Weekly Writing Prompt
Stephen Dunn: “The poetry that ends up mattering speaks to things we half-know but are inarticulate about. It gives us language and the music of language for what we didn’t know we knew. So a combination of insight and beauty. I also liken the writing of it to basketball—you discover that you can be better than yourself for a little while. If you’re writing a good poem, it means you’re discovering things that you didn’t know you knew. In basketball, if you’re hitting your shots, you feel in the realm of the magical.” (web)
quoted in Rattle, #71, spring 2021
Prompt: Write about a half-remembered event in your family, one you skip over when you half-remember it. Write the color of it, the sliding sounds of voice, or of sweeping, cleaning, fixing; attentiveness, anger, discomfort, comfort. Write the space of it, where, when. Write to discover what you didn’t know you knew, but seems to be begging attention at odd times.
A Bit About Who I Am
I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, graduated from Vanderbilt University in English and French, and earned a Master’s Degree with an emphasis in creative writing at Austin Peay State University. I lived in France, Central Florida, and Italy before at last returning to Nashville to settle. My true vocation and deep pleasure is writing poems, stories, and essays. I love fiddling with words in all sorts of ways, exploring the multitude of variations in the way they work to inform and move, as well as how they work their magic in other languages.
For Working writers–Check out these terrific resources:
The Porch Collaborative, Nashville. A smorgasbord of excellent workshops. the porch.org
Editor Lisa Bubert’s new website, LB All Things Words at allthingswords.com
I’ve worked with Lisa. That is, she’s worked with my writing and my queries, and given astute advice on publication.
What I’m Doing Now
Reading Kay Ryan’s essays. Writing. Walking in the woods and on my street, where dogs visit and introduce me to their people, who, in this pandemic, have come out of their houses and into the light. Enjoying the company of dear friends, family. Opening the day to quiet thinking.
Reading, Writing. Submitting, now and then, to journals.
My family members listen fondly when I read new pieces, offer frank opinions, and celebrate loudly any successes that come my way. My friends listen patiently to me spinning ideas as I bounce them around. My writing buddies give me new ways to look at my work with their honest and astute criticism. And my students, as has always been the case, teach me constantly and inspire me with their insights, creativity, and talent.
An active space for sharing work and ideas: come with me
In an Introduction to Kay Ryan’s essays by Christian Wiman, he states: “Kay Ryan’s poems…cheer and chill in equal measure. They do not ask you to love them….I would say [her purpose] is to light the space between mind and world. To light, and thereby lighten, the space between mind and world.”Ryan, Kay. Synthesizing Gravity. Grove Press. New York, 2020.