Comfort v. Challenge

Dear Dot,

Re: Poetry is Such a Comfort!

Comfort v. Challenge

clip art comfortable_thumb[1]_thumb_thumb

Your last post warmed the cockles of my heart: the thought of you getting busy in the poetry world, making connections and supporting other writers, despite the demands of your ‘other life’ as a health professional, is a fount of energy and inspiration.* Your focus on poetry as comfort also chimed with something I’ve been wondering about for a while.

Continue reading

Share

Keeping a Diary, or the Poetic Joys of Journalling

 

Dear Dot,

Re: How to Organise a Successful Poetry Event

Keeping a Diary, or The Poetic Joys of Journallying!

Johnston's Diary

Since the end of August I’ve been keeping a journal. Home on a visit one weekend, I happened to peek into my gap year journal (from four years ago!!), and found it oddly touching. At a time when I was under a lot of stress, it was good to look back and see my younger self working through the similarly difficult time of leaving home: recording tiny good things that happened with such care, noting bad feelings in kind of code so they didn’t take away from the positive thrust of a day, but still paying close attention to my emotions and attitudes and working to adapt them. As the entries got happier and happier, I thought to myself that if I could get through that time, I could get through this one, and maybe a journal would help me be more mindful and positive. I also thought it could be good for my poetry. Here are some of the poetic benefits I’ve noticed so far:

Continue reading

Share

How to Organise a Successful Poetry Event

 

Event Planning

How to organise a successful poetry event? The other morning, my daily scroll of electronic mail yielded a sad fact. An impersonal face book message informed me that Ddotti Bluebell, only a day or two before enthusiastically sharing a poetry event, had cancelled it. It might have been diary mismanagement, but my automatic assumption was that no one has signed up for it (showbiz? No: that’s poetry!). This said, over the past year, I have had the pleasure of being present at successfully poetry promoting events (notwithstanding if everything is poetry), and thought I would share some ideas for orchestrating such a phenomena

Continue reading

Share

Poems on the Underground or Cracks in the Porcelain: Duende and the Chemistry of Poems

London

Dear Dot,

Poems on the Underground or  Cracks in the Porcelain: Duende and the Chemistry of Poems

Re: 10 Ways to Open the Creative Mind  for Essaying

Central Line

In my first week of a new job last week, I had to come up with an exercise that would allow me to come back strong to daily writing alongside my new workload and all the excitements of the office (!). I also wanted it to take me back to the fundamental structure of poetry. During the past year, where I’ve really just been writing what I could when I could, I’ve wandered further and further from the source of poetry’s power; I want to strip away the layers of ornament and prettiness and get my finger back on its pulse. I’ve kept thinking about the relevance of duende, which I rediscovered in my last post, and wanted to explore it further. (To warn/excite you, I suspect that this will form something of a theme in my next few posts – it feeds into my thinking about the purposes of writing, which I’ve been mulling over a lot and am building towards a post on.)

Continue reading

Share

A New Start: Going Deeper with Duende and the Simple Things

South Coast

Dear Dot,

Re: Mushroom Time

Post card

A new start: going deeper with duende and the simpler things. I’m sitting in the public library down the road from the shop where my dissertation’s being printed, and in a couple of hours I’ll pick it up and hand it in. It’s really crunch time now, poetry-wise. This has been a bit of an off year, because it’s taken so much to adjust to my new life outside undergraduate and to get my MA done that I haven’t had anything left for writing. The last couple of months of my dissertation, I basically didn’t write or read a word of poetry, and it’s got to the point where getting back into writing will be like a new plunge, rather than just slipping in deeper. It’s intimidating; but I have to take that plunge now, and not let my off-year drag on until being a poet fades into a far-off undergraduate dream-life.

Continue reading

Share

Mushroom Time!

Coventry

Dear Dot,

Re: Restarting my Writing Life

Londjpg

It’s nearly mushrooming time (:/,) which reminds me of referencing; over the past few days, doing that has also  led me to peruse “creativity” in a different light. Yesterday, I spent the whole day doing some, in order to write up my summer research project. I am citing in a different style to what I’m “used” to (not MLA, but Harvard – my first love), and have put the task the other way round to what one might expect in the  activity of the writing up process. All has put a new slant on the matter of creativity, anyway.

Continue reading

Share

The Quest for the Holy…

Coventry

Dear Dot,

Londjpg

Re: Slow-Growing Poetry and Social Engagement

 

Thank you for introducing me to this new source of  fun and high-jinks for writers (The Campus). I found your questioning so inspiring that I created a pictorial response, to your question (to Dot), “but is not all poetry about our experiences in the world?” I have called it “the quest for the Holy Poetry”, and I hope you like it…

Continue reading

Share