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"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..." http://tumblr.com/xiyepcir1
Aug 1

"I must say that while poems of “the moment” occasionally can be pulled off without…"

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
Aug 1

"Never would I have imagined that nearly fifty years after Selma and two years after the United States…" http://tumblr.com/xiyemru5b

"Never would I have imagined that nearly fifty years after Selma and two years after the United States..." http://tumblr.com/xiyemru5b
Jul 31

"Never would I have imagined that nearly fifty years after Selma and two years after the United…"

“Never would I have imagined that nearly fifty years after Selma and two years after the United States sent its first black president to the White House we’d be where we are today, dealing with a predominant national storyline revolving around race, around racism and supposed “reverse racism”, and around what we should really just cut to the chase and start calling by what it really is: racism’s Second Great Awakening.”

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‘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. 

Jul 31

“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... http://tumblr.com/xiyek282l
Jul 30

“I want to be engaged and excited, not just satisfied. I want to choose when, how, and with…

“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.”

Gluue - A blog about work, life, and internet apps. By Paste Interactive

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. 

Jul 30

Pretty amazing series of photographs here — Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – http://ow.ly/2iMc3

Pretty amazing series of photographs here -- Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – http://ow.ly/2iMc3
Jul 30

"Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people…"

“Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.”

- David Sedaris (via robot-heart)
Jul 29

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

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
Jul 29

One of my most powerful creative-block breakers: a (written) dialogue/interview with myself. What do YOU do when you’re stuck on something?

One of my most powerful creative-block breakers: a (written) dialogue/interview with myself. What do YOU do when you're stuck on something?
Jul 28

"What are you scared of Rafael?” “I’m afraid of the outside.” “Why?”…"

““What are you scared of Rafael?” “I’m afraid of the outside.” “Why?” “Because Rafael is there and I don’t want to see him.” “But you are Rafael.” “Now you understand what I’m scared of.””

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Ghetto by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

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…

Jul 28

Most Listened To (Week Ending 2010-7-25)

Most Listened To (Week Ending 2010-7-25):
  1. Mice Parade (51)
  2. Daisuke Tanabe (26)
  3. Mike Slott (24)
  4. Speakers Corner Quartet (17)
  5. Homemade (10)

Powered by the popular Last.fm/Tumblr pipe by JoeLaz

Jul 27

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?

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?
Jul 26

  by sylvanwye / via retrograde



  by sylvanwye / via retrograde

Jul 26

The rest of the day: 3 hrs of meetings, then 3 hrs editing manuscripts. Time off for good behaviour?

The rest of the day: 3 hrs of meetings, then 3 hrs editing manuscripts. Time off for good behaviour?
Jul 26

"Use Twitter. Don’t let it use you." http://ow.ly/2eIVb

"Use Twitter. Don’t let it use you." http://ow.ly/2eIVb
Jul 26

Right. First draft of poem for Luke (composer/collaborative piece) done. Going to have to come up with a better working title.

Right. First draft of poem for Luke (composer/collaborative piece) done. Going to have to come up with a better working title.
Jul 26

Silks, at the Barbican



Silks, at the Barbican

Jul 25

"The thing is, if you want to create something truly remarkable, it won’t be built in a day. A…"

“The thing is, if you want to create something truly remarkable, it won’t be built in a day. A great novel, a stunning design, a game-changing software application, a revolutionary company – this kind of thing takes time, thought, craft, and persistence. And on any given day, it will never appear as “urgent” as those four emails (in the last half-hour) from Client X or Colleague Y, asking for things you’ve already given them or which they probably don’t really need.”

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The Key to Creating Remarkable Things :: Tips :: The 99 Percent

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. 

Jul 25

Foyles (Duh) I spent my Friday evening floating in between the…



Foyles (Duh)

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. 

Jul 23