On the word “Experimental”

The word “experimental” attracts me. I am interested in deviation (and I enjoy the sense of science [and thus procedure] that can come with the word). I would say that I am interested in reading (and writing) the experimental. But as with “beauty,” “experimental” can be primarily subjective. I wish to advocate use of the […]

When titles have an “or”

Oftentimes when a sentence features an “or,” the sentence is listing alternatives (typically exclusive of each other). In the case of a title, however, the “or” seems to be functioning in a different way. To help demonstrate what I mean, consider the title of an Eliza Haywood novel, “Love in Excess; or, the Fatal Enquiry.” […]

Comparison and Transformation (A Lesson Plan)

Overall objective: move from comparing nouns (as done by simile and metaphor) to transforming nouns by use of a well-chosen verb that seems to augment the usual abilities of that noun. Level 1: The Simile (approximate time: 5 minutes) Explain definition (relating a noun to another noun through the use of “like” or “as”). Show […]

In which I wonder about dedications

“for ________.”  What does that mean?  Not to be callous or myopic.  But I wonder about the word choice—“for”—and the implications of such an often-used format. Perhaps I am over-thinking this.  I realize this gesture is probably a way to acknowledge that person’s/people’s patience as the writer worked on the manuscript and during the work […]

Why I do not tend to favor one-word titles

At times, I do use one-word titles for poems.  I do.  But I am a bit hesitant to do so, for a few reasons. For one, one-word titles for poems are plentiful, and some words are used plentifully.  “Nocturne” would be an example of this.  (Which, I admit, I titled a poem some years ago.) […]

Thoughts on titles

The titles of poems can have a variety of purposes (or possibly purposelessness). Sometimes they are the last thing written.  Sometimes they are the first thing.  Sometimes they will be an “untitled.” A title can be brief.  A title can be one word, a phrase, a sentence—a title could push the boundaries of normative forms […]

Why making constraint-based erasures can be good for children

In a previous post, I discussed my procedure in introducing some upper elementary children to constraint-based erasure poetry.  I think that, besides the benefits of creating poetry lateral to the self, this type of engagement with books may be doubly beneficial for children (or any learner). A constraint-based erasure can be done with any text; […]

The first time I led a Poetry Workshop

Last month, I led my first poetry workshop.  The focus was neither revision nor editing.  The focus was on beginning and writing a poem, specifically the genesis of a poem with the use of a source text—a generation I managed to explore with a group of children. I was welcomed to engage with the upper […]

The term “Constraint-based Erasure”

In recent posts and upcoming posts, I have or will use the term “constraint-based erasure.” I wish to offer a definition for this term.  To do so, I must first explain “erasure” and “constraint-based.” An erasure involves removing (or covering) portions of an original.  The medium may be visual or textual—or both.  For a fine […]

On writing and reading sequences

In previous posts, I have been thinking about series and sequences and how they differ.  I have said that while “both the series and the sequence involve a journey, the series is even more journey oriented: the journey must be completed.”  In the case of the sequence, the reader need not complete reading the whole […]