Reading & Writing

Weekend Reading: Some Real Poems

pexels-photo-414586.jpegNow that you’ve suffered through some of my “poetry,” maybe you want to read some real poems, huh? By real poets. (She says as if she knows what that means.) Anyway, I think these poems are good. I hope you do, too.

“Lula” by Maggie Smith (the woman who wrote “Good Bones”–the one poem you’ve ever seen take over your news feed).

“Alpha Zulu” by Gary Copeland Lilley

“Milk Drunk” by Jessica Lakritz. (This is a cool project: Skin on Sundays. Very short poems written on skin, with a bit of a back story at the bottom. I’m particularly fond of this one because, well, I get it.)

“A Dream of Trees” by Mary Oliver

April Aubade” by Sylvia Plath

 

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Reading & Writing

National Poetry Month

poetry month.pngWhen I was in grad school, some of the poets challenged themselves to write one poem every day for the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. They called this WriPoEvDa: a nod to the more popular NaNoWriMo.

I struggle with poetry. I’ve asked poets for reading recommendations, I’ve taken poetry workshops, I’ve tried to get it–but I guess I don’t. Continue reading “National Poetry Month”

Reading & Writing

How to Get Through a Writer’s Block (or, How to Be a Healthy Writer)

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For writers of all genres, “writer’s block” is as inevitable as death and taxes.

All artists experience this. The brain needs its rest, the muses need their vacations, and everyone who’s ever been serious about creative endeavors has sat staring at a blank page, canvas, brick wall, stage or computer page and thought, “I can’t do this.”

But did you notice that I put “writer’s block” in quotation marks? That wasn’t a typo. I “know” how to “use” “quotation marks.”

Seriously, though: I believe that the phrase “writer’s block” is a crutch we use to make our creative clogs seem more serious than perhaps they are. I’ve known writers who treat it as an illness; when they’re blocked, they can do little more than sit around drinking soup and binge-watching Netflix. They spend a lot of time nursing themselves back to health, so to speak. This can last indefinitely.

Of course (to extend my metaphor) there are people who vegetate through an illness and there are those who just keep truckin’. Then there are those of us who used to vegetate but have had to learn to push through. Continue reading “How to Get Through a Writer’s Block (or, How to Be a Healthy Writer)”

Reading & Writing

My Favorite Poem

pen and paper

I have one tattoo, which I got when I was nineteen years old. It’s on my hip, it’s hidden, and to be quite honest has been ripped apart by my two pregnancies. It took me a long time to decide what to imprint on myself and where. We don’t need to get into my tattoo or what it means or whatever, but I will tell you that the runner up was a poem by Emily Dickinson, which I wanted tattooed on my shoulder blade. Continue reading “My Favorite Poem”