normal, Illinois, the kitchen I knew as my family's from the age of five, the kitchen I may not see again if the house is sold soon. I was surprised to feel how much a kitchen can be the axis of a family; I suppose ours especially, as it was connected to the garage on one side and was open to the dining room on the other. For those struggling with coming up with a poem a day, I strongly recommend the exercise and urge people to try it with the kitchen they knew in childhood: it's amazing what strands of relationships, family, place, and development arise and mingle.
Monday, 18 April 2011
It's the eighteenth day. Some days I haven't even tried to write poetry (I just moved house), but always tried to make up for it on days I have more time, and with the help of some haiku, I'm more or less on top of it.
But tonight something interesting happened, the kind of thing I only knew I was waiting for after it occurred. An opening line arose in my mind, I said, "Oh, no, that won't work," and it became a challenge then, to make it work, to follow this very strange line. It's turned out to be quite a short poem, but the thrill of departure, of invention, excites me and makes me hope for more tomorrow.
How are others getting on? Please share your experiences, whether you've been successful at a poem a day or not. After all, the last three years I've never made it to 30 poems in 30 days.
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
It's day 13, and I have 11 poems. I didn't write a poem yesterday because I wrote several short poems the day before, and today so far has been consumed by teaching; I'm hopeful, though, of doing a little writing this evening. How are others doing?
Monday, 11 April 2011
I've just begun reading from this well produced anthology edited by Nigel Jenkins, Ken Jones and Lynne Rees and published by Gomer, and I'm enjoying the range of haiku, senyru, and haibun. Here's a haiku by a friend of mine:
the cathedral visible
only as windows
The anthology is available for £9.99/$14.99 direct from the publisher.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
In response to Zara's request for exercises and ideas to help keep the poems coming, I've found a couple good sites for poetry writing prompts online, specifically for NaPoWriMo. American poet Kelli Russell Agodon has posted 30 new prompts for 2011 here, and here's a site devoted to NaPoWriMo. I'd be glad to hear of other good sites.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Eileen Tabios has begun a blogzine, Poets on Adoption, in which poets affected by adoption in some way talk about their adoption experience and its influence on their poetry. I'll be contributing soon, talking about the curious position of being both adoptee and birthmother and presumably also about Imagined Sons, my manuscript that explores my consciousness as a birthmother.
Saturday, 2 April 2011
I'm judging a competition for the first time in Britain, for Poetry Society Stanza members. The theme is "breaking the rules," and members can submit up to two poems, each no more than 40 lines. I suggested not including a poem of mine on the website so that people wouldn't think I was looking for any one thing, so here's hoping for a real range of approaches--I'm curious to see what I'll receive. If you want to know more, full details are on the Poetry Society's website.
Friday, 1 April 2011
In honour of the day, Rob A. Mackenzie has posted a sparky satirical piece on his blog, titled "New Poetry Anthology." It begins "Breaking News. The Government have announced that, as part of their ongoing commitment to literature and the arts, a new anthology called 'Undersize Sock Poems' has been produced"--and gets better and better as it continues.
Tonight's edition of The Verb with Ian McMillan (BBC Radio 3, 9:15 p.m.) includes Infinite Difference contributors Harriet Tarlo and Carol Watts, as well as poet Ira Lightman. Listen in!