Wednesday, August 28, 2013

LitShare: Book Shelfies and Looks of Agony

One week left to submit to the 30 Day Poetry Challenge anthology. Also, Flycatcher wants your place-based writing.

Photography Jill Peters documents Albanian women who live as men for political reasons.

Vicki Hudson has two beautiful poems over at Ditch. Excellent use of space and movement. Kudos to Ditch for showcasing these poems faithfully.

Bookshelf selfies, anyone?

Neil Gaiman says it all about storytelling and reading and life and living.

Don't use these opening lines by Emily Dickinson as pickup lines. Unless you like attracting people who are turned on by, "I like a look of agony."


*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Potential Interview Series on the Writing Process

I'm fascinated by the many ways writers approach the page. Fascinated by how they define the page and what instruments they use for writing. I'd like to start sharing some of the myriad ways and environments in which writing occurs. By illuminating this covert process, I hope to create a menu of sorts for other writers. Sometimes the process of sitting down to write is so daunting, but trying on another writer's process can make it fresh again. Perhaps it can open up new pathways into a poem or a story.

If you're interested in being interviewed about your writing process, please shoot me an email and I'll send you the deets. I think we all have something to share, so I hope to hear from you.

LitShare: Beloved Logos, Infographics, and Who Vs. Whom

The New Yinzer wants original essays about literature, music, or film, and also essays generally about Pittsburgh. Read their latest issue to get a feel for the aesthetic. Email all pitches, submissions, and inquiries.

Check out each state labeled with their most-beloved brand.

This infographic about academia and adjunct instructors versus full professorship positions says so much about our educational system. It also depresses me.

In news that makes me a bit happier, the film version of Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild will be directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and star Reese Witherspoon as Strayed.

The Oatmeal takes on Who vs. Whom. It's unclear to me why people still mess this up after learning the rule. It's not hard to remember.


*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Me & Weave Magazine Issue 09

me and my latest child, issue 09 of Weave. click to subscribe.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

LitShare: Beer, Bitch, and Craigslist

Check out the inaugural issue of The Rapid Eye, which features amazing wordsmiths Angele Ellis, Crystal Hoffman, and Jessica Fenlon.

For all the beer swigging poets out there, Dogfish Head's 4th Annual Poetry Contest might be your bag.

Teachers and students can get 20% off a subscription to Bitch Magazine.

Issue 09 of Weave Magazine has arrived! Woot! Also, we republished a story from our inaugural issue entitled "Making Weight" by Jared Ward with an intro by yours truly.

Craigslist and creative writers unite. Poet for hire on Craigslist. Go Craigslist!

A list of the Top 200 Advocates for Poetry over at the Huffington Post.


*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!

Monday, August 12, 2013

LitShare: Lists, Sneak Peeks, How-tos, and More Lists

sneak peek at a proof copy of Weave 09
An interview with Karen Lillis about her small press promotion and sales efforts on the Small Press Review.

Looking for a list? I've got a few for ya. A list of things to ask yourself when making a list of poets via Flavorwire. Here's 50 reasons to avoid dating poets. Tom Holmes shares a list of presses who are currently seeking full-length poetry manuscripts via The Line Break.

"Via Poets & Writers, a Harvard professor teaches leadership skills through literature. "With literature, you can see the whole messy collection of things that happen inside our heads." -Joseph L. Badaracco, the John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School.

Over at tweetspeak poetry, a couple of acorns. First, a lesson in how to read a poem. Might want to pass that one on to relatives. In fact they have a whole series of how-tos on poem-reading. Next up, check out this cool story about poem buddies and reading a poem a day for 12 years.

The Guardian wants your found poems!


*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!

Friday, August 9, 2013

LitShare: Epic Poetry, Crafty Poets, and Listening to Poetry

Kelly Egan attended Jane Hirshfield's lecture at the Napa Valley Writers' Conference. She shares Jane's wisdom.

Diane Lockward has a new book called The Crafty Poet, a collection of poetry-writing exercises from a variety of awesome poets.

Poet Robert Pinsky teaches folks how to listen to the music of poetry, and not so much the meaning.

Poetry Postcard Fest is this month. Also these journals are looking for long submissions.

Davka does what she does, brilliantly in a new post called Hot Headed Believer.

Karen Weyant reviews Lori Jakiela's new book, The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious.

Have a splendid weekend, folks.

*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What I Learned, Unlearned, and Relearned from Jane Hirshfield

Here are some of my notes from Jane Hirshfield's workshop and bits from her craft talk during the Napa Valley Writers' Conference last week. Fragments, really. Advice for writers, readers, and humans alike. Apply them in whatever way works for you. Enjoy.

  • Sounds tilt a poem. Uneven steps on a staircase, the rhythm of attention. The reader will look hard for solid ground. 
  • A stanza is a room.
  • Sound-heavy, non-narrative poems best move by music. You will know when the poem is "good" because it feels good in your body. 
  • By paying attention to syntax, rhyme, assonance, rhythm, alliteration, and so on, you can train yourself out of the weight of dead metaphors. 
  • The tools of a poem are the tools of lying. 
  • Poets are tricksters. Words out of bounds. Alter the landscape of the given.
  • A poem isn't artless just because it says it is. 
  • Poetry is played on the instrument of the reader. 
  • Humans know death, but we don't know when., the impossible belief of it. 
  • Omnipossible. 
  • Follow the rule of three. 
  • People will read the poem they read. 
  • Try things.
  • Poetry is about the preservation of an inner life and subjectivity.
  • We save what we can. 
  • Manage emotions through rhythm. Fragments slow the reader. 
  • Prepare the reader for abstraction with images.
  • Give yourself permission to travel, to invent, to go somewhere.

Laura and the Poetry Conference: A Love Affair

I'm suffering from PCW: Poetry Conference Withdrawal.

You know how some brides feel a big let down after the wedding is over? Because the excitement of planning and preparing for a big event is through and life is hum-drum once again? It's sort of like that. Like poetry and I had a love affair, actually. All week long it was just me and poetry - and all the other poets having poetry affairs.

"Don't you wish we could have an orgy?" said a conference-attendee and my newest poet-friend.

Yes. I really do. 

Part of my overall bummed-out-ness is due to the fact that I'm ramping up with work again. But, but, wait! I said. Poetry and I were just getting into a good rhythm. We hadn't been getting along for many months. Things were finally in the groove, me and poetry for a few hours each morning. Now I have to adjust my whole schedule again and lose my momentum? Nooooo!

Except I don't. At least that's what my therapist tells me.

Isn't it easy to let the really important things slip from our fingertips? I am simultaneously feeling like I have no time and I have a whole lifetime to spend with poetry. Today the Best Therapist in the Universe said, "I feel like we have to assume that your block of writing time is the number one priority. That comes first. It's most important." She went on, "I feel protective of it - you need to protect it too."

Damn, girl.

So that's the plan. Keeping those large poetry blocks in my schedule is key to my sanity, and also my success as a writer. So while poetry and I won't be having a week-long orgy anytime soon, we will have thrice-weekly afternoon trysts. Yes, yes please.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Litshare: Female Figure, Fashion Fan Fic, and the latest Birdfeast

Wondering what's happening in the land of lit mags? Newpages shares their mini-reviews of the latest print and online publications for August!

A list of the 25 Best Websites for Literature Lovers is up on Flavorwire.

La Femme Folles has a call for submissions of art and writing on their newest theme, The Female Figure.

Great lineup of poets over at Birdfeast's just-released 7th issue, including Arielle Greenberg and Stevie Edwards.

Sarah Griff drools over clothing she can't afford in this delightful series of fashionista fan fiction on

An argument against self-publishing.

*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!

Monday, August 5, 2013

LitShare: Inflections, Calls for Submission, and 100% BS-free Writing Advice

I returned from a life-changing trip to Napa on Friday with five solid poem drafts, two of which I've already revised. I worked with Jane Hirshfield and 11 truly amazing poets all week. I learned more than I could have imagined, such as Jane's invented poetic form, the Inflection, which she writes about here by using the form itself. Here is another one. Can you figure out the form? 

The LA Times is looking for opinionated poets to submit some opinionated poemsDancing Girl Press is creating an anthology to be revealed at AWP in Seattle. They are seeking typewritten poetry or hybrid works that contain typewritten elements. Like on a typewriter.

Reading in Pittsburgh! Robert Yune reads with Nick Sturm and Carrie Long at a distillery on Monday, August 12th. Lots of boozy deliciousness. Proceeds from drinks benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Literary Council. More info here.

Jane Hirshfield & Laura, 2013 Napa Valley Writers' Conference
Delightful word canapés! Jonterri Gadson has a bunch of lush, corporeal, earthy poems up at VerseWrights. Angele Ellis wrote haikus for Lilliput Review's blog and has a piece of fiction at Prime Number. Also, Donna Vorreyer has a new book out from Sundress Publications entitled The House of Many Windows.

Concerning craft: Jane Hertenstein talks about memory and writing flash memoir for WOW! Women On Writing. Also, an old interview with Donald Hall discussing the Art of Poetry for the Paris Review. In this video via Poets & Writers, poet Nikki Giovanni says, "poetry is air and water and fire and soil... one of those basics that will always be there." Those of you who remember Def Poetry Jam will enjoy Mos Def's fan-boy introduction.

In publishing news, Amazon may not be the cheapest game in town for books. Who is? Small presses seem to offer better deals, says some folks with anecdotal evidence (good enough for me!).

Cheryl Strayed offers writing advice that's 100% awesome - and BS-free!

*Got some literary news to share? Send it via Twitter or G+ and/or use the #litshare tag!