crept into morning

June 17, 2018

sometimes when the night has crept into morning and I am hungry for poetry I tiptoe through your words, I devour each syllable, let each letter melt on my tongue

Kalypso

never be lonely again

June 9, 2018

So many uses

From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.

Betty Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Balance by Sara Conlan

My literature classes didn’t help. My professors stressed the importance of approaching a text with detachment, with a critical gaze rather than an emotional one. There wasn’t a place in academia for gushing or ranting. There wasn’t room to simply say, “I loved this and I don’t know why.” One had to use academic jargon. One had to be methodical and thorough. It was like listening to a song and wanting so badly to get up and dance, but instead of dancing, you have to sit there and think about why those sounds made you want to dance and consider the exact mechanics behind the formula of a danceable song. And I didn’t want to fucking do that. I just wanted to dance. I just wanted to read. I just wanted to write. I didn’t want to deconstruct lines of poetry or do a close reading of Faulkner’s usage of semicolons.

Jenny Zhang
The Quiet Importance of Angst-y Art

completely fabricated

May 31, 2018

foam

My mother’s poems cannot be crammed into the mouths of actors in any filmic reinvention of her story in the expectation that they can breathe life into her again, any more than literary fictionalization of my mother’s life — as if writing straight fiction would not get the writer enough notice (or any notice at all) – achieves any purpose other than to parody the life she actually lived. Since she died my mother has been dissected, analyzed, reinterpreted, reinvented, fictionalized, and in some cases completely fabricated. It comes down to this her own words describe her best, her ever-changing moods defining the way she viewed her world and the manner in which she pinned down her subjects with a merciless eye.

Frieda Hughes
From the foreword to Ariel: The Restored Edition by Silvia Plath

Reading out loud

May 26, 2018

Keep writing, and read every poem you write, out loud each time you work on it, and through every draft. Reading out loud exposes the weaknesses in poetry – and prose – that our eyes and minds gloss over when we skim through it otherwise. Letters and emails should also be read out loud!

Frieda Hughes
An Interview with Frieda Hughes
The London Magazine 3rd July 2017

Sometime after my first drafts are completed, months or even years, I come back to the material to look for the poems hidden in the handwritten scrawl. I turn to the typewriter when I begin experimenting with forms, usually stanzas employing syllabic or accentual count lines. I never use a computer in working on poems – I want to slow the process down, not speed it up.

Laurence Lieberman
Writing Advice from Poets
Writer’s Digest 11th March 2008

wave

When I first started writing, I was very traditional. Much of what I wrote was autobiographical. Failed relationships, Missouri, and the suburbs were almost always my chosen subjects. Reading other poets was what helped me incorporate more variety in my writing. I read everything I could get my hands on, which ranged from Gary Snyder to Joshua Clover and even The Maximus Poems. I started to understand that the poet isn’t always the speaker of the poem, but rather, poets can experiment with the techniques of fiction writing. I’d have to say that reading, and being exposed to many ideas outside of my own comfort zone, taught me the importance of innovation, experimentation, and risk-taking in poetry. It’s fine to write from one’s lived experience, but one shouldn’t be afraid to take liberties with both form and content when writing from autobiography.

Kristina Marie Darling
An Interview with J. Scott Bugher
Split lip magazine

I love using provocative juxtapositions in my writing because I believe that it fosters a more active role for the reader. He or she is invited to forge connections between different elements of the text, and participate in the process of creating meaning from the book. In many ways, it is the reader who actualizes the book through his or her imaginative work.

Kristina Marie Darling
An Interview with J. Scott Bugher
Split lip magazine

define who we are

April 17, 2018

The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.

Michelle Obama,
Speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Metropolitan Museum of Art American Wing, May 18, 2009

originality

April 14, 2018

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.

W H Auden
The Dyer’s hand and other essays