Poetry Friday: Put Away Your Judgment Pen
It's Poetry Friday! Today's roundup is hosted by Linda Baie at Teacher Dance. Stop by for a breath of fresh of poetry air.
Whew! Last month was busy as I wrote and posted a poem each day. I'm sure you all get it! When publishing a poem, each day is an act of vulnerability because you know you will have to post poems before they feel ready for the world. That being said, I needed the push to get a poem on paper every day and, it worked. (Though I use the word "poem" loosely. Ha!)
Here's a quick list of April's National Poetry Month celebration highlights:
Three Things I Did
Collected Links on a Padlet: During National Poetry Month, I wanted to be able to collect the crumbs of discovery throughout the month so I decided to keep a Padlet of links. I wasn't quite as diligent as I had hoped, but I have a reasonable collection of nuggets.
Supported Poetry Spaces: This year, I made sure to make contributions to the poetry spaces that I return to repeatedly. The Slowdown, Poets.org (Academy of American Poets), Ohio Poetry Association are among the spaces that not only inspire me daily, but also provide my daily dose of JOY.
Audio Poetry: Honestly, poets reading their poetry in audiobooks may be one of the most under appreciated gifts. At the beginning of every April, I find my way to the digital library to checkout audiobooks of poets reading their poetry books. Many of these books I own in print and love to follow along as they read. Here are a few of my favorites from this year: Billy Collins Live: A Performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, an all-time favorite), How to Love a Country (Richard Blanco), Dog Bones (Mary Oliver), An American Sunrise (Joy Harjo), We Inherit What the Fires Left (William Evans), and The Carrying (Ada Limón). I have to also mention here the daily poetry from The Slowdown Show, currently hosted by Major Jackson, and Poem-a-Day, April poems were selected by Poet Laureate Ada Limón.
Three Things I Discovered
Maggie Smith: Seriously, Maggie is a gift that keeps on giving. I went with friends to see her speak as her new book, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, was released into the world and enjoyed hearing her talk about writing. After the event, I started to follow her on Instagram, which led me to podcasts where she was a guest, which led me to her Substack, For Dear Life, which I quickly decided to join.
New Forms: Thanks to Margaret Simon and Molly for the calendar they created for National Poetry Month. It actually unexpectedly ended up shaping my poetry in April. I made blocks in my Passion Planner using some of their suggested forms and when I was stuck I would select a form to try for a poem. I left a few open blocks to add new forms I discovered along the way. This is a tool I will return to again and again. (I'm actually trying a similar format for techniques to help improve my revision process in May.)
New Poets: Well, new to me. Seriously, if you attended Poetry and the Creative Mind, a gala sponsored by the American Academy of Poets you know what I mean when I say, "Wow!" Listening to guests read poetry was an absolute delight - and it really has raised the bar for how I even read poetry to myself. I discovered a few new-to-me poets here, as well as across the month of April. Here are a few that stand out: Maggie Smith (obviously), Saeed Jones (discovered him alongside Maggie at the Drexel), Beau Sia, and Rudy Francisco, to name a few.
Poetry Friday: I plan to get back to posting with the Poetry Friday Community. Hopefully the poems you find in this space on Friday will have had some revision and feel a little more polished for the world.
More Revision: Yep, this one! I know I really need to spend some time in the space of revision. Here are some of the techniques I plan to use in this process. Since the box collection of possibility worked so well with form, I thought I might give this a try to push me to diversify my revision decisions, hopefully thinking more about what a poem might need.
Word Play: As I traveled around Poetry Friday posts I realized how impressive you all are with your words!!! I need a little word play in my life to improve word selection. I'm sure there will be more to come on this, but most of the ideas I have currently are from visiting the Poetry Friday roundups.
That's all for now. Here's this week's poem: