Tuesday, January 22, 2008

where it all begins

Malena wants us to watch the poem as we workshop, keep focus on the work since we can communicate without saying a word.

And this: the importance and precariousness of the simile.

Craft talks: The Poem's Progress with Kim Addonizio.

Notes on form and structure.

- sonnet a good structure for setting up an argument
- in the last few lines, include a word to set up / that reminds the reader of the final word

Craft Talks: Peeling the Onion: Campbell McGrath

- maybe it should be called Rebuilding the Onion from its Concentric Selves
- grand orchestrations of detail, naming the right thing
- specificity contains keys to communal reality (specificity brings the universal)
- subject of lyric poetry is human consciousness
- nouns as solid citizens, adjectives can detract
- perception of landscape as perceived by this particular consciousness
- life of cataloging
- issue is whether or not autobiography is convincing, not whether or not its true

Q & A:

- Prose Poem: poetically written piece of prose, using devices of poetry, including the closure, tightly wound, structure and movement
- some of the best writing isn't that that needs categorizination

It rained on the way to tonight's reading. Husband suggested a rain jacket, a notion to which I scoffed at, what with subzero temperatures, sidewalks filled with blocks of ice chipped away weeks ago. Rain? And here I am, back in the old theatre, with ornate chairs and deep polished wood, palm fronds sprouting from blue pots, my pants clinging to my legs. I feel ashamed at the small part of me that is trying to convince myself to stay in the hotel room, keep reading my thick book. But I thought of the little untorn ticket and the fact of my own teacher up there with her lovely Swedish accent and the book signing afterward, so I rolled off the quilt, slung my backpack over my shoulders, and paused beneath awnings. And this, I cannot truly believe--I am sitting two rows behind Sharon Olds. I am watching her speak to CK Williams.

And I am curious, of course--I want to hear her titles. She told some she wouldn't have read their poems because their titles didn't work. Hmm.


From the reading:

Malena Morling:
- "the long yellow month of March."

Major Jackson:
- as I created illusions with my body (on breakdancing)
- to scorch off morning fog
- cobwebby pen
- buttery, midday light

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