“We must create work that refuses to leave this world the same as when we entered. We do not have the…”
- Danez Smith, Open Letter to White Poets
“But are all styles and voices truly welcome at a slam? Emily Dickinson would lose every time. Ezra…”
Yes. Reblogged while thinking about the people who look at me funny when I say the slam projects I work on are less about slam as a destination and more about (hopefully) opening pathways to further engagement with poetry in a wider sense… about fostering an appreciation for diversity of voice and poetics…
The beginning of today’s todo list. Poets in the house: thoughts on “where can your work lead” please! Or, in other words, if you make a living from your work as a poet, what does that work consist of? This was a quick list. What have I missed?
Tech-heads: poetry Twitter bots, coming soon.
Finally made it to a Creative Mornings meet - @London_CM - with Duncan Gough. Great way to start a day.
I’m wondering how many other poets there were in the room— I’d be pleasantly surprised to hear that I wasn’t the only one, but I’m guessing that, of all the creative disciplines represented in the room, poets were in the distinct minority.
It occurs to me that a large part of my work recently has been about “professionalising” - challenging people’s thinking around sustainable professional/career development in the literary arts, and particularly poetry, beyond the traditional pathways for literary activity (i.e. publishing or academia). That’s one of the reasons I took on the Spoken Word Education programme, and why I do as much as I can to mentor “rising” poets (not forgetting the other key goals). Poetry is often considered an art rather than an industry, but there’s so much for us to learn from exchange with other creative sectors.
More thinking to do. More schemes to make happen. Inspired. Thank you Creative Mornings.
“1. smoke above the burning bush2. archnemesis of summer night3. first son of soil4. coal awaiting…”
2. archnemesis of summer night
3. first son of soil
4. coal awaiting spark & wind
5. guilty until proven dead
6. oil heavy starlight
7. monster until proven ghost
9. phoenix who forgets to un-ash
10. going, going, gone
11. gods of shovels & black veils
12. what once passed for kindling
13. fireworks at dawn
14. brilliant, shadow hued coral
15. (I thought to leave this blank
but who am I to name us nothing?)
16. prayer who learned to bite & sprint
17. a mother’s joy & clutched breath”
Danez Smith, alternate names for black boys
The magnificent Ursula K. Le Guin – who just won the prestigious National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution – on where good ideas come from and the secret of success in any art.
I’m currently building some thinking the relationship between intention and intuition. Or discipline/rigor and inspiration. Or fixed paths/structures and improvisation. And how these thinking models can be complementary, rather than contradictory…
Writing challenge: write the poem suggested by one of the titles pictured here. Include another title as text within the piece.
Love the methodology of exploring specific crafts to deepen one’s engagement with the world through each of the senses, and it’s a nice little nudge to get back to my own field-recording project…
Big fan of the meaningful use of Tumblr (and other such platforms) here. Kearney’s use of Tumblr to support the release of his most recent collection Patter is a masterclass. Observe…
“The mirror lets us watch the past, the slight delay as light batters our skin. If you look, do so…”
The mirror lets us watch the past,
the slight delay as light batters our skin. If you look,
do so kindly; what is there is what is gone.
- Jamison Crabtree, from ‘upturn the stones to draw out the night; flush the moon from out of the bushes;’ via (Thrush Poetry Journal)[http://www.thrushpoetryjournal.com/january-2014-jamison-crabtree.html]
Do you mean metaphorical.
No, I actually meant metabolism architecture. It was a post-war movement in Japan which followed (among other things) this concept that the city was like a body – the roads were like blood vessels and the sounds of the city were the sounds of it breathing, you know, that kind of thing. The idea was that it was alive.
There were some really cool futuristic buildings that came out of it.
WRITING PROMPT: Consider the city (Your city? A city you’ve known?) as a living, breathing entity. You are dwarfed by it, and yet it knows you, like an absent but largely benevolent deity. What does your prayer-song for your city sound like? How has it blessed you? How has it punished you? How keen are you to remain within its embrace? How eager are you to break its gravity? What hold does(/will) it still have on you, even if you leave it behind?
“Project books can explore things differently, move differently, interact with readers differently. I…”
For those of you working on book-length poetry “projects”.
“The list emerges from Sontag’s diaries as the author’s signature form. And it’s a strange form at…”
Susan Sontag famously believed that lists confer value and affirm our existence. A decade after her death, as her digital archive is being made accessible to scholars and fans, the LA Review of Books examines the repercussions in a beautiful essay:
All archival labor negotiates the twin responsibilities of preservation and access.
Sontag is — serendipitously, it seems — an ideal subject for exploring the new horizon of the born-digital archive, for the tension between preservation and flux that the electronic archive renders visible is anticipated in Sontag’s own writing. Any Sontag lover knows that the author was an inveterate list-maker.
Reading Sontag’s lists in their original e-environment brings the issues of the digital archive — with its constant push-and-pull between proliferation and deep freeze — to the surface.
We cannot see when and where Sontag added to a list, or when or where she deleted from it. There are no cross-outs, no carets, no smudges. Certain kinds of traces, familiar in more traditional archives, are absent from the digital environment.
Listing and searching both provide us with ways, however flawed, to cut through redundancy, to make meaning out of chaos, to, in Sontag’s vocabulary, confer and create “value,” even “existence.” This impulse to list, to search, or, in other words, to reduce — an impulse researchers necessarily share with Sontag herself — takes on a peculiar resonance in the context of the guarded writer’s archive
“I try to keep the process of writing a poem low-stakes as much as I can—I try to recognize my work…”
- Q&A with Eryn Green, the 2013 Winner of Yale Series of Younger Poets - Yale Press Log
- Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others | James Clear