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“How much of your day is spent working to get better clients…



"How much of your day is spent working to get better clients versus pleasing the clients you’ve already got? And is pleasing the clients you’ve already got the best way to get better clients? Is a better client somebody who merely pays you more, or are you selling your soul and selling out your career by taking someone today who’s going to put you in the wrong box versus choosing your own box to find the client who is capable of giving you the platform that you deserve…?"

Listen hard, lit professional…

Jan 13

“Recent studies in this country involved with defining the so-called creative personality have…”

“Recent studies in this country involved with defining the so-called creative personality have defined very little indeed and yet one of their proposals interests me. It is that men and women engaged in the arts have a much higher tolerance for disorder than is the usual case. This means, to me, that poets among others involved in comparable acts have an intuitive apprehension of a coherence which permits them a much greater admission of the real, the phenomenal world, than those otherwise placed can allow…It would seem to me that occasional parallels between the arts and religion may well come from this coincidence in attitude, at least at times when philosophy or psychology are not the measure of either.”

- Robert Creeley, from A Sense of Measure (via John Estes: Works & Days)
Jan 12

“I think it’s important for creative professionals to always be learning. For me, that means…”

“I think it’s important for creative professionals to always be learning. For me, that means learning a lot of different disciplines all the time, while continuing to learn about the disciplines you already “know”. I’ve been so into weaving and fibre arts lately aside from everything else I’m doing. Sometimes I wish I could just do one thing and be the ultimate master at it, but I’m a Gemini so I know that will never happen.”

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Caroline Tompkins – Explore Create Repeat – by Format

Gemini here. Guilty as charged.

Jan 11

“If poetry demands solitude and introspection, then I am in trouble. I know too many gifted poets who…”

“If poetry demands solitude and introspection, then I am in trouble. I know too many gifted poets who have been waiting for years for time to write. This saddens me. I believe poetry benefits from introspection, but solitude — physical solitude — is not necessary for introspection. The secret is to have the capacity for introspection while being around others. I remember hearing Lucille Clifton suggesting to a group of poets that wondered how she managed to keep writing while having her share of children, that they look at the length of her poems during the years she spent raising the kids. They were shorter, she said. Her point was that she was not going to stop writing. But she was going to change the way she wrote — the form, if you will — to suit the culture of her world. It is a most brilliant thing. Recently, my children were laughing about the fact that they have never really seen me write. Suddenly there is a book and then they wonder how that happened, when did I do all that writing. The answer is that I worked on the poems while I was with them. Introspection — thinking, if you will — happens in the head. Chew, and walk, chew and walk, now rub your belly and pat the head. Again, chew and walk, chew and walk, now rub the belly and pat the head.”

- Kwame Dawes, quoted in The Electric Poetry of Kwame Dawes | Diriye Osman
Jan 10

“Your poem effectively begins at the first moment you’ve startled yourself. Throw everything away…”

“Your poem effectively begins at the first moment you’ve startled yourself. Throw everything away that proceeded that moment.”

- Stephen Dunn, via Planning for Surprise: Writing and Teaching Personal Narratives | TriQuarterly
Jan 9

“When I start to write the page is blank. When I finish, most of it is still blank.”

“When I start to write the page is blank. When I finish, most of it is still blank.”

- Most of the page is still blank: An interview with Alex Epstein « Kenyon Review Blog
Jan 8

“There’s a hole in the side of the boat. That hole is never going to be fixed, and it’s never going…”

“There’s a hole in the side of the boat. That hole is never going to be fixed, and it’s never going away, and you can’t get a new boat. This is your boat. What you have to do is bail water out faster than it’s coming in.”

- Will McAvoy, The Newsroom (via charlestontucker)
Dec 24

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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”

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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.”

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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