Friday, November 13, 2009


Two links that peaked my interest today.


Sandra Beasley's blog has long been a must-read for me. In yesterday's post, one of the topics she discusses is the interconnectedness of writers in the digital age. In her words:

It's a very human drive to surround oneself with kindred spirits, and in this internet age it's possible to maintain a constant chit-chat in poet mode. Your junkfood reading can consist entirely of poetry blogs. You can make a joke about villanelles in your Facebook status, and eight people will joke right back at you. With this kind of saturating access to fellow artists, the grandmother or boss or neighbor who doesn't "get" poetry becomes the outlier figure in our minds, the exception to an otherwise dominant community of readers and writers.

The outlier figure is very real to me, as most of my family doesn't "get" poetry. They are super supportive and proud of me and my work, but are not readers of poetry themselves. Beasley goes on to talk about how receiving praise from fellow writers is great, but hearing from an "outlier" that the work means something to them is even more amazing.

At the end of the post, she writes about the number of readings she attends each month, and I become ravenously jealous. This is a catch-22 for me. I am not built to live in a major metropolitan area such as D.C., and yet I crave the access to the arts that those cities provide. Alas, my small town nature holds me back.


On a completely separate note, Steve Fellner's blog is somewhat new to me, but I've found much there to dig into. His post yesterday on white space and the writer's emotion is a lovely and well-written essay. Here is an example of using the second person to great effect. There is dream-like feel to the writing. A few of my favorite quotes:

Through the white space, you were saying wake up. Wake up. The white space was the closest thing to sunlight you could let in.

In page layout, white space is often referred to as negative space. Negative space, negative capability. Where does the willingness to be "uncertain"--the location in-between uncertainty and limitless potential occur?


And now, I'm gone to ground to grade.


Anonymous said...

My family also doesn't read poetry, but I'm lucky to live in a small artistically-inclined hilltown full of poets. Even still, the internet & the access it affords me to so many different poetry conversations is something I'd never want to be without.

With the Poetry Center at Smith, the UMass Amherst MFA program, and the Creative Writing Center at Amherst College all relatively close by, we get the benefit of many readings to choose from every week w/o having to live in an urban area. That said, I don't get down thataways very often. Which is one of the reasons we started up the Collected Poets Series in my small town--and now I know I'll get to at least one poetry reading a month, and I can walk there. :)

Sandy Longhorn said...

M. Thanks for the input. Putting together a reading series is on my wish list. When the time comes, I may email for advice.