Becoming the Living Poet


Posted on: July 31, 2009

Some modest, but nevertheless noteworthy changes have been afoot on this blog. The most obvious one is that the title has changed. Sometimes one word makes all the difference. Instead of being called “The Living Poet” this blog will now be called “Becoming the Living Poet”. After writing the post, Invisible Readers I rewrote my about page in order to shift the blog’s focus away from being my space for personal growth to a space for poet’s to work on personal growth.

Honestly, I’m not sure yet how this blog is going to help other writers, but identifying the question is always the first step towards brainstorming solutions.

Early ideas:

-Creating a ‘blog a poetry book day’ to try to put the tiniest of dents in the vacuum of good poetry reviews.
-Starting an online and perhaps in-person poetry book group. (I want to get a feel for my schedule as an MFA student first, but this idea has been nibbling at me for a few months.)
-Starting a regular submission ritual on the blog. (This one is entirely doable. I would just need to *gasp* commit to posting about it every week on the same day. I’m thinking we’d start with a very small reachable goal. Either one submission or one hour spent on working on a submission every week. If you can’t find an hour in one day you can split it up into 15 minute increments throughout the week. I’m thinking it will be ‘Submission Monday’. Unfortunately I don’t think I should start it until I get into San Francisco because in about a week I’ll be on internet blackout for two weeks and it’s no fun to start a ritual and then put it on hiatus immediately.)

Any of you have any ideas on how this blog might help poets become better poets?

What kinds of online resources are useful to poets and other creative types?

What are your favorite poetry-related websites? What kind of poetry websites do you wish existed that don’t seem to?

Leave your answers in the comments.

I wanted to add some new people to the blog roll who have some great things to say about poetry, writing, and creativity.

Jessie Carty, a Charlotte-based poet, writer, editor, and teacher has a lovely blog called 58 Inches where she muses about poetry as well as documents her daily life. She also teaches writing, creativity, and social media classes so be sure to check if she’s teaching anything if you ever find yourself in the ‘Tar Heel State’. (And if you have any notion why it’s called the Tar Heel State please let me know.)

Mildly Creative is a blog created by mildly creative individual Ken Roberts who has devoted himself to help[ing] others take the steps, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, towards a life of creative abundance. The focus of Mildly Creative is on authenticity and creation over perfection. My favorite post series so far is How To Be Authentic with People Who Don’t Understand You.

Post-Apocalyptic Publishing is a blog written by Emma Newman, a novelist trying to publish her first novel. Is she any good you might ask? Well, I think she’s fabulous and I know this because she’s been podcasting her novel, Twenty Years Later chapter by chapter. Twenty Years Later is a young adult novel that takes place in post-apocalyptic London. (And don’t scrunch your nose at it being young adult, it has the same kind of all ages appeal that many of Neil Gaiman’s young adult novels have.)

And I wanted to draw your attention to a blog that is already on my blogroll, Soul Sleuthing where you’ll find the wonderful post series: Gumshoe’s Guide to Getting Off the Couch still in progress.

That’s all for now. Hope you share your opinion on what makes a good online poet’s/writer’s resource. Until next post!


7 Responses to "Ch-Ch-Changes!!!"

Wheee! I’m honoured to be added to your blogroll and thank you so much for your vote of confidence in my work. It means a huge amount to me.

No problem. Hope more people listen to the novel because of the mention.

Thanks for the great links you listed. I’m going to check all of those people out!

Online resources I’ve found valuable as far as poetry have been ones that demystified a process surrounding poetry in some way. Submission managers, MFA message boards and blogs, and passionate recommendations about what to read next.

Ooooh, I also love reading interviews with up-and-coming poets, especially first book interviews and anything about their own writing schedule. It’s like hearing over and over that my dreams are not impossible. Confirmation. I think any resource that can do that is more than useful.

I’m excited about your possibilities here on this blog!

I like the idea of demystifying the poetry submission process. I see a lot of listings for places to submit and the advice that you should subject as often as possible, but I don’t see enough people breaking down the process and going over it step by step, so I’d like to do some of that in the future.

I hadn’t thought about seeking out interviews with up-and-coming poets, but that could be a real win-win situation for everyone involved. New poets can certainly use the publicity and a major theme of this blog is how to get a book published. There will likely be a lot of new poet readings in SF. Thanks for the idea.

Everything Jonterri suggested is good 🙂

Thanks about the shout out.

The whole Tar Heel thing, if I remember my 2 different years of NC history is a saying because we stick around. I believe but let me look it up.

From wikipedia – The exact etymology of the nickname is unknown, but most experts believe its roots come from the fact that tar, pitch and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were one of North Carolina’s most important exports early in the state’s history.[1]
Because the exact history of the term is unknown, many legends have developed to explain it. Many believe it to be a nickname given during the U.S. Civil War, because of the state’s importance on the Confederate side, and the fact that the troops “stuck to their ranks like they had tar on their heels”.[2]

And I would say if you are starting an MFA that is going to be something people will really enjoy reading about. That is how I started my blog and it went from there and progressed as I did and changed.

Good luck with it all!

Interesting, didn’t know NC exported tar. You learn something new everyday.

I worry about making the blog too much about the MFA because I think that getting an MFA is only one path to being a very specific type of poet. I want to try to have some general poetry and creativity resources that appeal to non-academic poets also, but I’m sure there will be a good many posts about my experiences in the MFA program.

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