Thoughts on AWP 2011

The AWP conference concluded yesterday evening with several great events.  I could only go to one of them, but heard about a couple of the others.  I got a lot out of the conference, and for some of my initial thoughts, you can check out the blog entries I did for TriQuarterly Online.  I will be posting more of my thoughts here over the next few days, but for now check things out there.


Voice and the Sounds of Poetry

The ability to verbalize brings us out of the darkness. To express the self and find others who express the self removes isolation and argues for our humanity. The sounds to be made in the creation of a poem are at the root of the art. Stewart points out these things in “Sound” (59-105), and she emphasizes the necessity of verbalization in the creation of an individual. (As a side-note, in her summary of Dennett’s treatise, it is interesting that the theoretical cyborg or even the realistic intelligent ape qualify in the status of personhood (61-2)). Continue reading “Voice and the Sounds of Poetry”

Why Write?

In one way or another, this question has been coming up more and more lately.  With more of my friends learning I’ve just finished my first semester in an MFA program, I hear/see that question a lot.  Among my new friends at the program, the same question: Why are we putting ourselves through this?

Continue reading “Why Write?”

The Effects of Digital Technologies on the Composition of Poetry

Okay, I know, I know.  But the title has already been established by nearly a semester of thought & etc.

At any rate, this post will hold links to the current status of this research, and I hope to maintain this for quite a while, in addition to continuing the study… upon receiving approval from ODU’s IRB, of course (and by IRB I mean Institutional Research Board, not IRB).

Continue reading “The Effects of Digital Technologies on the Composition of Poetry”

Entering a New Space

So this is blog variation number gazillion.  I made a home at for a while, but then they went pay for play, and I am pretty sure I lost all my content.  Like having a door shut firmly in your face by a new, exciting, but taciturn friend.  At any rate, I’ve also been maintaining (kind of) a space at Blogger.  Recently the academic blog there has been getting more attention than the creative side of things, but opening a new door has a way of changing the status quo.

The goal here will be to write a new post each week.  Commentary, literature, academics, social-goodness, and writing are the topics, but don’t hold your breath for any BRAND NEW POEMS.  If I publish any poems, they will be added after an appropriate amount of time, maybe…  We’ll see what the consensus is.

At any rate, welcome to the new home, cheers!


Where Things go Wrong

It’s interesting, the process of writing a poem.  As I’ve been applying to MFA programs recently, it is a subject that I have had to approach a number of times; none of the questions that tangentially broach this subject are the same, and so none of my essays are the same.  But, the question still remains, and They still want to know how I approach poetry, how useful I would be in a graduate-level workshop environment.

How to respond, and show the gatekeepers that success is a foregone conclusion?  Or that my input will be a constructive and innovative addition to their program?

Do I approach by addressing my theories on what poetry is about / for?  Do I describe where my ideas come from?  Do I look at my ‘process’ in writing and revising?  How does the angle play in creating an image or identity for myself?

While the attack-angle plays a definite role in conveying my qualities and suitability for the program, what about the voice I employ?  Most of this post is semi-formal… not too much grand vocabulary, not too much complexity in sentence structure… but also little in the way of colloquial vocabulary or structure either.

Where things go wrong is in making these choices; I’ve written the responses in a more formal voice, and try to address a little of each of the angles in regards to my writing sample.  How should these schools read these choices?  We all read the world around us, how do my choices come across?

I’ve made my choices, and we’ll see shortly how they end up…


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