on poetry

October 2, 2021

“If I’m writing a long book, I stick only to that — unless a poem happens to come along. (I always stop everything for a poem.)”
Diana Hendry
(b. October 2, 1941)

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on poetry

September 13, 2021

“You must have strong self-discipline. You are working alone. No one is employing you. No one is around to give you the sack if you don’t turn up for work, or to tick you off if you start slacking.”
Roald Dahl
(September 13, 1916 – November 23, 1990)

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on poetry

August 21, 2021

“The best piece of advice that I was given, you know, and I was given this by my parents over the years, for any writer that is looking to capture their experiences, their imagination and put it down on the page, I would say three things. I’d say, one, read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Don’t just read in the genre that you’re writing in. Read.

“Inform yourself. Enhance your worldview. The second thing I would say, and you’re probably not going to like hearing this, I would say read. I would say read, you know, read something fun. You know, I’d say read something that you’re interested in. Go to the bookstore. Go to the library, you know. Check out a great book, you know. You may not like the first book you read, but there’s so many more. And the last piece of advice — I’ve never shared this with anyone. Read. You want to be a better writer? Read.”
Kwame Alexander
(b. August 21, 1968)

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on poetry

August 10, 2021

“I write out of curiosity — to see what language can do at the ‘limit-cases’ of writing. I believe that poetry constitutes the ‘R & D wing’ of language, reverse-engineering this alien technology for human expression. I build anti-gravity machines out of words.”
Christian Bök
(b. August 10, 1966)

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on poetry

July 30, 2021

“If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results.”
Emily Brontë
(July 30, 1818 – December 19, 1848)

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on poetry

July 25, 2021

“Look under the bed for poetry.”
Ruth Krauss
(July 25, 1901 – July 10, 1993)

on poetry

July 13, 2021

“…get ready a basket first of all, in which to collect all your rejection slips and you must continue until that basket is full or your work is accepted. In other words, you just must continue writing; and once you accept that, then we can talk about what you want to write…”
Wole Soyinka
(b. July 13, 1934)

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Poetry Marathon

June 3, 2021

Signups are now open for the 2021 Poetry Marathon. The marathon, during which participants write 24 poems in 24 hours OR 12 poems in 12 hours (half-marathon), will begin on Saturday, June 26. Registration, which is free, is open through Saturday, June 19.

You could draft a chapbook of poems in 24 hours. Will this be a Marathon year?

on poetry

March 26, 2021

“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.”
Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

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quoted in The New York Times (Nov. 7, 1955)

on poetry

March 15, 2021

“The highest kind of writing — which must not be confused with the most ambitious kind — belongs to the realm of grace. Talent is part of it, certainly; a thorough understanding of the secret laws, absolutely. But finding the subject and theme which is in perfect harmony with your deepest nature, your forgotten selves, your hidden dreams, and the full unresonated essence of your life — now that cannot be reached through searching, nor can it be stumbled upon through ambition. That sort of serendipity comes upon you on a lucky day. It may emerge even out of misfortune or defeat. You may happen upon it without realising that this is the work through
which your whole life will sing. We should always be ready. We should always be humble. Creativity should always be a form of prayer.”
Ben Okri
(b. March 15, 1959)

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quote from A Way of Being Free

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