While talking with another writer recently, I admitted that I re-read my own poems often, not just to see if they need to be revised, but to admire them. She indulges in this self-admiration too, she admitted. And if I were to guess, I’d say most if not all writers do it. After all, the … Continue reading “Please don’t judge my poem that stinks.”; or, Why the Overtly Self-Conscious Writer is Detrimental to Workshop
The following is an excerpt from Quentin’s section of the William Faulkner novel, The Sound and the Fury: A sparrow slanted across the sunlight, onto the window edge, and cocked his head at me. His eye was round and bright. First he’d watch me with one eye, then flick! and it would be the other, … Continue reading Prosy Poems and Poemy Prose: An exercise to help unblur the line between the two
I still remember those seafoam-green fire hydrants from my childhood summers on Cape Cod—how much more pacifying than the red ones in my hometown! For me, the fire hydrants were decorative like silk flowers. I could pass them and not fret about whether the knobs on the oven had been turned to Off. I could … Continue reading Fire Hydrant Colors that Reduce Anxiety
I didn’t think I was a poser in my relationship with words until I read this: “If you write a poem with the aid of a thesaurus, you will almost inevitably look like a person wearing clothes chosen by someone else.” That’s Mark Doty in his interview for The Writer’s Chronicle. At first, I called … Continue reading Growing Out of My Thesaurus
“There is no such thing as writer’s block,” William Stafford explains, “for writers whose standards are low enough,” to which you might retort: “But I want to write good shit, not shit.” Fine. But even the best writers admit to writing crap to get to their good stuff and even say it’s the crap, sometimes, that inspires … Continue reading Come On, Let’s Write Some Shit!