August 21, 2020
Why Bother Writing?
A few nights ago, I woke up to the sound of a wolf howling into the bowl of the sky. We all know the sound, I’d heard versions of it my whole life, but I’d never actually heard one in the flesh like ...
August 11, 2020
The lost art of rereading
There was a trail I used to walk when I was broken, decades ago, after I'd scooped my heart from my chest and passed it to a man, who'd winced, shrugged, and said, ummmm, no thanks.We’ve all been there.It ...
August 08, 2020
A sentence & a breath
You want to write a book. Terrific! You've thought about this for years. In fact, whenever you tell your stories, people always say, you should write a book. And they’re right! You should. There’s ...
August 04, 2020
Retreating from writing
Sometimes our stories practically beg to come to life on the page. Yet despite that begging, that longing, that desire to write, stories almost never just 'come to life' as easily as we might have imagined. ...
February 24, 2019
Poetry School: Getting specific with Amiri Baraka
Writing is reading, teaching is learning. As I said in my invitation for readers to join me this month-long online Poetry School, I expected to benefit the most from these researches into the craft and ...
February 22, 2019
Poetry School: Feminist re-vision with Ms. Rich
Feminist revisionist mythologies represent a vibrant stream in mid-to-late 20th- and 21st-century poetry. I’m thinking of Muriel Rukeyser’s Orpheus; Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife and Feminine ...
February 20, 2019
Poetry School: Rilke’s advice against advice
My aversion to the poetry workshop grew quickly many years ago. Let me correct that: my aversion to the untutored, undisciplined poetry workshop.Although I’ve been writing poems off and on since I was ...
September 27, 2018
You’re Going the Right Way. It’s Just a Really, Really Long Way.
I’m often asked by aspiring writers, “How did you become an author?” or “How did you get into the publishing world?”I used to think this was a really tough question. Because of course there’s ...
July 30, 2018
The Part of It You Don't See
If you’ve been reading my dispatches over the last month, you might have inferred that making a go of it as a writer is hard. Bending reality, memory, knowledge and experience into believable fiction, ...
April 20, 2017
Domenica Martinello on Poetry Exercises
The next writer featured in my series on poetry exercises is Domenica Martinello. She's a writer from Montréal, Québec, and is the author of the poetry chapbook Interzones (2015). She is also an interviews ...