Author Topic: Writer's life outside the net  (Read 4323 times)

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Offline Kay

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Writer's life outside the net
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:08 PM »
I've been curious about this for a long time.

As a writer, when you're not "online" do you

1) browse book stores or libraries for poetry

2) Go to poetry readings

3) do small groups of workshopping with other writers

4) talk about poetry with anyone in reali life?

5) How much time do you actually spend alone reading ---- poetry?



I'm asking because I'm such a shut in, that all I do anymore is pretty much #1 and #5 (several evenings a week)
but I wondered outside the cyber world, how much poetry is part of your life
and how it either adds or doesn't add to it.


Offline illiterati

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 10:51 PM »
Great question(s). It seems to me contemporary poetry is very much a culture of writing, as opposed to a culture of reading. On the one hand, despite cries that the sky is falling and that no one is interested in poetry anymore, poetry today enjoys a much wider practice, readership, and potential for educational and financial opportunities (in the form of stipends for grad students, teaching positions, government funding for the arts, and so on) than at any other time in history. On the other hand, this increased readership / consumer-base for poetry is composed almost entirely of poets. It's just that there are far more poets writing than ever before.

*

ok but that didn't really address your question: basically, i don't read poetry for pleasure or entertainment, at least not in the same way i read a novel or watch a show. I don't sit down and casually flip through a book of poems to go to sleep, for example. When I read poetry, I'm always looking for something. And when I find the thing/poem/language/whatever that I'm looking for, that one thing becomes important--I orbit around it for awhile. So I guess that's to say--reading poetry is definitely not a quantity thing, for me. It's a sorting and sifting, and when I find a poem or a voice or a poet that shines through all the rest, I grab onto it and hold it close, whether that means emulating and incorporating aspects of the style or ideas, or reading and reading and rereading to understand the poem, or in any way I can to make it mine--a part of the way I think and write, and a part of the reason poetry has meaning to me.

Like--I've put at least 30 hours in researching lit mags over the past couple of weeks. Searching, but as a writer--trying to find out what mags publish what, what styles work where, how this person did this or that, and of course looking for poems I like. And off the top of my head, only one poem that I encountered in that entire process really sticks out in my memory:

so what
George McKim
from elimae may/june 2012
*

smoke that gazes into
yellow as darkness

what should i pray for, my
starved poems? (their

          uniforms
          floating across the secret river)

          but now i'm sick and

          so what if my hands
          are filled with voices

          so what?

**

Now, stylistically and formally, I read poems that were more impressive, more polished. But this is the one that I took away from the entire reading process, the one I latched onto. I'll keep it forever, return to it, share it with other people, write poems that subtly respond to it or incorporate some of its phrasing or sentiment--I will make it mine, because it's beautiful. And then this one poem joins the others I've collected, and each individual poem fits together in strange new ways.

But if I'd read hundreds of poems and found none to make my own, I wouldn't feel like I'd really read any poetry at all.





Offline Kay

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Re: Writer's life outside the ne
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 11:24 PM »
Fascinating.  Thanks Matt.  Of course no right or wrong answers just me wondering :rose

Offline Halo

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 02:18 AM »
I don't mix with poets in real life, would I if I knew any? Good question! Because of my large family I find I am a home body and the net serves me well. Interesting questions these. I do borrow poetry books from my library, mostly Australia poets. Although at the moment I have the complete works of Pablo Neruda... impressive to say the least. If I did mix in real life with poets I would have less time for the Alley... so, six of one half a dozen of the other.   *hug*

Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment.  ~  Ira Gassen

Offline Halo

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 02:21 AM »
 I think I might enjoy the actual company of some Adult poets once in a while. Lot of kids in my famiy  :sunny
Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment.  ~  Ira Gassen

Offline Kay

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 09:08 AM »
My younger sister has won several writing awards. She's a short story writer, which isn't the same as poetry no matter what anyone tells you. She let me know that right off. ha ha.
I only pay money for my favorites, such as Mary  Oliver, Rita Dove and a few others. I had to have their actual books. I've never been to a poetry reading nor do I know any poets in my real day to day life.  For some reason, that seems odd to me as I define myself as a poet among other things.

My sister gave up writing several years ago and I think one reason she and others do is real life ends up winning. At least that's what I've heard from some of my online friends who are no longer benefiting from it much in anyway. I feel a poet/writer has to be really dedicated to stick with this for an extended length of time.

Offline cafeRg

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 09:08 AM »

Excellent question(s) Kay ..but I have to take the 5th on this  :tongue






Disclaimer: cafeRg could be wrong.

Offline Kay

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 12:13 AM »
ha ha that is funny, would  you believe I've learned more from the answers I didn't get

than the ones I did?

 :dblu

Excellent question(s) Kay ..but I have to take the 5th on this  :tongue

Offline daisyxo

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 09:15 AM »
I know this post has been here awhile - but, it's an interesting question.  I wish I knew a lot of poets offline.  Several years ago I did attend poetry readings at Barnes and Noble.  I loved the lady who lead the group - she was 81 at the time, and a tiny little ball of energy.  I even attended some readings at her home and discovered she was such a fascinating person, her husband was wonderful and supportive.  Then life got busy and I stopped going to the readings, just contacting her here and there.  A couple years went by and while glancing through the newspaper came across her obituary.  Very sad, but of course, she wasn't young and had lived a very full life.  After that I tried to get involved in a couple groups, but never seemed comfortable, so back to the internet poets - rediscovering comfort, friends, home.
~ Marsha ~
 

"Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom with encouragement." -- Donald A. Laird

Offline elise

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 06:56 PM »
Better late than never I guess...LOL. 
Life has its ups and downs, and although it can take you away from poetry,(among other fun thngs) I find reading, writing, and sharing poetry as pretty good therapy.  But since there are only 24 hours in a day, sometimes a person is just maxed out.  I am
on the upswing now, and loving getting back into it.  I have been fortunate enough to have been able to share at local poetry readings in the past, and hope to get back into that too.   I hope you are still around Kay!  I always loved reading yours!  :rose
I felt it shelter to speak to you  ~Emily Dickinson

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Writer's life outside the net
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2013, 03:22 PM »
I read a lot, but not necessarily poetry. It depends on the mood. I might pick up Shakespeare just to test my wit, or I might read BBQ recipes. It's just that varied.

I do, however, enjoy researching history and spend way too much time in that endeavor. At times I read repetitiously, because you pick up so many new points. I spend a lot of time reading the Bible as well. Just the other day I picked up a point in Jesus' relationship with Judas that would serve us well in our time, but I had never noticed it before. I'll put that up somewhere if anyone would like to share that thought. I'll have to find the right forum though.

I don't have friends that are poets. However I was blessed to know Ann Spencer when I was growing up. She lived a few blocks from us and I've spent time in her garden as a child. She was responsible for getting the library in the then segregated Dunbar High School, my alma mater.    Her home is a historical monument now and I take my grandchildren there to visit her gardens and listen to her recordings.
Stop looking at the light. Instead, look at what is being illuminated by the light.