recap: your favorite posts of the year
Happy Monday, folks!
Today, I’m recapping the most popular blog posts of the year—the ones you were most interested in, according to analytics.
I’m also including some tweets. ily.
A post on my current obsessions.
Featuring so many of my favorite things this year, including books I loved.
Here they are:
If you lead poetry workshops:
Social Poetics by Mark Nowak
The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez
If you are a writer of any kind:
If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (tr. Anne Carson)
Pine by Julia Koets
The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman
On the Mezzanine by Cassie Donish
A post containing ample reading & publishing resources, and an incomplete list of journals who charge far more than they should for submissions.
Read the list here:
A post on being a good literary citizen.
Here, I go into what features that make up a positive community-member—be that a press, a journal/editor, or a writer/submitter.
Here is my (abridged) advice for writers who want to be good literary citizens:
Talk about other writers’ work at least as much as you talk about your own.
Send fan mail!
Don’t plagiarize. And show your work.
If you address an editor by their name, make sure you’ve spelled it correctly.
Contribute to the community.
Start a journal that publishes emerging writers (and pays contributors for their work!).
Share a syllabus or reading list.
Talk about craft with newer writers.
Start a reading series.
Request that your library stock a certain book.
Go to readings.
Start a newsletter or blog.
Volunteer as a reader for a journal.
Participate in a mentorship program.
Read the full post here:
A post on boundaries.
Something that definitely coincides with being a good literary citizen.
Here’s an excerpt:
The trouble with social media is that, sometimes, people conflate accessibility with availability. That is: people think that—because you are accessible to contact—that thus gives them the right to engage with you in any way they like. And although, technically, a writer might be accessible—that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to info dump, ask for favors, or demand services free of charge.
What does this mean?
One example would be: If you’re an editor and a writer didn’t respond to your initial email, so you tracked down their Instagram and messaged them again there. (It’s happened before!)
Another: Randomly sending a writer your poems. If you don’t have that rapport, or weren’t given explicit permission to send your work, this behavior is inappropriate.
Another: Asking for free labor.
Another: Asking for free labor again after the writer sent you their rates.
Another: Sending a writer some fan-mail via email or message, and then sending the exact same message again when the writer doesn’t respond. Emails are exhausting! Though it’s nice when it happens, writers you admire do not owe you a response.
Another: Asking for special treatment because of your connection with a writer involved with a journal/organization/etc. It puts that writer in a very uncomfortable position.
Read the rest here:
A post on reading and articulating your poetics.
Reading often & widely is vital. I talk about that in detail here.
& the following writers agree with me:
You run into people who want to write poetry who don’t want to read anything in the tradition. That’s like wanting to be a builder but not finding out what diferent kinds of wood you use.
Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.
Quite simply, reading gives poets energy to create, it nourishes the core of their art and it enables them to endure as artists.
I feel I learned to write by reading, and that’s still how I learn things that allow me to grow and take on new challenges.
I’m reading, I’m always reading. Reading is for me, more important than the act of writing. If I’m not reading, I’m definitely not writing.
A post on the art of titles.
Titles are really difficult for some of us (myself included).
When I took a workshop with Jennifer Chang a few years ago, she offered a useful guide re: types-of-titles—something that was really beneficial to me as I completed my master’s thesis. I looked at my table-of-contents and realized I kept using one type of title rather than varying them—so I ended up revising many to keep them from feeling boring.
Here is Jen’s title-category list:
The Helium Title: gives new meaning to the poem, expands the meaning of the poem
The Greased Pig Title: title that runs away from any specific “title” duties, avoids giving any direct/obvious meaning to the poem
The License Plate: so as to “announce” itself—what type of poem this is going to be
The Spotlight: pulls out a phrase or word and shines the focus on that word(s)
Not Wearing a Tie(tle): “untitled” poems, poems titled with numbers, letters, etc.
Read more about the art of titles here.
That’s all I have for you today. Thanks for being here.