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- Three enthusiastic poets completed my "Writing Poetry: Next Steps" course, offered through the Adult Enrichment Program at Craven Community College. They came away with many revised and new poems. AEP is not running in the summer, but I may be able to offer the course again next fall.
- "Summertime" (above) was selected by Atlantic Coast Landscaping to appear on the banner they are sponsoring for the Banner Project promoting the arts and civic pride in New Bern.
- "Close Calls" received an Honorable Mention in this year's Thomas H. McDill Award competition sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society.
- My poem "Force" is in the Spring 2017 issue of Snapdragon, with the theme of "Resistance."
You may order my chapbook,
Blossom and Loss, right here
with PayPal. Orders also may be placed through your local bookseller, Longleaf Press, or
Amazon. Thank you!
"Tomb, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris" is on the cover of Kakalak 2016.
...Does he still hear
the call, feel the shiver, when he slides
into second and the umpire calls him safe?
When the elevator jolts, when the railing prevents
his fall, when the tornado barely skirts his house?
—from "Close Calls" by Jeanne Julian
Honorable Mention, North Carolina Poetry Society
Thomas H. McDill Award competition, 2017
Four of my photographs are in the Coastal Photo Club's exhibit at the Craven Arts Council Bank of the Arts. The show runs through March 2017.
Quote of the Month
TOP 10 THINGS I WISH SOMEONE HAD SAID TO ME ALONG THE WAY
by Scott Owens
1. Buy a journal -- a nice one, so nice you want to write in it even on days you don’t feel like writing.
2. Write in your journal -- every day. Make it a routine if you can. Keep it by your seat in the car, by your bed at night. Take it to the bathroom with you. Take it into restaurants. Use emergency lanes. Interrupt people and tell them to wait a moment while you write something down.
3. Revise what you write. Seek criticism. Work at it until it feels completely right. When it comes back rejected, revise it again. When it comes back published, revise it again. When it comes out in a book of your own, revise it again. When you prepare to read it in public, revise it again. After you read it in public, revise it again.
4. Read more than you write. Subscribe to at least 6 journals publishing your genre, including at least one biggie and one local. Biggies: Ploughshares, Granta, Prairie Schooner, Paris Review, Poetry, Glimmer Train. Locals: Main Street Rag, Tar River Poetry, Greensboro Review, Wild Goose, Dead Mule. Buy at least 1 new book in your genre each month.
5. Network. Join a writers’ group. Go to readings. Take classes. North Carolina Writers’ Network. North Carolina Poetry Society. Poetry Society of South Carolina. Associated Writing Programs. Academy of American Poets. Poetry Hickory & Writers’ Night Out. When you’re ready to publish, start local with networked leads.
6. Buy a book of “prompts” for the days when you feel like you have nothing to write about. Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, Gutkind’s The Art of Creative Nonfiction, Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, Behn and Twichell’s The Practice of Poetry. Figure out which techniques take you from “seed” to “fruit,” and keep them in your back pocket.
7. Balance your life. Save time for family, for doing what you have to do, and for doing the other things you love. These are usually the best sources for material anyway. Work 8 hours; sleep 8 hours; family/chores/other 6 hours; read 1 hour; write 1 hour.
8. Occasionally ask yourself what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Don’t feel you have to keep those answers forever. They should change as you do, but it’s still good to think about it from time to time.
9. Never be rude to a publisher. Be familiar with the journal or press before submitting. Use Duotrope, “Poets & Writers,” and “The Chronicle.” Most of all, read the journal itself.
10. Never stop being amazed that we exist at all. Never stop demanding that we make it better.
More at Quotations for Writers