Poetry: Six Essential Principles

Here are six essential principles for writing lyric poetry. They are based on my many years of writing and studying “ars poetica,” the art of poetry. Keep these principles in mind when drafting and revising. 1. Poetry is Music A poem isn’t just words in a certain order. A poem is also made up ofContinue reading “Poetry: Six Essential Principles”

How to Succeed in an Online Course

Dear Students and Teachers: With many of us transitioning to teaching and taking courses online, we are learning that we need new ways to approach these courses. This tip sheet is one I present my students at the beginning of the semester, based on issues that come up in my courses. Though some tips specificallyContinue reading “How to Succeed in an Online Course”

Resources for Creative Writers

My list of essential creative writing resources, from my local territory of Indiucky to beyond, periodically updated. Regional Opportunities (Indiucky and nearby) Our region is fortunate to offer many opportunities for writers. They include open mic readings, readings by guest authors, book signings, writers workshops, and programs of study. Many opportunities are free or lowContinue reading “Resources for Creative Writers”

Using Retro Wax Paper over Plastic Bags Makes a Home More Eco-Friendly

Here at the homestead we’re always wondering how to cut down on waste. We have a compost pile, and our egg-laying chickens eat a lot of leftovers. But lately my mind has been on plastic waste. Especially with news articles coming out about plastic in the human digestive system, beads of plastic in the oceanContinue reading “Using Retro Wax Paper over Plastic Bags Makes a Home More Eco-Friendly”

The ADD Writer

Recently, writer Nancy McCabe asked me to fill out a questionnaire for her Spalding MFA program faculty blog. Her questions prompted me to put into words, maybe for the first time, how I’ve come to understand the way I write as a person with a pretty strong case of ADD. (Since my girlfriend/partner has itContinue reading “The ADD Writer”

Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight”

LOL – this is not a poem I’m ever going to send out, I don’t think – so I’m sharing it with you. I promised to do a generative exercise along with my poetry students based on an assignment called “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” by Jim Simmerman in The Practice of Poetry. The exercise hasContinue reading “Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight””

Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry

As a teacher of poetry, I often hear dislike of poetry expressed. When I hear it, I’m dismayed, and struggle to understand why. At least until I discovered Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry at a conference presentation. Seventy years ago, Muriel Rukeyser wrote these words explaining why people hate poetry that seem to meContinue reading “Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry”