Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Writing Exercises for Found Poems

A couple weeks ago, in putting together a little zine on writing poems which use found/borrowed text, I happened upon some fun writing exercises. Here's one on writing "found or headline poems" by William Stafford and Stephen Dunning. Here's a list of 93 poetic experiments to try, compiled by Charles Bernstein. And here's a "word mover" tool from ReadWriteThink which uses Flash to let you move found words around to create your own poems; it lets you save/export the poems you create, too.

I need to take some photos of my zine--it's called Found It!--and list it on my Etsy shop. Well, I need to do about a zillion other things, too, starting with catching up on the grading (I'm teaching one English 100 class and two English 101 classes this quarter) that I promised myself I'd catch up on this morning...

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Interview with a Poet and a Resource for Publishing Poetry

Since November of 2012, I've been working on a little project called With Five Questions, a blog where I post five-question interviews with writers, artists, entrepreneurs, and more. I occasionally do other sorts of posts, too, but the majority of the posts are interviews. I conduct the interviews over email, and it's always fun to see the responses people come up with to the questions I've written for them. The other day, I posted one of my very favorite interviews, with Laura-Marie Taylor, a poet in Sacramento who has been making zines for many years. I hope you'll check it out. If you're at all interested in zines, I think you'll appreciate Laura-Marie's; they are thoughtfully written and carefully made.

If you're a poet looking for places to publish your work, I happened upon a listing the other day for The Poetry Market Ezine, which is a free email newsletter with lists of magazine publishers who are accepting submissions of poetry. I remember receiving this list years ago when I was following a few different writing-related Yahoo groups, and it's good to know it's still in operation. It's an announcement-only list, so you only receive a couple messages per month from the list owner.

Also, I've just opened registration for the online poetry writing workshop I'm offering this summer. It starts on the first day of summer, June 21, and runs through July 21. There's more info about the poetry class here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Poetry Class to Start on the Summer Solstice

I've just uploaded the information about the next online poetry class I'm offering. It starts on June 21 and runs through July 21. I've compiled a new set of four assignments, so if you're currently taking my April class, you'd be doing all different assignments if you were to enroll in the summer class.

I chose assignments for the class that have potential for reflecting a summery theme, but of course I welcome content on all sorts of topics. I just thought some writers might enjoy the idea of writing about summertime.

As ever, I hope you'll help me in spreading the word about the class, and please do let me know if you have any questions. Many, many thanks!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Line or Two

One of my online writer friends, Rebeka, wrote an interesting post today about a famous two-line poem by Ezra Pound. In a way, poems like Pound's are sort of the English language version of haiku: concise and image-focused. You get a clear sense of action/emotion from just a handful of words.

Writing very, very short poems like this can be a great writing exercise. Can you condense an observation or experience down into just two or three lines? Or what about stringing a series of very tiny poems together to form a short sequence? I'm also reminded of Laura-Marie, a poet who sometimes shapes poems by writing just one line a day until the lines add up into a poem that feels finished.

I know I've written about similar (if not the very same!) writing exercises before, but that's because I think they work. :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Belated Greeting for National Poetry Month

In my world, it's always a poetry month, but I do appreciate that people place more emphasis on poetry during April, "the cruelest month" and National Poetry Month. My online poetry workshop has started, and I'm enjoying it very much--it's a great group of students! I need to get organized around another workshop; I'm thinking of starting a new one in June.

I wish I could say I've been writing a lot of poetry myself, but lately it's just a line here and there, no completed poems. Really I've been busy with teaching my indie class along with my three classes at the college. Plus I've been trying to walk more.

Has your April gotten off to a good start?