Saturday, April 02, 2011

First drafts are not yet poems

I was stunned to look at Elizabeth Bishop's early draft of her famous villanelle, "One Art." It was such a shapeless mess that had I penned it, I would have thrown it away not long afterward as being hopeless. Yet Bishop was one of the most dogged revisers the art of poetry has ever known. She claimed to have taken 20 years to revise "The Moose." This article gives a peek at her 17 extant drafts of "One Art."

Friday, April 01, 2011

April - National Poetry Month in the U.S.

It's become a tradition to join the April Poetry Month Poem-A-Day challenge. I've done it for several years. This year, I plan to revise a poem a day. The last thing I need is more unfinished drafts. If you want to generate new work, here are a few sites offering ways to celebrate:

Poets.org - 30 Ways to Celebrate
For Teachers
The Official NaPoWriMo site -- the biggest and most comprehensive, listing 280 related sites
Poetic Asides hosting NaPoWriMo
The Gazebo at the Alsop Review - hosting NaPoWriMo

I plan to blog every day a little something to help -- a prompt, a site, a thought. Happy writing and reading! (Don't forget the reading.)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Places That Verb Your World - Around the World

I'm happy to be a pin on the literary map of one of the more exciting journals online, Fringe. Here's my Mt. Diablo pin-drop verse. Just scroll down on the left side of the world map to read my lines.

Fringe is always coming up with interesting ideas, genres, and literary work. Disclaimer: I do interviews for Fringe. Still, I'm entitled to my opinion, and it's that you should check out Fringe. Their Maps issue is fun and their blog is full of surprises and delights.

In other news, I've been at work on my novel, which means a delightful mental sojourn in Northern Italy. Today I've been visiting the Hermitage in Assisi, where Saint Francis lived and preached to the birds. How lucky to get to take breaks in Italy! I'll have to set my next book somewhere fun. Maybe southern Italy! A little research will be required, however.