Joined a group of other young poets to write 7 poems in 7 days. Very much enjoying writing again. Very much in awe of how many talented writers there are floating around right now.
Most dust jackets list only literary accomplishments, but I’ve always been a fan of offbeat author bios. So I asked some of my favorite writers to describe their early jobs.
-via Paris Review
Well, here's what I used to hold dear. A truth is most comfortably received when preceded by an indefinite article—a instead of the unlocks the noun, makes the truth feel credibly small. Now I think that to make assertions using indefinite articles mostly serves to keep us from making fools of ourselves, and yet, sometimes, don't we have to risk this? Aren't the most memorable statements asserted boldly, like Flannery O'Connor's "The truth will make you odd," or André Gide's "It is with noble sentiments that bad literature gets written"? Actually, there are many things other than truth that are dear to me. The tone with which something is said, for one. My fear is Stendhal's: "I may have expressed only a sigh when I thought I was stating the truth."
-Stephen Dunn interviews himself over at Poetry Daily
There is no need to fear the personal or the Confessional. For one thing, it is unavoidable. For another thing, it is all you have. Penultimately, it can save you. Lastly, you can never really, fully, and honestly tell the truth about your own life because a) you don't know the truth b) there is no one truth and c) you are always telling, and telling the truth is very different from the truth. Think of it this way: If you take your clothes off you are naked but are not a Nude, and certainly not a nude painting. The poem, no matter how bare, is a Nude, and never really naked. That said, you need to take your clothes off to know what your skin really feels like.
--Really enjoyed this essay on the nature of the "I" in poetry, by Rachel Zucker, from over at the Academy of American Poets.
Killer first line of the moment:
Scatter my ashes at Six Mile Creek.
from Patrick Phillips' "Will"
A really excellent project is going on in my home-neighborhood. Check out ballardsessions.com for some well-done videos of some of Seattle's best young musicians, such as the righteous Noah Gunderson featured below.