Friday, November 06, 2009

The Poetry Show

Last month I listened with special attention to Dona Stein's excellent "The Poetry Show" on KFRC-FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. Poet and editor Bryan Roth, Director of the Colorado Poets Association, was the featured guest discussing the editing of a poetry manuscript. He used my new manuscript, Gods of Water and Air, as the example. Here's a link on my page to that show.

This Sunday, Stein will interview Bryan Roth again. The topic on Sunday will be the work of Stephen Dobyns, author of ten books of poetry and twenty novels.

You can listen in online using the link on this page -- at 5 pm Pacific Time, 6 pm Mountain Time, 7 pm Eastern. Roth is an excellent editor, has studied with Dobyns, and is fascinating on the topic of modern poets and poetry. It should be a great half hour.

Dona Stein, a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, is the author of three chapbooks are Children of the Mafiosi, Heavenly Bodies, and most recently, Entering the Labyrinth, poems written while she was living in Greece.

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Last night I had the pleasure of becoming reacquainted with an old friend, poet Eric Halliwell. He has been living for many years in Guatemala, and was in town visiting friends. By chance, it turns out that he has a poem in the current issue of Umbrella, the zine for which I am a contributing editor for poetry. Eric told me this poem, "Like Picasso, Who Never Had to Pay for Anything," is one of only a handful he has published, though he has many, many more completed. He should send out lots more, judging by this one!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Novels - Serialization and National Novel Writing Month

I did it. I joined National Novel Writing Month, better known by the unpronounceable acronym as NaNoWriMo. The compact is to write novel in a month. A novel, for those who haven't yet googled word count for it, is 40,000 words. I started with 11,000 of a novel I began four years ago and keep meaning to get back to. So now I must do something along the lines of 1,200 words a day. Nobody mentioned anything about GOOD words.

At Flatmancrooked, there's an interesting interview with Shya Scanlon about serialized novels on the Web. Mr. Scanlon is the author of a serialized novel that has been mentioned in the same sentence with Dickens. But a good question is raised: why the Web? Reading long amounts of text online is, as we know, often painful. People stop reading. Print lulls you into focus. Why is that? Is it the relatively different postures, the light emerging from the screen, the action of turning pages that keeps a reader going?

Serialization is an interesting idea, but how do you sell installments online? Or do you just give away your work, as we bloggers do, hoping something will be returned per the laws of the universe?