Poems To Be Experienced, Not Deciphered

I've been mildly critical of Poetry at times, but today I come to praise its pages. Editor Don Share has started an occasional series called "The View from Here" wherein people from various fields write their personal thoughts on poetry. There are five such essays in the October 2017 issue, and one by Kate Dwyer, a …

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“Poems Hide”

The single most common question posed to poets is this: "Where on earth do you get your ideas?" One would be tempted to answer, "Poughkeepsie" or "Peru," but it's much simpler than that. A working poet who pays no mind to such myths as "block" gets his ideas from those rare bits known as "what's …

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Mommy Dearest vs. Writers Block (Like Godzilla vs. King Kong!)

Just finished John McPhee's newest collection of essays, Draft No. 4, and though it's not a writing advice book per se, it does contain its fair share of writerly wisdom, many of interest to poets. Here are some quotes from the book along with comments from the peanut gallery. "Though a man be more prone …

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Jane Hirshfield’s Handout on Revision

In their book, The Poet's Companion, Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux share a worksheet Jane Hirshfield created for a Napa Valley Writers' Conference she taught. Can you imagine? Being surrounded by both the poet Jane Hirshfield and hundreds of wineries? Sounds inspiring to me (and rated 90-plus by the Poetry Advocate), but I have yet to …

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A Sunday Stream of Consciousness

It's Sunday, but there are no Sabbaths for the monkey mind. "Monkey mind" being the enemy of Buddha-like meditation and the friend of poet-like brainstorming-without-a-banana. I kind of like the "free" subscriptions you get when you enter a poetry publication's annual contest. It kind of makes up for the expense of missing first place by …

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