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Dec 14

“We must create work that refuses to leave this world the same as when we entered. We do not have the…”

“We must create work that refuses to leave this world the same as when we entered. We do not have the luxury of only writing the selfish confession, we must testify in our court of craft that these poems we write are bold, unflinching, and unwilling to stale idle in a geography of madness. We must demand of ourselves to write the uncomfortable, dangerous, shift-making poems. How much longer will we write casually in the face of a beast?”

- Danez Smith, Open Letter to White Poets
Dec 12

“But are all styles and voices truly welcome at a slam? Emily Dickinson would lose every time. Ezra…”

“But are all styles and voices truly welcome at a slam? Emily Dickinson would lose every time. Ezra Pound would be yawned out of the building. Having scores has created a culture and that culture creates a certain kind of poetry, right? The problem with this kind of thinking is it assumes that the only poems that matter are the ones that win. That’s rubbish. Whether you finish first or last does not determine the degree to which you are a poet within the slam community. It is your willingness to participate and your level of involvement. If Emily Dickinson wants to show up every week and read her quatrains about trees and angels, then she is a poetry slammer, no matter where she ranks in the scores at the end of the night. We’d get her a Van Slam hoodie right away.”

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Slam Poetry Does Not Exist: How a movement has been misconstrued as a genre | litlive.ca

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…

Dec 8

The beginning of today’s todo list. Poets in the house:…



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.

Nov 28

Finally made it to a Creative Mornings meet – @London_CM – with…



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.

#creativemornings #VSCOcam

Nov 28

“1. smoke above the burning bush2. archnemesis of summer night3. first son of soil4. coal awaiting…”

“1. smoke above the burning bush
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
8. gone
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 

(via summonstothesea)

This.

Nov 26

explore-blog: The magnificent Ursula K. Le Guin – who just won…



explore-blog:

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…

Nov 24

explore-blog: Magnificent read on what MacArthur “genius grant”…



explore-blog:

Magnificent read on what MacArthur “genius grant” recipients teach us about the creative value of staying loose

Nov 23

thegameofart: Jean-Michel Basquiat (via (1) Pinterest)



thegameofart:

t (via (1) Pinterest)

Nov 22

Writing challenge: write the poem suggested by one of the titles…



Writing challenge: write the poem suggested by one of the titles pictured here. Include another title as text within the piece.

Nov 22

“I started tinkering with field recordings yesterday. I’m using a Zoom H1 Handy Recorder with a…”

“I started tinkering with field recordings yesterday. I’m using a Zoom H1 Handy Recorder with a homemade “dead cat” windscreen. I’m also expecting some earbud microphones to do some binaural recording. There are a lot of technical details for me to learn, but I’m enjoying this opportunity to pay greater attention to the sounds around me. Photography helped me to see better (notice visual details and nuances). Working with fabrics and other materials heightened my sense of touch. Cooking and blind tastings with my family did the same for taste and smell. Now it’s time for my ears to get more attention.”

-

robertogreco {tumblr} 

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…

Nov 20

PATTER (Notes & Stuff)

PATTER (Notes & Stuff):

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…

Nov 18

robertogreco: “This is what the “internet of things” endgame…



robertogreco:

“This is what the “internet of things” endgame looks like.” —Jake Boxer

Everything is a poem…

Nov 17

“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]
Nov 16

melonpult: alonelycorneroftheuniverse: ex-oti-c: love…



melonpult:

alonelycorneroftheuniverse:

ex-oti-c:

love this

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. 

Have a wiki link.

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?

Nov 15

“Project books can explore things differently, move differently, interact with readers differently. I…”

“Project books can explore things differently, move differently, interact with readers differently. I think different is important to the innovation and evolution of poetry. Yes, some people won’t write them well. But some people will. And I will never underestimate poetry or the poets who take risks.”

-

Sarah Blake on Mr. West, via The Cloudy House

For those of you working on book-length poetry “projects”.

Nov 14

“The list emerges from Sontag’s diaries as the author’s signature form. And it’s a strange form at…”

“The list emerges from Sontag’s diaries as the author’s signature form. And it’s a strange form at that: the list is a potentially infinite structure made up of distilled, often epigrammatic parts. It’s a form that expands and contracts to meet the needs of its author; it may be brief or expansive, important or ephemeral, and, in Sontag’s hands, it takes on many roles: an argument or an organizer, an aide-mémoire or a way of conferring value. The result of her “compulsion” not just to inventory but to reduce the world to a collection of scrutable parts, the list, Sontag’s archive makes clear, is always unstable, always ready to be added to or subtracted from. The list is a form of flux.”

-

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

Full piece here. Complement with Sontag’s lists of likes and dislikes, illustrated

(via explore-blog)

Nov 12

“I try to keep the process of writing a poem low-stakes as much as I can—I try to recognize my work…”

“I try to keep the process of writing a poem low-stakes as much as I can—I try to recognize my work within the broader scope of my life and the life of the universe, which sounds hokey, but is true. The stars and the sun make writing easier—if I don’t write a poem today, does anything suffer? No, assuredly not. The sky is still there, the ground is still there, the birds still know intuitively exactly when to strike up the band. Things remain well underway. So, writing for me is a way to recognize the larger conditions of things, and my place therein, and in this thinking writing a poem is inherently a moment of joy.”

- Q&A with Eryn Green, the 2013 Winner of Yale Series of Younger Poets - Yale Press Log
Nov 10

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into…”

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

- Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others | James Clear
Nov 9

A Map of the Border Between Nebraska and Iowa at Carter Lake (by…



A Map of the Border Between Nebraska and Iowa at Carter Lake (by amproehl)

WRITING PROMPT: write a poem inspired by one of the images in the collection “Maps of Strange Borders”.

Nov 8