Scoring an MFA in 10,000 Hours

And again. From the beginning, maestro! Remember the Maine! And, better still, remember Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000-hour rule," which states that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in anything will lift you to professional status. Of course, that claim has since been debunked, but pretty-sounding studies (and the power of repetition) give anything legs, even since-disproven rules, …

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Poetry Myth or Truth? You’d Be Surprised.

Myth or Truth? Buying a poetry collection in the Kindle version may save you money, but it's just not the same experience as reading the poems in book form. Truth: Based on wide-ranging experience (once), I found that trying to read poems on an electronic device was an antiseptic experience at best, one which took …

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“Navel-Gazing” and Other Writing Hazards: Interview with a Poetry Editor

Today, in our last entry before Christmas, we share the partial transcript of an interview conducted with the editor of a small poetry journal. This excerpt focuses on the controversial concept of "navel-gazing."  FVL stands for this website ("Free-Verse Life"), as in some writer looking suspiciously like me conducting an interview. PE stands for physical …

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Random Thoughts, December Edition

With the Winter Solstice now securely in the rearview mirror, people can take good cheer: The days are getting longer! (Not that anyone notices at this hectic time of year.) Here in New England, the Solstice was celebrated with sheets of rain and pillowcases of wind, temps in the 60s Fahrenheit. All fore of our …

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Random Thoughts for October: Scary Times

These days, there is nothing United about the States of America. No surprise, given ours is a god of irony. It is dangerous reading the newspapers, indeed. If you believe in freedom of the press (the First and Foremost Amendment), you put your money where your mouth is and subscribe to a newspaper or two. …

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The Good-Reading Prince Discovers Royalties

HAMLET: To-read or not to-read? That is the question. OPHELIA: Don't tell me. Goodreads member, right? HAMLET: How did you know? Art thou a mind reader? OPHELIA: A profile reader, you great, fool Dane. 87 books "read" and 8,777 books "to-read," I see. HAMLET: Uh, what are you doing here, anyway? Do you not understand …

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Random Thoughts: August Edition

Yes, it's time for some Random Thoughts (Copyright and Patent Pending) for the month of August, named after the formidably crowned Caesar Augustus: Speaking of August, summer is fast running out of real estate, at least for teachers. It officially ends on September 23rd, yes, but for educators, it ends on the first day of …

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Poetry — The Word, Not the Genre

In recent months, the Poetry Foundation's flagbearer magazine, Poetry, has been featuring the same cover, only with different typographical fonts and colors, using the six letters in the word "poetry." While I have not been ga-ga about what is being printed between the pages of this magazine, I do like the simplicity and beauty of …

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