According to Alan Ziegler, "exercises help us learn to write." In an exercise, when there's nothing at stake, you may let your guard down and take risks. Just as many articles grow into full-length books, exercises often unearth a student's strongest writing. "Many pieces reach the workshop table after starting out as exercises."
Arlin Buyert, in addition to writing and publishing his own poetry, has facilitated the Arts in Prison poetry program at Lansing Prison for almost five years. Now it’s our turn to enjoy his facilitation! On Tuesday, December 20th Buyert will lead beginning poets through the process of writing a poem to be presented as a gift.
Writers hear it all the time. Edit, edit, edit. Hemingway even said everyone needs an editor. You can check out books on how to self-edit, take classes, or even hire an editor. But the best way to improve your writing and editing skills is practice. Prime Number Magazine's 53-Word Story Contest is a perfect way to do that.
In The Butterfly Hours, Dann uses “one-word memory triggers like ‘table’ or ‘car’ . . . as a way” for students, and eventually herself, “to stitch together the patches of [their lives].” Some of the stories shared are those of her students, some are her own. All are beautiful.
Dramatic life moments are a great source of creative fodder, and moving on from them is usually aided by processing them through creative output. They inspire us to write. They inform what we write. They heal when we write.
After the fact.
When in the midst of things, though, I find I can't write anything at all. The harder I try, the more numb I become. It's all too immediate. I can't get a handle on it, can't find words to relate it.
Everyone knows poetry is a literary form with distinct sounds and rhythms meant to be read aloud. Eve Brackenbury, local poet and bookseller, will help participants who might never have spoken in front of a crowd learn to read poetry out loud. Her passion is evident in our interview and we hope you'll join us in learning how to turn your reading into a performance.