Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Back from My Writing Retreat

I don’t really feel like blogging today but since I’ve not posted anything for some time…. Anyway, below is a paragraph I took from a recent e-mail about how my writing retreat in North Carolina went. I do feel that I returned from the writing retreat with a clearer vision of my work and where I need to go from here.

The week has been okay. Not as productive as I had hoped. I finished drafts on two new poems and started a third. I arranged a chapbook manuscript I’m excited about (9 poems, about 21 pages). It became pretty clear early on that I need around 10 more poems before I can really think about assembling a first book manuscript, so I still have a lot of revising and writing of new stuff ahead of me. I did work on trying to assemble a book despite knowing that I don't have enough poems that meet the "bar of quality" I have in mind. Doing that gave me some ideas as to how the book might be arranged in the future. The most helpful thing was to think about possible first and last poems. If I thought about what poem I might start with and what poem I might end with, things this gave me some direction about how the poems in between might best be arranged.


What is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding? It is the deepest part of autobiography.

--Robert Penn Warren


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