"I must say that while poems of “the moment” occasionally can be pulled off without revision, they are…" http://tumblr.com/xiyepcir1
I must say that while poems of “the moment” occasionally can be pulled off without revision, they are rare in my experience, though I’m happy for the few that have occurred like that. And it all depends on what we mean by “the moment.” If the moment includes, say, an imaginative premise that keeps leading to discovered language, then, yes, many poems can take immediate flight that way. But if you mean the poem that originates from some big event in your life, well, too many poets are wedded to such events, and their poems are often constricted by that kind of allegiance.
I would say that if you don’t distort the original experience in some way you may be in compositional trouble. I’ve come to realize that the poem is more important than the experience that triggered the poem. You need to realize that no reader cares about your life, or should care. In the making of many of my poems, even ones that seem very personal, I’ve distorted many things. I have a fidelity to the credible, not necessarily the actual.”
- Commonline | the E-Journal: The CommonLine Interview: Pulitzer Prize Winner Stephen Dunn
"Never would I have imagined that nearly fifty years after Selma and two years after the United States…" http://tumblr.com/xiyemru5b
‘Fear of a Black Planet’ - Matt Langer
Dear Matt - the Tumblr dashboard only has one heart to signify “like”. This is one of those rare occasions when I don’t think one heart is enough.
“I want to be engaged and excited, not just satisfied. I want to choose when, how, and with whom to work. I… http://tumblr.com/xiyek282l
“I want to be engaged and excited, not just satisfied.
I want to choose when, how, and with whom to work.
I want to have a direct connection between my income, and my audience. I want to sell directly to, and interact directly with, the “end consumers” of what I create. No middlemen.
I want to create the kind of company I dream of working for.
I want to work with awesome people, who are exuberant and optimistic. Who are gutsy enough to challenge the status quo (and me). Who believe that long-term relationships are more important than short-term money.”
I recently wrote a post about being a working poet in the face of coming hard times (vis à vis the recession and budget cuts in the UK) which sparked off a little back and forth on Facebook. What I’ve realised is that I really didn’t make a distinction between poetry as an art and poetry as a business. My bad. Please excuse. In my world, poetry as an art involves me over-dosing on the work of my favourite poets (and more often than not, over-dosing on a lot of poetry that does absolutely nothing for me in the search for something new); searching for inspiration in exhibitions, newspaper articles, novels, overheard conversations… &c; research (believe it or not); editing and redrafting; and above all, writing. Poetry as a business is everything that happens around that other stuff. It’s putting myself forward for residencies. It’s timely responses to emails about gigs, presentations, workshops and projects. It’s figuring out which gigs, presentations, workshops and projects I should actually take to push me in the direction I want to go. It’s maintaining my web presence. It’s following up on publishing opportunities. It’s being able to put food on the table and a travelcard in my pocket (I gave up on full car ownership a while back - after years of being everyone’s designated driver, I’ve decided it’s not worth owning a car in this city. At least not until I have kids. But that’s another blog post…) keeping my telephone up and running, paying the bills and still having money in the bank. It’s about making sure that I can afford to designate sacred writing time. It’s about taking an interest in my “industry/sector” and supporting positive change. All that and more.
I’m not going to bang the drum again about the stereotype of poets as floaty artist-type people (as opposed to pragmatic professionals). I just want to know - if I assembled a bunch of poets (a pride? a gaggle?) and challenged them to think about their own manifestos in response to the one above, what would they come up with? Personally, I read it, and I got excited. I started thinking about all the things I’ve done, and all the things I could be doing. What my world would look like if I had all of the above in place. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
Pretty amazing series of photographs here — Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – http://ow.ly/2iMc3
"Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people…"
- David Sedaris (via robot-heart)
If you want in on the London/Barclays Cycle hire action, here’s a free iPod/iPhone app to find docks and plan routes… http://ow.ly/2hPgv
One of my most powerful creative-block breakers: a (written) dialogue/interview with myself. What do YOU do when you’re stuck on something?
I’ve recently come across the work of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, and I have to say, I’m moved. I’ve had thoughts bubbling in my head for a while now about the common ground between (my) poetry and (my) photography, and I’m intrigued by Broomberg and Chanarin’s practise/process - the social and political edge to their work. Time to go and investigate (and/or devise?) a photo-poetic workflow…
18.30 laptop curfew at the Royal Festival Hall. Does that also apply to smartphones and iPads? Old world view of tech, or suspect principle?
The rest of the day: 3 hrs of meetings, then 3 hrs editing manuscripts. Time off for good behaviour?
Right. First draft of poem for Luke (composer/collaborative piece) done. Going to have to come up with a better working title.
Silks, at the Barbican
Otherwise known as Real Work vs Busy Work. Busy Work shouts (shrieks?) out for attention and makes you feel bad if you’re not paying attention to its needs at all times. Real Work waits patiently for you to come back, and won’t shout or scream, but the more you pay attention to what it asks you to do, the more lasting your achievements will be.
I spent my Friday evening floating in between the poetry and sci-fi sections. Allow me a big-head moment? I’ve got work in three different poetry anthologies currently stocked there (and hopefully in most reputable bookstores). Go me.