Once again it has been a while.
Mostly I’m here right now to plug this:
It’s a tiny little thing I’m starting. You should check it out and submit something.
I’ve also been writing for National Poetry Month here:
About ten days ago, I put this poll up on the blog here. While not a great number of responses, I am pleased with the number of people who took the minute or so to offer their opinions on the state of contemporary literary magazines.
One of the things I wrote in that original post was
We know that there are more literary magazines than there are readers, but not as many as there are writers,
and this is a problem. Another problem writers come across is that there is little payment available out there for accepted works. That is a discussion outside of this one.
The new issue of Pea River Journal comes out soon, with two poems by yours truly!
Style, then, involves a meeting between arrangements inside the prose and expectations outside it. You can’t have a strong style without a community of readers able to recognize and appreciate its departures from the common usages they know.
Something to read, reread, ponder, think about, reread, and then maybe write on…
to be added to the soon-to-be-reviewed list:
– The Book of Goodbyes by Jillian Weise
– Metaphysical Dog by Frank Bidart
Next one up though is Matthew Rohrer’s Rise Up…
Should give an idea about the content before the review goes up…
Check out Pea River!
We’ve been here for a year now, and we’ve shared work we believe in, artists and writers who matter, work we love and know you’ll love, too, if you just know it exists. We’re happy you’re walking this path with us.
And as we complete work on the Remaking Moby-Dick special issue and start preparing our late-fall regular issue of the Pea River Journal, we’re reminded of what you’ve loved the most at PRJ in 2013.
Everybody else has a top ten. We have a top 11:
Robert Gray, “Humidity”
Robert Gray, “The Day I Was Born”
Grant Clauser, “Objects in Motion”
Robert Daniels, “County Employee”
Weam Namou, “A Mentor”
Joseph Sentrock Perez, Stay Fly
Cheryl Dumesnil, “It’s not the Holy Spirit”
Rita Patel, interview
Remaking Moby-Dick call
Jeff St James, “Bush Soul”
Molly Gaudry, interview
If you missed any of them, please go read or…
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Now that you’ve read the initial post, walk along this exploration with me. The beginning of this journey is about the act of close attention. As just about any poet will tell you, close attention is one of the primary aspects of writing poetry. Another way to say this is that poems do not unveil themselves without your hard work of paying attention to the world around you.
But what does this have to do with revision?
Good question, you! Where ecstatic creation in the face of the results of close attention (a good example is found among the Beat Poets) may result in much earnest poetry–and even very good poetry–the act of revision asks for close attention to the poem, the poet, and the subject of the poem. Revision forces the poet to decide, to act, to reflect, to unveil, and to question.