Did Poetry Need Saving?

Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch

  • Are you a poet? Read the following statements:

“A day in the life can consist of all-day writing, touring, or, perhaps unprecedented for a poet, time in the office with her team to oversee operations and manage projects.

Building their own mini brands, poets can harness e-commerce to supplement their income.”

  • Did this make you flinch? Chances are you aren’t a wealthy poet.

Most likely, not a Rupi Kaur’s fan. You probably don’t think that Instagram saved poetry. You might very well doubt that poetry needed saving in the first place.

“But poetry, like any other art, must adapt to the world changing around it.” Must it? Hmm… I wonder.

  • Don’t despair. You are not alone.

“…the man who has often been called the greatest poet of the 20th century struggled to make ends meet. He accepted money from relatives to buy underwear and pajamas, and anxiety over his finances drove him to breakdowns.”

His name is T.S. Eliot.

Just keep writing poetry.

Image: Frans Hals. Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch, 1643. Oil on canvas, Overall: 32 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (82.6 x 66.7 cm). BF262. Public Domain.

 

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On “Delete” Buttons, November & Daffodils

  • Thinking of deleting your Blogger blog?

Think again. There are at least four reasons why it’s not a good idea.

“The Blogger Help Forum is dotted with people who regret deleting their blogs.”  

Why permanently delete your Blogger blog if there’s a much better alternative?

  • What comes after October?

November Poem-a-Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge, the annual writing challenge from Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides. Read the guidelines, and get ready.

  • Don’t want to think about autumn?

Think spring instead. And daffodils.

Why Read, Write & Teach Poetry?

Promenade (La Promenade)

“A good poem is a delight to read because it sparks the imagination and elicits a response from the reader–a chuckle, a groan, a sigh, an epiphany. The conciseness of poetry, especially when combined with an engaging rhyme and meter, can make just about any topic memorable.”

Listen to Heidi Roemer–author of many poetry picture books and more than 400 poems published in various children’s magazines–talk about poetry, the importance of reading it, writing it, and teaching it to young children.

Get inspired, and start creating your own “Child’s Garden of Verses.” 

And don’t forget to mix a bit of mystery in. Steer clear of the–often encouraged–“quantifiable process of demystification.”  It’s okay to leave poems unsolved.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Promenade (La Promenade), c. 1906. Oil on canvas, Overall: 64 3/4 x 50 15/16 in. (164.5 x 129.4 cm). BF571. Public Domain.

On Formal Poetry & Skin Color

In Vaudeville: Two Acrobat-Jugglers

  • Do you write formal poetry?

You might want to start putting together your submission to Measure Review.

Guided by the editorial vision of Ashley Anna McHugh, Measure Review, an online magazine of formal poetry, will advance the legacy of Measure.

So, if you happen to write a sonnet or two, don’t be in a hurry to publish them on your blog — save them until January, 2019. It’ll be here before you know it.

  • What do you write about?

Love? Life? The universe? You might be doing it all wrong. Check your skin color.

If it’s white, you should–according to Ms. Angela Pelster-Wiebe–write about white supremacy. Why? Because “those who benefit from racism (that’s you) should be on the front lines fighting it.”

Ms. Pelster-Wiebe is apparently a successful author, “a white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”  Hmm..who’s benefiting from racism now?

You might want to follow in Ms. Pelster-Wiebe’s footsteps and start apologizing in writing for being born white — it’s not unlikely that you’ll achieve publication and success.

The alternative is to have respect for yourself and others, and very likely remain unpublished and unknown. (There’s always self-publishing, though.)

“…authors of all types could simply write what they would like to write because they have not contributed to white supremacy and are in no way responsible for the previous bad actions of white people to which they did not contribute.”

Now go write a love poem.

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Two Acrobat-Jugglers, 1916. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 11 3/16 x 8 in. (28.4 x 20.3 cm). BF602. Public Domain.

 

 

Poetry: Write It & Get Paid, Read It & Get Enchanted, Analyze It (Or Not)

"A Montrouge"–Rosa La Rouge

  • You cannot make money writing poetry, can you?

Erica Verrillo has compiled a list of “twenty noteworthy publications that pay in the professional range for poetry. Most of these also accept fiction and creative nonfiction, and many are more than happy to nominate accepted poems for prizes.”

  • What’s the point of reading a poem?

The point of reading a poem is not to try to “solve” it. Still, that quantifiable process of demystification is precisely what teachers are encouraged to teach students, often in lieu of curating a powerful experience through literature.’ (Andrew Simmons, The Atlantic, 2014)

Here’s more on how to read poetry: “curious wonder” vs. “critical judgement.”

Image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. “A Montrouge”–Rosa La Rouge, 1886–1887. Oil on canvas, Overall: 28 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (72.1 x 48.6 cm). BF263. Public Domain.

On Poeming Online & Submitting Published Work

Vase of Flowers (Vase de fleurs )

  • Are you looking for a friendly and supportive online community of poets?

Poetic Bloomings is “the best garden for verse”. Established in 2011, the site now reunites Marie Elena Good and Walter J Wojtanik “to help nurture and inspire the poetic spirit”.

Marie Elena and Walt are posting prompts every Sunday. Here’s the latest one.

  • Looking for a contest that accepts published poems?

Submit your work (published and unpublished) to Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest by September 30, 2018.

TOM HOWARD PRIZE: $1,500 for a poem in any style or genre
MARGARET REID PRIZE: $1,500 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Vase of Flowers (Vase de fleurs ), c. 1889. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 13 in. (41.3 x 33 cm). BF156. Public Domain.

 

 

Do You Like Beer? Start Writing Poetry

The Bathing Hour, Chester, Nova ScotiaHappy July to you!

  • Got a poetry chapbook, or a book-length poetry manuscript?

Consider entering these free contests:

Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, an annual (16th) prize awarded to the author of the winning book-length manuscript. Participating poets must reside in the Mid-Atlantic states (DE, MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY, WVA, NC and District of Columbia). The winner receives $500, two cases of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Beer, manuscript publication by Broadkill River Press, and 10 copies of the book (in lieu of royalties). Deadline: August 15, 2018.

The Broken River Prize, an annual poetry chapbook (20–40 pages) contest from Platypus Press. Open internationally. The winner receives $250/£200 and publication. Submit your manuscripts by August 31, 2018.

  • Need inspiration?

Try writing to weekly prompts from The Sunday Whirl. Play with words. It’s fun.

Share the post, like it — thank you.

Image: William James Glackens. The Bathing Hour, Chester, Nova Scotia, 1910. Oil on canvas, Overall: 26 x 32 in. (66 x 81.3 cm). BF149. Public Domain.

On June Poets & Friends We’ve Never Met

Landscape (Paysage)

Happy Birthday to my friend Janet whose poetry and photography never cease to amaze and delight. If you haven’t discovered Another Porch yet, stop by it today. And every day. Many happy returns!

  • Yesterday another special friend of mine had his birthday.

On June 6 Russia celebrated the 219th birthday of her greatest poet Alexander Pushkin (June 6, 1799–February 10, 1837). Here are just ten of all the countless reasons why Pushkin is great.

To me the incredible thing about Pushkin is that no matter what might come your way, whether you experience joy, sadness, or anything in between — turn to him, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

His lines just pop up in my head, and I think, yes, that’s exactly what I needed to hear right now. Learning poetry by heart as part of the school curriculum sure has benefits. So does growing older.

Have you got the best friend you’ve never met? A favorite poet you “talk” to?

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), 1916. Oil on canvas, Overall: 18 11/16 x 22 1/16 in. (47.5 x 56 cm). BF818. Public Domain.

 

On Poetry Submissions & erbacce-press

Apples (Pommes)

  • When it comes to submitting poetry, five is a common number.

Sometimes the limit is three poems. Most journals will not read more than five poems per submission.

It is also common, if not standard, when formatting your submission to “type only one poem per page, even if your poem is very short.”

If the editors don’t mind seeing more than one poem on the same page, they’ll specify it in the guidelines.

  • However, sometimes they don’t.

When erbacce-press states they want five pages of poetry, they don’t want to see one short poem on a page. They want five completely filled pages, which is great, especially if you write short poems — it’s your chance to submit more of them. But…

Here’s how I found out about their preferences:

Alan Corkish (Dr. Alan Corkish MA MSc, poet, writer, publisher and reviewer who (together with Dr. Andrew Taylor MA) is the editor and owner of the erbacce poetry journal and of erbacce-press)
12:44 PM
to me
“Some advice to YOU; try actually READING what is said and stop being so arrogant as to presume guidelines apply to everyone else but don’t apply to you; to date we have 5000+ entries this year and not ONE has been so stupid as to presume 20 lines = 5 PAGES!”

  • “PLEASE do enter! There really is no catch; it’s entirely FREE!” erbacce-press site reads. Indeed, if Dr. Alan Corkish finds your IQ test results tolerable, you’ll probably be okay. So, if you consider yourself smart enough, go ahead and enter. As for me, I’ll pass.

My two cents: don’t get beguiled by the “no catch & entirely FREE!” slogans.

Research before you submit. Read the previous issues. Look up editors on social media, and see what they post. If it feels like a good fit — submit. If not — move on. Plenty of other opportunities out there.

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it, don’t be shy.

 

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Apples (Pommes), 1914. Oil on canvas, Overall: 7 1/16 x 12 3/8 in. (18 x 31.5 cm). BF55. Public Domain.

 

 

“Just listen, let it wash over you…”: Jeremy Irons on Narrating the Poems of T.S. Eliot

On hearing Jeremy Irons recite her late husband’s poetry, Valerie Eliot called the actor “today’s voice of Eliot.”

Jeremy Irons who recently narrated an audio book  “The Poems of T.S Eliot” talks to Stephanie Bastek of The American Scholar about the project.

  • How is driving a Lamborghini similar to understanding poetry?
  • What’s the reason Jeremy Irons listened to T.S. Eliot reading his own poetry?
  • How do you achieve a recording that’s got tremendous energy to it?

Find out. Don’t miss, it’s a delight. 

And if you are into reading poetry, rather than listening to it, here’s a different perspective on reading poetry out loud.

Finally, do you want to win a $25,800 fellowship?

  • Are you between 21 and 31 years of age?
  • Are you a US citizen, or do you reside in the US?
  • Do you write poetry?

Try your luck at Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. Submissions are accepted until April 30, 2018. Hurry.

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it. Thank you.

image credit: T. S. Eliot in 1923, by Lady Ottoline Morrell, public domain