So I think I will spend a bit of time catching up on some old Poetry issues. Never got to them because I got a job, bought a house, had a baby with my wife. Which is all boring life stuff.
I started this on Twitter a couple of months ago, and then life happened again, so I’ll continue now. Maybe I’ll post some thoughts after I read a bit and think on some of the poems.
Anyways, here’s to you and your life stuff.
This is something I’ve always been interested in. How do poets choose to write their drafts, and how does it impact the poem?
Personally, I love paper. It slows me down, makes me consider the words and sounds more closely. But when it comes to form, that really takes place on the screen, where I can see the whole poem. With my handwriting, there isn’t a whole lot of room in the notebooks I use to worry too much about form.
Revisions, too, usually take place on paper. After typing up and printing out the draft. Often, that translation between paper and typed poem also results in on-the-fly revisions.
Anyways, I’ve long thought about this (at least back to 2011 or so).
What are your preferences, and how do they impact your writing?
Why not begin a new year’s writing practice strong? Get a calendar, mark it up, make promises.
Make commitments to people.
Granted, you don’t know these people. They seem nice enough on Twitter. Considerate, considered in thought, unwilling to put up with bullshit. But you’ll commit to them to write a blog post once a week for the whole year. Maybe some weeks you’ll write two, or even three. Hopefully many will be more thought-out than this one, but hey, it is a journal, not a Journal.
More important, make a commitment to write poetry. Once a week, for an hour. In the quiet right after everyone else is in bed. Make a commitment to revise for an hour a week. Make a commitment to send at least one submission per week. Make a commitment to work on that manuscript that keeps disappearing into obligations and home projects. Continue reading “Letter to Eric”
Maybe you came here from Twitter. Maybe from one of my defunct blogs (they’re still there though: Poetic Idealism and Poetry Thesis Musings) (I’m ignoring the tumblr thing).
I like the shape YAWB makes in the mouth, and the sound it makes in the ears:
It’s wide open, like I hope this blog will be. I’ve imported the posts and pages from the blogs linked above, so all the history is there.
My first real blog post will be this Friday, and I’ll be sure to share it around Twitter at least.
*edited – corrected links to previous blog spaces.
My first chap book is now available!
months years of working on the thesis, massaging those poems, and working on new writing since graduating, I have a short collection out with Blast Furnace Press out of Pittsburgh.
I guess it goes to show that perseverance pays.
I whittled down the thesis to just a few of the best poems, added a couple of new ones not in there, and sent it out to five or six different contests and publishers. This took more effort than I thought it would. Killing your darlings is hard work, and although I don’t expect it to get any easier as things move forward, it may be easier to recognize something that isn’t working the way it is.
The end result is a chap book called How to Lose Faith, 18 poems in about 30 pages. Though many of the poems reflect on a traditional judeo-christian belief system, that subject tends to be an underlying current rather than the guiding principle. It is a journey I’ve taken, and I have no apologies for it.
It is interesting taking a title like that and sharing it with people I don’t know all that well. I can never be exactly sure of the reception.
Keep an eye out on the tumblr blog for readings and more news on this front.
You can buy the book here: http://www.blastfurnacepress.com/2015/05/how-to-lose-faith-prize-winning.html
Here it is, “The Bottoms at the West End of Kentucky,” first published in the very good print / online journal Pea River Journal, and nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology. I am very proud of this one. Feel free to leave a comment. **Almost forgot to mention: you can read along over at Pea River: http://peariverjournal.com/2014/06/23/eric-m-r-webb-bottoms-kentucky/**
Another piece previously published. Look for it tonight or tomorrow.
Psssttt— It’s Up!