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Monthly Archives: September 2010
5. (related to #4 above) If the poem does not get away from you at some point, if it contains nothing you don’t entirely understand, it is DOA.
4. Write for yourself. You are the audience. Write what you want to read. If you have bad taste, so be it. This is not the point to worry about it. Worry about your bad taste as you select reading … Continue reading
3. Moderate ambition. I was going to say abandon ambition, but then I realized what I want to encourage is a state of constant striving along with a happy carelessness about mastery. Let Keats’s negative capability be our guide: the … Continue reading
2. “Make it new.” Of course, literally speaking, it always will be new, since no individual occupies the same place and time as any other. So, to be more specific: by this rule I mean to express a preference for … Continue reading
1. Be active on all levels. Consider all the elements that make up the work. For example, question the role of the title. Must there be a title? What is a title? Who speaks a title? In what relation does … Continue reading
My writing group (the lovely Front Sparrows) decided to write manifestos—atypically, because we are usually all “Do your own thing!”-style hippie-mamas, but I suppose in this case doing our own thing=making rules everyone should follow. So, one by one, I … Continue reading