On Thinking Small, Picking Your Brains, & Never Growing Old

Washerwoman and Child (La Blanchisseuse et son enfant)

  • Have you come up with your New Year resolutions yet?

Have you already broken some? If you’re thinking of setting a few goals for 2019, heed Rachelle Gardner’s advice. Her approach helped her reach her goals — try it.

  • Have you picked your brain lately?

Check out the best of Brain Pickings from 2018. A good read to bid farewell to the old year, and ring in the new one.

  • Happy New Year!

“May you stay forever young,” as the song goes. Defy the odds, and prove it possible. And if you feel the odds are winning, write a song, or a poem about it. Read Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas for inspiration.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Washerwoman and Child (La Blanchisseuse et son enfant), 1886. Oil on canvas, Overall: 32 x 25 9/16 in. (81.3 x 65 cm). BF219. Public Domain.

 

 

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2019 Is Almost Here, Ready To Submit?

Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray)

  • Do you feel like poeming about teaching?

Go ahead. Write about K–12 teaching, and/or teachers, and submit your unpublished poem for a chance to win The $1,000 (!) On Teaching Poem Prize. No entry fee. Deadline: January 1st, 2019. Restrictions apply, read the guidelines carefully. Good luck!

  • Do you publish your poetry on Instagram?

Summer 2019 issue of Rattle will be dedicated to Instagram Poets. Submit your poems for a chance to be discovered, and promoted by the notable poetry magazine. You can also nominate poems written by other poets. Deadline: January 15th, 2019.

  • Have you put 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. Submissions will open in January, 2019. Get your unpublished sonnets, haiku, etc. ready.

Image: Paul Gauguin. Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray), 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 21 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (55.2 x 46.4 cm). BF589. Public Domain.

Poetry Periodical & December Contests

Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire)

  • New Poetry Periodical!

Ugly Duckling Presse is starting a new poetry periodical.

UDP will accept up to 5 pages of poetry by December 31, for possible inclusion in the first issue, to be released in early 2019.

Submissions from new writers, translators, and people living outside the US are especially encouraged.

Read the guidelines carefully, and submit.

  • December is a great month for writing contests!

Plenty of FREE writing contests to choose from.

Again, read the guidelines carefully, and submit your work. Good luck!

Image: Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire), c. 1900. Watercolor and graphite on laid paper, Overall: 12 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (31.5 x 48.5 cm). BF652. Public Domain.

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.

 

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.