“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)
“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.”
Caroline Tompkins – Explore Create Repeat – by Format
Gemini here. Guilty as charged.
“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
“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
“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
“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)
Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London headlining at Mouthy Poets’ first national tour date.
In transit. Must be said, the camera on the iPhone 6 is not too shabby at all…
“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
Miriam Nash (poet, producer…)
Creative Mornings, London, November 2014 - Duncan Gough
“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.”
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…
Charlie “RunDemCrew” Dark
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.