Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lines of the Day

"When they starved out and moved on, they burned their houses / down to get the nails back."

James Galvin
"A Second Time"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lines of the Day

"Alone with our madness and favorite flower
We see that there really is nothing left to write about."

John Ashberry
"Late Echo"

Lafe and Bukowski - A Shack Full of Books

An interesting portrait of Bukowski and his serendipitous intersection into the article writer's life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Week's Contest - "River Styx"

The River Styx is a reputable literary journal with an excellent reoccurring poetry contest. The general submission information is listed below, followed by their web site. The entry fee also includes a subscription to their journal (a great bonus).

River Styx
2011 International Poetry Contest

$1500 First Prize
Send up to three poems, not more than 14 pages.
All entrants will be notified by S.A.S.E.
$20 reading fee includes a one-year subscription (3 issues).
Include name and address on cover letter only.
2011 judge: B. H. Fairchild.
Winner published in Fall issue.
All poems will be considered for publication.
Postmark poems by May 31st to:
River Styx Poetry Contest
3547 Olive Street, Suite 107
St. Louis, MO 63103-1014

Prompt of the Week - "Brain"

A friend and I are going to try to keep each other writing by having a regular poetic prompt that we can both use as inspiration for poems.

Our prompt this week is "The Brain." Whether it's used as a metaphor, an image, or an overarching theme, trying writing a poem including the human brain as an element, and feel free to share the result.

James Russell Lowell's "The Function of the Poet"

Though many craftsmen may never ask themselves why it is they've selected their medium of choice (chair builders are content to provide furniture for seating, shipbuilders, to make seaworthy vessels), poets, and especially poets in America, are often haunted with the question, "Why the hell am I writing poetry when there are bills to pay?"

No one can sit on poems; no one can sail with poems, but the truth is poetry is a craft, no different from any other, and a worthy one at that. It may not result in the tangible product that many other pursuits do, but it does result in something.

Lowell's essay, "The Function of the Poet," provides an excellent answer to the "Why the hell..." question, and it explains the importance of the poetic result. It is a necessary read for any aspiring poet.

Russell's "The Function of the Poet"

First Post - Lines of the Day

"make my words / Like feathers torn from living birds!"

Elinor Wylie