Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year of Poetry - The End (Part 2)

As noted in this post at mid year, I really did hit my goals by the six month stage.  

Just to jog your memory here's what I had set out for myself:

I want to exceed publication credits for this year (2015) so that's 4 + published poems.  I want to write at least 12 poems of publishable quality.  I want to increase my own poetic understanding through reading technical material and through reading of other's good poetry.
Publication Credits

I finished the year with 9 publications: 3 of which were paid, 3 of which I received a contributor copy for and 3 of which appeared on quality unpaid websites/journals.  I would have liked to have had more obviously but I did take up full time work in the second half of the year.

NB. It's occurred to me that three of the above were accepted for publication and intended to be published in 2015 (The Poetry and Place Anthology) but that didn't occur until April 2016.  So if I am being super strict I still managed to exceed last year's publications.

Publishable Quality

Or poems I judged deserved the name and thought worthy of an attempt to publish.  I wrote about 42 poems, some of which will never see the light of day.  I submitted 27 poems but that figure includes sending out a poem more than once.  A brief overview of what I have in my 2016 folder and I am comfortable claiming about 18 for the year.

Poetic Understanding

This is the surprise area for me.  You think there's only so much you can learn about the art to find it's an almost endless field of study.  I was worried that I might run out of technical information but I realised that aspect is only a number of many when it comes to Poetry.  The biggest area of learning was in the growth of appreciation for the art of the line.

Rejections versus Acceptances

Looking at the graph below and having read what others have done this year I am pretty happy with this effort.


Where to from here?

I really don't know. I have established a good practice and want to maintain it. This year sees me back on a part time contract so I will certainly have the time.

Some commenters have suggested I release more poetry on the blog and if  blog starts are right, my poetry, when released does tend to cause brief spikes in attention. I am reticent though -writing for paid publication figures somewhat in this but also my tendency to publish too early i.e. while still under the influence/glow of self perceived poetic genius.

One definite is the intention to increase reading time - switch places with study time in times of overall breakdown for the reasons I stated in the previous post.

I'd also like to work harder on monthly reflections, going back over what I have learned and really encoding that learning.  Less time during the last half of the year meant this part of the practise dropped off.

Other observations

A significant learning experience for me was coming to understand how I work creatively and how I think ( or how my thinking can get in the way).  Writing reflections daily and weekly really enabled me to see very clearly how my attitudes to the work ebbed and flowed and how this really wasn't connected to the quality of the work.

I now find myself further away from wanting to rush out and get a pamphlet or first collection together.  It just doesn't seem to matter that much anymore. The practice and the daily achievement of writing seems to be more important.

Feel free to comment and suggestions, even your own observations.

Happy New Year




Year of Poetry - The End (Part 1)

Well.

Here we are at the end of the Year of Poetry Project.  In this post I'll go through the week's achievements and the do another as a post mortem.

This week being that strange period between Christmas and New Year's where one loses track of days, I managed to avoid writing until Thursday.

To be fair though, one of those days was without power due to violent storms and with an inside temp of close to 30 degrees I spent it lying in the coolest spot I could find in the house.

I also got one more rejection this week leaving only one other poem out in the wild trying to find a home.

The Writing...

I won't lie.  With the end of the year and the end of the project approaching I was finding it hard settling down to start any writing.  This combined with late nights and even later mornings really curtailed the time I had for a solid mental workout.

But I returned to the teaching/learning obtained through this process (peaks and troughs) and forged on.  This combined with me taking up a short morning meditation practice seemed to improve things and today I finished on a high, shaping a poem to a nearly final state.




The Study...

I made a conscious decision to let the study taper off this week in favour of further close readings as I think I tend to get more out of seeing poetic techniques/decisions in action (though the study has been very useful). Thus my only study was more reading of William Stafford's You Must Revise Your Life.


Close Reading...

Figuring I should finish off the year with an Australian Poet, I flipped  through this year's Best Australian Poems  and settled on the last, an Australian/American poet called Billy Marshall Stoneking.  

I thought One Last Poem, a fitting title on which to end the project and through one of those weird quirks of life discovered that he lived in Central Australia at the time I was growing up and sadly like a number of artists this year, left us in July.

You can read the poem here.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 10:08 (457:08) hrs


poem writing =6:50 (214:48) hrs

close reading =1:10(87:15) hrs

technique/theory= 0:38 (105:13) hrs

reflection = 1:30(40:04) hrs



Poetry written:

1(42) poems completed


2(21)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(27 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poems



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:

1(16) poems

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 51

So only one week to go... Where did that time go? 

Seriously!  

At the start of the year it really did look like quite a hill to climb.  Now, a week before I conduct the big review of the project it seems to have gone by in an instant.

This week was not quite the return to 14 hours writing that I wanted, but coming in at just over 8 hours I will not beat myself up - or rather, I will, but will endeavour to let it go.

I received a number of early Christmas presents to myself this week -  Stephen Mathews (Ginninderra Press) must have been camped next to the Australia Post distribution centre because I received the poetry pamphlets I ordered last Friday, midweek.

If you don't think that's unusual, remember I live in the midst of wheat fields where taking the bin out requires a 24 km round trip.

The pamphlet collections included  Immediate Reflections from Martin Christmas that I mentioned in last week's post and Jude Aquilina's Ship Tree and Other Poems.

And yesterday I received William Stafford's You Must Revise Your Life - the first chapter of which contained some timely wisdom for the writing life.  It also encouraged me to track down the Poets on Poetry series (there goes next year's poetry budget).

I received two rejections this week as well but this didn't seem to annoy me as much as the difficulty with writing.


The Writing...

felt much harder than it usually does.  This was probably because I am coming off the end of year party circuit and managed to get into some bad sleeping patterns. There was also a sense of dissatisfaction-leaning-towards-frustration, that the extra hours writing didn't lead to the "best poem ever written".  

I really hadn't felt that sort of trough in the process for some time.  I suspect that is because I haven't really had the time and space to get down on my process of writing with the move to full time teaching in the second half of this year.

But the very next day I found my way around those demons, proving once again that my process works. I suspect this pattern will continue/does continue throughout all writers lives - peaks and troughs linked more to the writers emotional state than to what is actually written on the page.

I had chosen to rewrite an earlier variation on a Petrarchan Sonnet, so the sort of workout being restricted by rhyme schemes gives me, probably played into that sense of frustration. 



The Study...

I continued reading Frances Mayes'  The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poem and the section on sonnets inspired me to tackle a rewrite of the poem mentioned above.

I also read the first chapter of You Must Revise Your Life . What was interesting to read, was that Stafford, who won a number of awards and had a distinguished teaching an publishing career estimated that 80% of the work he submitted was rejected.

Close Reading...

Read Kim Moore's, Picnic on Stickle Pike from the Art of Falling, an interesting poem set in the Lake District that plays around with what is considered beautiful and natural in the landscape.


Merry Xmas

If you subscribe to this post by email you will be receiving a Christmas email from me in addition to the weekly digest containing a new poem that I was playing around with.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 8:03 (447:00) hrs


poem writing =4:03 (207:58) hrs

close reading =1:25(86:05) hrs

technique/theory= 1:43 (104:35) hrs

reflection = 0:52(38:34) hrs



Poetry written:

0(41) poems completed


2(21)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(27 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poems



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:

0(1)


Rejections:

2(15) poems

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Andrew McMillan on the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast

Another podcast just in time for Christmas.  This one features Yorkshire born poet Andrew McMillan. It covers McMillan's teaching and poet Thom Gunn.



Download mp3 here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Close reading: Charles Bernstein's "In a Restless World Like This Is"

Here is a Christmas present from Alice Allan and Eleanor Smagarinsky, via the Poetry Says feed. Alice has put in a solid year delivery about 20 entertaining poetry podcasts. Here we get to put a face to the voice.

Enjoy

 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

New Email Subscription Option

You may have noticed that the Subscribe by Email gadget in the column to your right has changed or you may not, I can count the number of people who subscribe to the blog on one hand and from my blog stats I can see most folks access the blog from Facebook.

So it may not mean much to you.

But after reading some articles I was convinced to do away with the Feedburner service that has been left to die a long and lonely death by Google and instead use the free Mailchimp service.

This means initially, that my blog posts for the week will be aggregated and sent in one post on Saturday evening to my 8 email subscribers (before they word have received a post on the day it was written)in a digest.

Next year though I thought I might try and offer a couple of services like a Poetry Bargains Newsletter with free shipping codes, and links to cheap poetry collections once a month.

Feel free to sign up for the general blog newsletter at the moment I'll probably create a separate form and list for Poetry Bargains.

I disagree with Billy Collins

After the Year of Poetry project, I find I have to disagree with Billy Collins (at least in part).  Over at Harriet - The Poetry Foundation blog, he's reported to have answered a fan who asked the question:

How would someone who wants to become a poet get started?”

with


Reading, Collins answered — lots and lots of reading. He cited Malcolm Gladwell’s famous “10,000 hours” benchmark as a good standard.

Now this I agree with(the reading), the 10,000 hours is a bit much though.  I have done about 84 hours of Close Reading this year comprised of about 67-68 poems. I read probably 5 times as many poems last year and it didn't have anywhere near as much effect on my writing.  I also followed my interests or poems that sparked my interest.

So reading yes, but more attentive reading-  as much as you can manage while writing at the same time.  If you restrict yourself to reading for 10,000 hours before you write, you'll kill the spark. Besides half the fun is getting things wrong, making mistakes and fixing them.

“It’s such dull advice. There’s no key to it,” he said. “It really lies in the simple act of reading tons of poetry. And I mean not just stuff you find in magazines but if you really want to be trained in poetry you need to read Milton — you need to read Paradise Lost. You need to read Wordsworth — you need to read Wordsworth’s ‘Prelude.'”
I begin to think that Collins is attempting to kill off the competition here(which he probably isn't). This comes across to me as having to read "The Canon"  which I think will have the same effect as having to read for 10,000 hours.

I'd encourage reading Milton and Wordsworth, but more so as part of an anthologised and annotated collection - Frances Mayes' The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems does a good job of providing an historical context as well as choosing poems from across the wide field of history to illustrate points/techniques.

“That’s if you want to take it seriously. If you don’t want to take it seriously, you can just get a 79-cent pen and express yourself,” he laughed. “No one’s gonna read it with any pleasure because … you haven’t paid attention to what happened in the past.”

If you want to take Poetry seriously, you have to love and enjoy it. Hence my preference for following your interests. In the long run you have to love the act itself because the praise is generally small and fleeting.

So my advice:


  • Read the poetry that sparks an interest in you, these poets and poems will lead on to others.
  • Read the work closely - this is the real joy of a good poem, finding small condensed poem bombs that explode with imagery, meaning and sound.
  • Write. Write bad poetry until it becomes less bad, work out why it doesn't work, listen to your own words.
  • Study, anything written about poetry by poets in the last 3000 years,  generally these folks are good at condensing the important information.
  • Read, write, study at the same time, not simultaneously but you shouldn't wait until you have read 68 poems before you start writing.  These activities will set off chain reactions in one another that will lead to more of each.
  • Start doing it all today - now even.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 50

I would like to say that in the final week of school that I managed to find some extra hours to devote to the poetry page but that would be a lie - though looking at the stats I did mange fractionally more than last week. 

End of year parties involving a "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" mankini intervened as well a a substantial bar tab.

I did mange to collect a rejection from a major Australian poetry publisher and sent off two more poems for consideration. There's a few other poems out in circulation but I'd say that its pretty much a wrap for The Year of Poetry publication wise.

A friend of also announced the release of a pamphlet collection and if your are keen to support an emerging poet and good photographer please make your way to the Ginninderra Press website and check out Immediate Reactions by Martin Christmas.


The Writing...

Finished off revising another draft and began a "Misty Cow" poem for a poet friend - here's hoping I get it done for Christmas.

The Study...

Managed about 30 minutes noting Frances Mayes' ideas on free verse.


Close Reading...

of beer labels occurred but not much else.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 3:00 (438:57) hrs


poem writing = 2:00 (203:55) hrs

close reading =0:00(84:40) hrs

technique/theory 0:35 (102:52) hrs

reflection = 0:18(37:42) hrs



Poetry written:

0(41) poems completed


1(20)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


2(27 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poems



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:

0(1)


Rejections:

1(13) poems

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 49

Souvenir from the Baudin Exhibition 

This week seemed to fly by with lots of end of year preparations at school.  I spent quite a bit of time working on a poetry booklet of Haiku written by my Year 1-2 students.

Making Poetry Happen and Kim Moore's The Art of Falling also arrived this week, the former being a teaching text for reading and writing poetry in the classroom.  A text that I hope to be able to bring into my teaching next year.

Writing was curtailed somewhat today by preparations for my mother in law's visit and visiting the Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide that featured pieces from the Baudin expedition to Australia. It's currently travelling the country and will be in Tasmania at the beginning of next year.


The Writing...

was limited to last Sunday, where I decided to revise another of my recent poems. The month or so break from having written it was worthwhile and I was able to bring a fresh set of eyes to it.

The Study...

zip, zero, decided to concentrate on Naomi Shihab Nye's poem.



Close Reading...

I completed reading Naomi Shihab Nye's, The Books We Haven't Touched in Years, and found it so good that I spent, all up, about 2 hours writing my thoughts about it.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 2:44 (435:57) hrs


poem writing = 1:30 (201:55) hrs

close reading =1:04(84:40) hrs

technique/theory 0:00 (102:17) hrs

reflection = 0:20(37:24) hrs



Poetry written:

0(41) poems completed


0(19)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(25 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:

0(1)


Rejections:

0(12) poems

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Interview: Naomi Shihab Nye

I purchased Naomi Shihab Nye's "Tender Spot" earlier in the year and am currently enjoying completing a couple of close readings on her poems. This video is a short piece on the importance and the power of poetry. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A bit of good news for the end of the year.



It's been a shit year for a lot of people in my circles (writing and arts) so it's with no small feeling of joy that I can pass on the good news that Verity La has been able to raise funds to pay its contributors next year.

They have been running since 2010 as a free to read, on-line, no profit, creative arts journal, publishing short fiction and poetry, cultural comment, photo-media, reviews, and interviews.

In a month or so they managed to raise $5592 with the help of the Australian Cultural Fund and generous supporters. 

So here's to a great 2017 with the Verity La crew. 

And if you haven't read them, check out the website or listen to one of their great podcasts

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Month 12

This last week nearly killed me (shakes fist at 2016).  But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Spring turned on its charm for my writing day, unfortunately most of that day saw me lending moral support to my other half as she volunteered at a local gallery.

I nursed a headache and put up with visitors who seem to have no understanding that writing and reading are activities which should not be interrupted (Barbarians!).

Somehow I managed to get in 3 hours work.

Only a month to go in the year of poetry and thankfully I will have some time to sit down and do some serious reflecting.



The Writing...

was short and painful.  I reworked a poem for most of that time, experimenting with structure mostly.

The Study...
was more of a refresher. I read the Frances Mayes' Chapters on Metrical and Free Verse in  The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

Close Reading...

I began Naomi Shihab Nye's, The Books We Haven't Touched in Years.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 3:12 (433:13) hrs


poem writing = 1:00 (200:25) hrs

close reading =0:27(83:36) hrs

technique/theory 1:20 (102:17) hrs

reflection = 0:25(37:04) hrs



Poetry written:

0(41) poems completed


0(19)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(25 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:

0(1)


Rejections:

0(12) poems

Me attempting Sonnet 116 in Original Pronunciation

I decided to have a little pre-christmas fun and attempt to read Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 in Original Pronunciation.

The first performance is me attempting to channel a Bad Devon Farmer (I have no idea if it is actually a Devon accent) accent and the second is me reading using my natural accent with the OP pronunciations.

Hope I give you a giggle.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Unguarded Recording Live

Just released my poem Unguarded (previously published on Bluepepper) in Audio Format at Soundcloud.  You can play the link below or it will sit in the Poetry Readings column on the RHS of the blog(not view-able on mobile).

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 47

New Arrival 
And 2016 continues to be one of those years: Cohen, Castro, Mrs Brady (Florence Henderson) being just the latest departures and we are left with a growing populist/fascists/racist chancers.

Still the weather is nice. Spring almost through the door and we haven't got close to forty degrees here.  Perfect writing weather if it wasn't for the day job and report writing.

My copy of wasting the milk in summer by Sara Saleh arrived and I am looking forward to reading this NSW Slam Poetry 2015 State finalist's work during my break.  Check her out, an inspiring young Australian.

No submissions or rejections this week.



The Writing...

was good when I could get down to it.  Report writing, marking, the extra hours that you don't get paid for but do because sometimes you are the only stable thing in a young person's life. Managed the two hours poetry writing last Sunday, but it was hard work.

The Study...

wasn't as enjoyable this week, the second half of  Longenbach's chapter on Ending the Line in The Art of the Poetic Line seemed to hold less value for me and continuing into the next chapter
 on prose poetry admittedly nearly put my to sleep. I'm not convinced prose poetry's for me.

Close Reading...

None done this week.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 3:37(430:01) hrs


poem writing = 2:
00 (199:25) hrs

close reading =0:00(83:09) hrs

technique/theory 1:22 (100:57) hrs

reflection = 0:15(36:39) hrs



Poetry written:


0(41) poems completed


0(19)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(25 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


0(12) poems

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 46

Spring has arrived

Spring showed up for the first time this week with temperatures in the high thirties. Following from last week's calamities this week was significantly better in terms of health and output. Hours were up - I managed just over 4 hours in total and two poems solidified into good first drafts.

I recieved Racing Hummingbirds by Jeanann Verlee from my digital library and The Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation by David Crystal, through interlibrary loan.

My copy of Best Australian Poems 2016 also arrived and it's good to see work by poets I am now more familiar with.

I have had a good run and it had to happen sooner or later - this week saw two rejections.  Those rejections came at the same time as a job contract for 12 months landed in my inbox, so I can't complain.

The sting of rejection continues to pack less venom each time.



The Writing...

was exceptional. I managed, as mentioned above, to get two poems completed, at least to the first draft/tinkering stage.  A combination of dragging myself out of bed earlier and getting shit done and not having a throat full of razor blades.


The Study...

Was surprisingly enjoyable considering the density of the text and the lateness of the day when I sat down to note Longenbach's chapter on Ending the Line in The Art of the Poetic Line.  I would have finished the notation today if I hadn't been distracted by David Alpaugh's essay on the Professionalisation of Poetry. It's well worth a read.  

As an exercise I examined the latest Best Australian Poems to determine how many contributors worked as professional creative writers, teachers of writing or had MA or PHD's in those fields.  As far as I could tell only about 40% did, which I think strikes a reasonable balance.

Close Reading...

I finished reading and noting Rin Ishigaki's Moving on.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 4:07(426:14) hrs


poem writing = 2:15 (197:25) hrs

close reading =0:30(83:09) hrs

technique/theory 1:10(99:35) hrs

reflection = 0:32(36:24) hrs



Poetry written:

2(41) poems completed


0(19)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(25 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poem


Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


2(12) poems

Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Boy" by Gretchen Marquette

Came across this courtesy of CBS. Gretchen Marquette's Boy.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 45

Well, a shit week in more ways than one.  Cohen died.  America elected Trump and I manged to catch a throat infection.  


The Writing...

was again difficult due to starting late Sunday afternoon.  Managed to scrape together about an hour and a half  and push another poem towards first draft status. But this was about the tiredest I have felt around writin poetry. 

I have also banned myself from reading Shakespeare's Sonnets as I subconciously managed to channel some rythm and rhyme into the aforementioned poem.

The Study...

None

Close Reading...

I started reading The Poems of Masayo Koike, Shuntaro Tanikawa and Rin Ishigaki by Vagabond Press.  Specificially Rin Ishigaki's Moving on. I think this is my first translated poem for the year.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 2:15 (422
:07) hrs


poem writing = 01.30 (195:10) hrs

close reading =0:30(82:39) hrs

technique/theory 0:00(98:25) hrs

reflection = 0:15
(35:52) hrs



Poetry written:

0(39) poems completed


1 (19)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(25 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(9) poem


Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


0(10) poems

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jeanann Verlee performs Almighty

I have been listening to the Poetry Gods Podcast.  And came across American Poet and Writer Jeanann Verlee.

Take a couple of minutes to watch or listen to her perform. Note her pacing and use of silence/ pause.

A Poetry Says Double

Forgive me. I have been remiss in my duties to inform you of some more quality podcasting.  Please find below two recent podcasts from Alice Allan of Poetry Says.

The first is Alice interrogating on of Jill Jones' poems the second is an interview with Sydney poet Rob Wilson.

Ep 23. Jill Jones gets back to work
Ep 24. Rob Wilson on poetically killing the PM

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Month 11

Available through
Booktopia
Can't complain, things went well in writing land.

Only one poetry collection arriving this week   but next week I think I will have some explaining to do - the "It's Christmas shopping" excuse has a limited lifespan. 

I snapped up a 50% off deal through UWAP for Bruce Dawe's Border Security ( I think they were testing their online shop) so I was happy to get the collection for about $10.

I also managed to splurge on a bundle from Vagabond Press, (sadly it was the last day for the specials but you should still check them out) specifically a set of 6 Asia Pacific 3Poet volumes and Watashi by Shuntarō Tanikawa.

While I'm spruiking, you should donate to the Verity La supporters drive through the Australian Cultural Fund - they are nearly fully funded but it would be kind to let Michelle and the team relax and do some planning around spending that money on the payment of contributors for 2017.


The Writing...


was hard this week, coutesy of a migraine on the morning of my writing day and a stomach bug that had me wanting to write an Ode to Triple Ply toilet paper.  Still, as a professional I turned up and did the work and consequently there's some ideas in devlopment for tomorrow.

Part of the writing also involved reworking last week's poem, submitting it to an overseas magazine and sending out a previously written poem to another market.  

Consequently I ended up getting published this week as followers and friends will have noticed.  This publication was additional to the acceptance I mentioned last week.  So while the writing was slow, earlier efforts paid off.

You can read Unguarded here at Bluepepper.


The Study...

I completed noting the chapter on rhyme and repetition in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems and read Longenbach's chapter on Ending the Line in The Art of the Poetic Line.  I can't recommend these books enough especially if you have achived some level of poetic competance.

Close Reading...

None this week.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 4:09 (419:52) hrs


poem writing = 02.00 (193:40) hrs

close reading =0:00(82:09) hrs

technique/theory 1:31(98:25) hrs

reflection = 0:30(35:37) hrs



Poetry written:

1(39) poems completed


1 (18)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


2(25 in total) poems



Poems Published:


1(9) poem


Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


0(10) poems

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Booktopia's last free shipping for the year

Nearly that time of the year again and my inbox informs me that Booktopia are having their last free shipping of the year.  There's a slight change this year with a minimum spend of $17  to receive your free shipping but considering its Christmas I don't think that's be a problem for most folks.

I thought I would make a few Christmas suggestions for those of you with a poet or potential poet in the family.

Two recent purchases of mine that I have found to be very good resources are:

The Discovery of Poetry - A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems by Frances Mayes.  This book does what it says on the box.  Good for adult beginners and those without a large poetry library.

The Art of the Poetic Line by James Longenbach - a slight volume, but packed full of information about the Line, both in metered and free verse.  This book requires multiple readings to squeeze out all the insight.

I'd encourage you to checkout the Australian Individual Poets list and the New Poetry Releases category.






And as always at this time of the year get yourself a copy of the The Best Australian Poems

Click any of the links on this page and you'll give this poet a christmas present too - a commission at no cost to you.  Provided you bu poetry (or other stuff if you must).


The Deal:

Place an order and spend a minimum of $17 before midnight, Monday the 14th of November (AEST and NZST) with the promotion code SMART, and you will receive free shipping on your order. The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.


The promotion code field where you enter the word SMART is on the last page of the checkout just before you complete your order (Payment and Review). Under Order Summary, click the plus symbol to expand the section so you can enter the code.

Please note: You may need to click the word "Apply" next to the promotion code field to receive your free shipping discount if it has not automatically applied it.


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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Publication at Bluepepper - Unguarded

Justin Lowe over at Bluepepper has seen fit to publish my poem Unguarded today.

Please make your way over there to read it - Unguarded.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 43

My current musical crush -
Eivør's album Slør.
A good week as these things go.

A poetry order arrived in the form of two of Miriam Gamble's poetry collections - The Squirrels Are Dead and Pirate Music from Bloodaxe Books. A purchase whose blame I lay firmly at the feet of the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast.

As Facebook and Twitter followers will know I did get an acceptance this week and I was understandably chuffed, but I don't know if I get as chuffed as I used to - picture me doing the Leyton Hewitt COME ON!.

I have noted that one of the benefits of this year long process is that the rejections don't seem to bite so hard but I also think that the joy of acceptances don't feel as pronounced. Which isn't to say that I don't care about publication, more that there's less running about like I scored a goal for Australia when it does happen.

Part of this is experience and part is psychology no doubt (we do tend to down play positive experiences) but I also think I am getting a lot of enjoyment out of the process of writing.  I am also working full time which leaves little time for basking in glory.

In any event, I will let you know when it's published

The Writing...

Managed nearly two and a half hours poetry writing by devoting Sunday morning to it. Spent about 20 minutes faffing about with an idea until some strong inspiration hit and I went with that instead. Consequently a poem was born and is now sitting in 1st draft stage.

The Study...

Read and noted the the chapter on the positioning of the poem's speaker and began the chapter on rhyme and repetition in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems.

Close Reading...

Read The unpleasant poet elf from PS Cottier's pamphlet Quick Bright Things. I like Cottier's work and reading this collection inspired me to inject a little bit of humour into my work.  The result being a poetry acceptance.

So thanks P.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 4:48 (415:43) hrs


poem writing = 02.24 (191:40) hrs

close reading =1:00(82:09) hrs

technique/theory 0:54(96:54) hrs

reflection = 0:305(35:07) hrs



Poetry written:

1(38) poems completed


1 (17)poems in draft


Poems Submitted:


0(23 in total) poems



Poems Published:


1(8) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


0(10) poems

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ep. 22 R. A. Villanueva: chance, race and games – Poetry Says

Available from Booktopia
In this latest episode of Poetry Says, Alice interviews Filipino-American Poet R.A. Villanueva.  It's a massive interview going close to an hour and a half but it's  packed full of interesting conversation.

Please click through to the Poetry Says website:

Ep. 22 R. A. Villanueva: chance, race and games – Poetry Says


You can also check him out at the Poetry Foundation or follow him on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

VERITY LA POETRY PODCAST Episode 4: Ben Frater | Verity La

I am  about three quarters of the way through this podcast.

I have worked in community mental health previously and it was good to hear some of the work being done with Poetry and the stigma and cultural stereotypes surrounding sufferers of mental health issues.

It was also good to hear of the late Ben Frater.

Click through:

VERITY LA POETRY PODCAST Episode 4: Ben Frater | Verity La:



Monday, October 24, 2016

Ep 21. Adrienne Rich’s anger and tenderness – Poetry Says

It's almost time for the next Poetry Says I'm sure, but I thought I would recommend Alice's insight on Adrienne Rich here.

I like these short solo podcasts almost as much as the interviews.  Although they do tend to start costing me money as I find that Alice has a good eye (or is that ear?) for digging up quality poets.

Click through below:

Ep 21. Adrienne Rich’s anger and tenderness – Poetry Says:




Sunday, October 23, 2016

Unsolicited Advice from a Failed Male Poet by Alvy Carragher

As a follow up to yesterday's post re Alvy Carragher's poem numb. Here's another hitting back at her critics with style and poetic mojo.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Numb by Alvy Carragher

Numb performed by Alvy Carragher. Trigger warning, this poem is about the poet's own rape.

You would think that a poet relating the tale of their own rape, as a personal catharsis, as an expression of their identity, of coming to terms with the incident would be something to be applauded even if the poetry wasn't good (which is not the case here).

This is exactly what poetry can do; help us understand ourselves, help us understand others, make us think.

Unfortunately there's still men and women out there for whom the merest criticism or talk about rape and failing to get consent,  descends into personal attacks ranging from victim blaming to patronizing criticism of the poet's work and performance.

I often wonder if Joanna Russ would have penned an updated How to Suppress Women's Writing including social media, if she had lived to see it.

I have waffled too long, please appreciate Numb.



 


Year of Poetry Update - Week 42

Courtesy of the
SA Library System
Quite possibly the worst week in terms of productivity this year and a reminder that if I don't get in some good morning work on poetry writing it just doesn't get done.

No poetry purchases this week but in doing my tax I worked out that I had spent nearly $500 on poetry this year - both collections and technical works.

The Writing...
was missing in action this week.  I did manage to jot one line down but I won't count that.  

This week I forgot I was old and needed more than one good night's sleep to recover from a post midnight DVD marathon.  

Getting a sinus migraine today didn't help either.  


The Study...

was about the only thing that I achieved this week. I read James Longenbach's chapter on line and syntax in Art of the Poetic Line

Then finished off noting the chapter on Image in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems. 

I also read an article on Lithub with regard to aiming for 100 rejections a year, well worth reading.  I had planned to right my own reflections on it this week but ...well ... you get the picture.  Check it out. 

Close Reading...

also missing in action. But in my defense I did lots of shallow page flipping.




For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 2:35 (410:31) hrs


poem writing = 02.00 (189:16) hrs

close reading =0:00(81:09) hrs

technique/theory 2:10(96:00) hrs

reflection = 0:35(34:37) hrs



Poetry written:

0(37) poems completed


(0)16 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn


Poems Submitted:


0(23 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(7) poem



Live Performances:

0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


0(10) poems

Friday, October 21, 2016

Contibutors list for Best Australian Poems 2016

$19.25 via Booktopia
I had all ready pre-ordered my copy but for those of you hanging out to find out whose poetry is contained therein, you can click on over to the Black Inc Website and scroll down.

Edited by Sarah Holland-Batt,it looks likes there's a good variety of poets and styles.

You can buy direct from Black Inc. or through Booktopia (and I presume any good bookstore),  the release date is the 7th of November.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Podcast - The Poetry Gods Episode 1

Ok, so new to me at least.

 Please enjoy:

 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Helen Mort of the SPL Podcast

I am a huge fan of Helen Mort's work and so I was overjoyed to see that the Scottish Poetry Library
had interviewed her for the podcast.

In this podcast they talk about her latest collection, No Map Could Show Them, and her love of Norman MacCaig's work.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 41

Collections by
Naomi Shihab Nye
and
Elizabeth Bradfield 
I had hoped to get a few more hours under my belt this week, but that was probably unrealistic, what with prep for the start of term and the discovery of Seasons 1 & 2 of Bosch.

That being said I did manage to find seven and a half hours to put pen to paper.

My poetry package arrived from Booktopia along with my Tea order from Tea Leaves and I have had fun nipping into both purchases as my Facebook and Twitter feeds will testify.



The Writing
I put the Jane Eyre poem on hold this week as I had another instance where a starting line came out of nowhere and demanded to be worked on, I did take the risk of not penning it at the time it occurred; right as a lay on the verge of sleep (see us poets live on the edge), but I was confident that it would stick around till morning.   

It worked itself into a good little poem and it along with a poem I have been sitting on for a while, were submitted some time on Friday.  

And like homing pigeons they returned; rejected.  Can't say that I was too unhappy - a combination of a steadily growing confidence that my writing is good and a shift in focus from what really is giving my pleasure in terms of poetic practice. 

Mind you I could be still riding the high of my Camembert and Russian Caravan Tea session.


The Study


Completed reading and started noting, the Chapter on Image in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems.  Probably worth it for this chapter alone. 


Close Reading

I completed Leaving by JV Birch.  



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 7:04 (407:56) hrs


poem writing = 2.30 (189:16) hrs

close reading =0:34(81:09) hrs

technique/theory 2:00(93:50) hrs

reflection = 0:30(34:02) hrs



Poetry written:

2(37) poems completed


(0)16 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn


Poems Submitted:


2(23 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(7) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


2(10) poems

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Caroline Reid SA Poetry Slam 2016 State Finalist

Friend and writing buddy Caroline Reid recently performed in the SA Slam Finals.

Enjoy.


 

New Poetry Says - Alice Interviews Sophie Mayer

Alice Allan over at Poetry Says has just released another podcast in her weekly series.  This time she interviews Sophie Mayer and they talk about poetry and politics among other things:

A few weeks ago I went along to the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair and saw the panel ‘Poetry and Politics’ with Choman Hardi, WN Herbert, RA Villanueva and Sophie Mayer. Sophie and I then took the conversation off-road. 
Read on

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Month 10

Two pamphlets from
the Picaro Imprint
No storms this week.  But Spring in all its pollen filled glory has arrived along with sinus headaches.  So while I had writing time, I was out of commission for at least two days.

Still as you will see from the stats below I manged nine and a half hours, cracking the 400 hours poetry writing threshold and starting my 6th notebook for the year.

This week also saw some poetry bundles arrive.  I ordered the two pamphlets featured to the left from Ginninderra Press and they arrived within in a couple of days - for $5 each, they were very good value.

My copy of Katrina Naomi's, The Way the Crocodile Taught Me also turned up. I wrote briefly about her here (where you can listen to her read).


The Writing

I had one of those glorious happenings when a stray line just pops into your head and spent the first half of this week crafting it into a poem. I was trying to turn convention on its head a bit with this poem, have a little bit of fun while also engaging the reader in looking at something in a different way. After 10 or so drafts I was happy to send it off.

For the second half of the week a tried an exercise from Ron Pretty's book where you take a passage from a dramatic text and rework it into a poem.  I found it extremely difficult initially.  

The process didn't feel like writing poetry to me.  But then I think I became ensnared in the narrative. Once I loosened up and paid closer attention to the emotion it felt more like writing poetry.  

The text was Jane Eyre if you are interested.


The Study

I completed reading Ron Pretty's Creating Poetry and began Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems.  


Close Reading

Understandably a much better week for poetry reading.  I managed to read Stuart Barnes' Ebon Cans from his first collection Glasshouses and Leaving by JV Birch from her first pamphlet collection pictured above.  

Both stonkingly good poems and poets



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 9:30 (400:5
2) hrs


poem writing = 5.30 (186:46) hrs

close reading =1:51
(80:35) hrs

technique/theory 1:35(91:50) hrs

reflection = 0:35(33:32) hrs



Poetry written:

1(35) poems completed


(0)16 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn


Poems Submitted:


1(21 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(7) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)


Interviews:
0(1)


Rejections:


0(8) poems
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