Sticks, Stones & Stretch

Let's write together! Id' love to see you here:

Stretch! Expand Your Poem Possibilities
Friday, Feb 17 - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012
17th Annual South Coast Writers Conference
Gold Beach, Oregon

With an emphasis on poetry, this workshop will focus on fresh writing with prompts and practices designed to inspire and energize. Writers will explore the terrain of poem possibilities as they generate, and share, new work in a supportive, encouraging atmosphere. This workshop is open to writers of all skills and experience. More info here.

Sticks, Stones, Shore:
Exploring Place through Poems & Prose

Sitka Center for Art & Ecology
Sunday, July 15, 2012
near Lincoln City, Oregon

Through walks, talks and nature-rich wanderings, writers will explore place — both emotional and physical. From poetry to prose, fact to fiction, the focus is on fresh writing with prompts and practices designed to inspire and energize. Participants will generate new work in an encouraging and serene setting. This workshop will serve as a creative springboard, providing writing practices, along with opportunity to meet other writers and share experiences that will help shape, shift and propel your own writing.

More info here.



Love that line!

"What made you change?"

"It was that poem, actually. I still remember the moment when I read it . . . 

"I think it changed my life. My parents wanted me to be an engineer, and I never really questioned it. It was practical. But I read the poem — I think it was just called 'Poems' — and then I read another, and then another. I think I spent the whole day in the poetry section, and everything seemed different by the time I left. I didn't think I was going to be a poet, but I knew I wasn't going to be an engineer."

- from Breakable You, a novel by Brian Morton



Thankful Thursday: Frog Song

After the rain. After the wind. After the tree fell. After the storm passed. On the first of February, like a signal for spring, a faint sound emerges.



last night

a frog serenade broke

                           melancholy’s long moan

we were punctuated with

a comma of unexpected joy


- Drew Myron


It's Thankful Thursday! Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise. Please join me in a weekly pause to appreciate the people, places & things that bring joy. What are you thankful for today?


Thriving but Dying?

Dear Literary Journals,

I'm worried.

My friends and I — poets and writers — are sending mixed signals: We love you. We shun you.

We want to be in your pages, where the cool writers hang, laughing at inside jokes and rolling eyes at the hapless hopefuls. We pine for your validation, the stamp that says "real writer."

Our desire is deep. Each year we send you hundreds of poems and stories. Please like me, we plead. Take my words — and for free! We want you that much. And just like high school, we quickly turn to envy, the sour face of adoration. We compare ourselves to other writers, and then, frustrated with our limitations, deride those we emulate.

But here's the weird and creepy thing. Despite our desire, we don't really read you. Sure, we flip through your pages at AWP (the annual gathering of writers, this year a record 9,500 registered to attend). We'll smile and take free copies. We'll graze your website, but really, we're just looking for the submission guidelines.

We want to be in your circle, but we don't really wanna hang out, don't wanna commit past the first date. No need to lock into something permanent like a subscription.

Frankly, I don't know how you survive. With few of us reading, really reading, and even fewer paying our way, I'm not sure how you find the time, energy and financial means to produce the goods.

And I'm confused. With nearly 3,000 -- that's not a typo, that's three thousand! --  literary journals and magazines published in the U.S., it seems the industry is thriving (as evidenced here, and here). But with so few buying, you're widely unread. So, are you thriving or dying?

Whatever the case, you press on. Cranking out issue after issue, a small fire of hope burns for donations, subscribers, a way to hang on. How do you do it?

And how do we, as writers, want you but not support you? Love you but shun you?  How does this circle keep turning?





Public Service Announcement



Made, not born - by writer/illustrator Jessica Hagy, Indexed.