Saturday 31 December 2022

Samantha Jones : part three

How important is music to your poetry?

I love music and I think that music and poetry are intertwined and often borrow from and show up in one another. Music intersects with my work in several ways. Sometimes I write to music, typically instrumental or mellow electronic tracks or music in a language I don’t understand so I don’t get caught up in the story. I select music with pace and mood that match the tone of the project I’m working on. 

I’ve experimented with using music symbols in some of my work. I have OCD and I noticed that there was a rhythm to some of my checking routines. I wanted to document those “incantations” and used rests and other music notation in the text to instruct the reader. I also use music to conjure memories that inspire a lot of my work. Road trips to visit family were a summer tradition when I was a kid and listening to the albums that we played in the car, like Sade and Toni Braxton, bring me back to the people and places that were such an important part of my childhood. 

Friday 30 December 2022

Subhaga Crystal Bacon : coda

I’ve been writing poetry since I was an undergraduate in the seventies, then did an MFA in my late thirties. So poetry has been a nearly lifelong pursuit for me. I’ve taken breaks from submitting work for publication a few times in my life but never from poetry itself. I think of Rilke’s question to his young poet: could you live if you didn’t write? For me the answer is probably! But not nearly as fully. 

Thursday 29 December 2022

S. T. Brant : part four

Why is poetry important?

It isn’t, which is why it is. I’ll divide my answer to this in a pretty banal dichotomy: to those that consider literature Life and those that don’t. For the latter, if poetry has any importance at all, it’s minor- which could still be admitting to some importance, sure, but the qualities that make it important are different than what make it important to other people and maybe even what the writers thought would be the important chords they played. I think if poetry can be even the least important and serve as a distraction from life and a path inward, then it has already done enough- and in fact is likely more crucial than is outwardly acknowledged. Poetry sneaks up on you. Reading may never be their seminal recreation, it may be a chore, it may not be something they spend their whole day and night contemplating, and they may not spend all their time in bookstores, or consider visiting all the bookstores in the places they travel to vacation-worthy: in which case, poetry isn’t Important, but it can still be important. In those cases, poetry does have to be sneaky; it has little time to operate, and in that time it has to garden quickly: something in it needs to take root, it needs to leave something within that invites that person back, back within, where maybe they don’t spend much time, and invite them to investigate, to get to know that dark interior. But that time in solitude, when someone spends time with themselves in a part of themselves unfamiliar and learns to be alone, kicking open a new dimension to themselves- this poetry can do and is why it’s important. Letting someone get to know themselves better and become a richer character. For those that deem literature Life- what’s to say? The model of Important is Poetry. I don’t like the whole ‘what can poetry do? ‘how necessary is poetry?’ ‘is poetry dead?’ yada, yada, yada. It’s always Nothing/Everything; No/Yes; Yes/No. The words and I are often in strife, which is probably as it should be, because they don’t need me, and the contest is to prove them wrong and force some admission on their end that I made some inroads into what’s possible with language that even they didn’t anticipate, when all is said and done. But Poetry is important in that regard to me and me only because that’s the battle. Maybe if I say the right thing and get the idea right and the poem comes out as I have a vision of it, then maybe it can become important to someone for whom poetry isn’t generally important, or even maybe to someone for whom poetry is life. But I really only care about how important Poetry is to me and make no bones about convincing others. Even with my students, my goal isn’t to lecture them into assent, but to, sneakily, by the end, hopefully have demonstrated, whether through example or some blossom blasting through the dry season of the year, that there’s power in moving and being moved. I probably didn’t answer this question well. It’s hard. I’ve rambled and landed back at the beginning that it’s important to me. There’s a million anecdotes of it being meaningful in the world and being nothing in the world, and I think that’s how it should be. It’s the shadow-king. 

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Stephanie Henson : part five

How does a poem begin? 

For me, a poem begins with a feeling and then I build upon that emotion and layer it with different poetic devices. At the start of every one of my poems there is heart and intent. I may not know exactly where the poem is going when I sit down to draft, but I have a general idea of the trajectory as I am writing. I rarely plan out my poems ahead of time or what I am going to say. I don’t generally outline. I let the feelings guide me and then I expand/enhance the piece accordingly. When I write for kids, I often delve into my own past experiences and the lessons I wish I would have had at that age, and put it in poetic form. I pay special attention to the words I use when writing for children. It’s ok if kids do not understand every single word of the poem you are writing for them, but they should be able to follow along with the theme and get the overall point of the piece.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Sarah Ens : part one

Sarah Ens is a writer and editor based in Treaty 1 territory (Winnipeg, MB). Her writing has appeared in Prairie Fire, Arc Poetry Magazine, The New Quarterly, Contemporary Verse 2, Poetry Is Dead, Room Magazine, and SAD Mag. Her debut collection of poetry, The World Is Mostly Sky, was shortlisted for the 2021 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the 2022 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Flyway is her second book of poetry.

How did you first engage with poetry?

My first encounters with poetry happened in church, with hymns and scripture as the points of entry. I remember, during congregational singing, being struck by figurative language—how it can give shape to abstract ideas or amplify the enigmatic—and wanting to repeat certain lines over and over. “Let Thy goodness like a fetter / bind my wandering heart to Thee,” for example, made me excited about simile and how good a verb can feel.

The first poets I engaged with on the page were ee cummings and Di Brandt. Poems so passionate they eschewed the rules of punctuation appealed deeply to my teenage sensibilities! Brandt’s questions i asked my mother, that slim, bright, potent book, also opened the idea that maybe I could write poetry. 

Monday 26 December 2022

Matthew Kosinski : part one

Matthew Kosinski is a poet, socialist, and occultist from Philadelphia. Alone in the White Marble City is available from New Delta Review. Your Human Shape is available from Broken Sleep Books.

What are you working on?

I’m working on a couple of things right now. The first is a series of poems grouped under the tentative title of I Want to Eat My Clone. The idea arose out of a discussion I had with a couple of friends a while back. Some years ago, there was a somewhat famous internet story about a man who had his foot amputated following a motor vehicle accident. On a lark, he and his friends decided to cook and eat the amputated foot meat, figuring it was their once-in-a-lifetime shot at trying some ethical cannibalism. 

My friends and I were discussing this story, considering whether we, too, would eat the foot if we were in that scenario. I’m pretty confident that I would, and I said as much. So one of my friends decides to escalate. He asks us, “Okay, you’d eat the foot. But how about this: Let’s say one day you woke up and walked into your kitchen and there, on the ground, was the deceased body of a perfect clone of yourself. Would you eat it?”

I’m less confident that I’d eat the clone, if only because that’s a lot more meat than a single foot. But I like the thought experiment. 

At the time I was also reading a lot about quantum mechanics – specifically, Philip Ball’s Beyond Weird – and I was really interested in John Archibald Wheeler’s “it from bit” theory, which basically proposes that the universe exists, at a fundamental level, as information. The physical world we inhabit essentially arises from the process of observing and interpreting that information. I’m greatly simplifying here, but under Wheeler’s theory, one can consider the human body a great big observational instrument: It moves through the world recording data, processing it, and rendering it legible as a physical environment. 

And so when my friend proposed this thought experiment – eating one’s clone – I thought about it in light of the “it from bit” theory. If the human body is an observational instrument, then perhaps by eating it, one could gain access to the raw universal data it’s been processing. That data has to be stored somewhere, right? Like eating a computer to learn what’s on its hard drive. 

Thus we have I Want to Eat My Clone, a series of poems about an amateur scientist discovering his own clone and deciding to eat it, piece by piece, in order to access the raw universal data it might be hiding. Each poem in the series corresponds to a different body part: eyes, heart, fingers, lungs, genitals, etc. 

The other project I’m working on is what I’m calling the “poetic equivalent of a Metroidvania.” For those who don’t know, “Metroidvania” refers to a genre of two-dimensional platforming video games that emphasize exploration. A Metroidvania takes place in one big connected world, and you, as a player, have to explore that world, filling out a map as you go along. 

I love these games for the way they tell stories through environmental cues and flavor text rather than narrative exposition; the player is an active participant in uncovering the story as they scour every inch of the world for hidden treasures, secret passages, and new areas. I’m thinking about, for example, Ender Lilies, where the player learns more about the protagonist’s origins by stumbling upon a secret laboratory. Or Blasphemous, where every item you pick up has an attached bit of lore that sheds some light on the post-apocalyptic world you’re traversing.

So I’ve become a bit obsessed with translating that kind of experiential, fragmented, exploration-heavy storytelling into a poetic framework. I can’t say I’ve figured out just yet how I’ll do it, but I know it’s going to rely on the visual composition of the poem. I want the poem to feel like you’re filling out a Metroidvania map as you move through it. And I’ve got a loose narrative right now, something revolving around a dystopian internet jail called the “paranet.” But all in all, this one’s still a bit embryonic.

Sunday 25 December 2022

James Davies : part three

Has your consideration of poetry changed since you began?

Not really. I’ve long considered poetry to be rich in its possibilities, a really exciting place, not just biography or triviality in lineated form, or something dragged out at weddings and funerals. A lot of people’s conceptions of poetry is based on the stuff they read at school. And in the UK most of the twentieth and twenty-first century stuff is really the study of the topic of the poem and the spot-featuring of the poetic devices – that is to say that poetry’s not given a fair shot at school because of the selection of poems on the syllabus. I was lucky enough to come across/be directed to poetry that breaks the mould early on and see its connection to the wider picture of innovation in the arts.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Samantha Jones : part two

How does a poem begin?

For me, usually with an observation. Either something that I experience with one of my senses, or an idea or concept about my surroundings. This could be as small as seeing a discarded item on the ground or as big as thinking about something like humanity’s emotional responses to climate change. I keep lists of things that I notice, interesting words, and situations that evoke emotion. For example, it started raining one evening last week, and both my spouse and I ran (from different parts of the house) to the door, flung it open, and stuck our arms outside to feel the drops on our skin. I told him that I knew the water would be cold from the hard sound it made when hitting the window. We’re from Nova Scotia, but have lived in Alberta, a very arid province, for about sixteen years. This moment is certainly the start of a poem, both of us connecting with a distant home, and each other, through nature in that moment. 

Friday 23 December 2022

Subhaga Crystal Bacon : part five

How does a poem begin?

Poems begin in my body. I’ve often compared it to the sensation just before a sneeze. Sometimes, a feeling comes over me and it’s luckily often combined with an opening or triggering phrase. I spend a lot of time hiking in the hills behind my house with my dogs, and I will often find that a phrase comes to me that leads me into a new poem. I find that if I pay attention to this confluence of feeling and sound, if I stop what I’m doing and write it down, a poem will flow fairly easily onto the page. 

Thursday 22 December 2022

S. T. Brant : part three

How important is music to your poetry?

Right now, it’s the trope, par excellence. The mythology of this book centers on the ideas of ‘Harmony’ and ‘Melody’, and then musical metaphors abound. It makes sense since poetry is musical, but it’s also funny because music isn’t really that important to me in life, in that, I don’t actually spend a lot of time listening to music. Only when I’m driving. Even at the gym I’ll just listen to whatever is playing over the speakers but don’t listen to my own music. I prefer silence to music when I’m working or even just sitting around, and I can’t read with music playing at all. I just can’t seem to push it to the background; it’s always drifting too far forward. I’m probably pretty unsophisticated musically, even. A real plebian. Try as I might, classical music eludes me. It sounds beautiful, sure, but I can’t sustain listening for long periods. Same with jazz. I’m still trying to get into jazz because I like everything about jazz when I read about jazz, but I can never sit down and listen to jazz. Dylan, Springsteen, Costello, The Gaslight Anthem, those are my staples. The Clash. Artists like that. But even them, they’re for driving or when I’m doing something in my classroom, like decorating it or doing the end of the year chores that need to be signed off on. All that’s to say that music is more important to me as a trope than an actual source of joy in life. I guess like most things, I enjoy them idealistically above enjoying them sensually. 

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Stephanie Henson : part four

Why is poetry important? 

Poetry is a form of self expression. It’s therapeutic in a way to lay your feelings bare on the page and for people to have access to that exposed part of you. It’s very personal and engaging. Also, there is a love and mastery of language that is very important, especially for kids to understand at a young age. Lovely Lyrical language is a vivid sensory tool in poetic storytelling for kids and can improve their vocabulary and comprehension of text. 

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Jaeyun Yoo : part five

What poets changed the way you thought about writing? 

Sharon Olds, Joy Harjo, Ocean Vuong, Yun Dong-Ju. 

Monday 19 December 2022

Ryanne Kap : part five

What poets changed the way you thought about writing?

Neil Hilborn was one of the first poets that taught me a lot about “loosening up” and not assuming that poetry had to use a certain vocabulary. I’ve also been stunned by the possibilities that Danez Smith and Victoria Chang create in their work. Last but not least, I am continually learning from my friends, who are the poets that I love to read the most: Victoria Mbabazi and Sarah Hilton keep showing me what beautiful poems can be. 

Sunday 18 December 2022

James Davies : part two

What are you working on?

Funny, if you’d asked me this a month or so ago I would have said nothing at all, and then all of a sudden, after a long barren patch, something clicks and you start writing again (though it has to be said, I’m not writing as prolifically as I used to and that’s a strange space to be in). I’m working on a new sequence of snowballs, a form I’ve worked with before. Snowballs are perhaps most associated with Oulipo and usually have ten lines. Typically, in a snowball, line 1 has one letter, line 2 two letters and so on until ten letters in the tenth line. Rather than letters I’ve changed the form by increasing the amount of words per line. There’s a lot of flexibility in the form and it shares a similarity to the sonnet in its effects. A few months ago I finished editing my collection it is like toys but also like video taped in a mall, which is out with Pamenar Press. I’m really pleased with it. It’s a series of 201 two-line minimalist poems, which took around five years to write and edit.

Saturday 17 December 2022

Samantha Jones : part one

Samantha Jones (she/her) is a scientist, poet, and editor based in Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary) on Treaty 7 territory. She is a magazine and journal enthusiast with writing in THIS, Room, Grain, CV2, Arctic, GeoHumanities, and elsewhere. Her poetry has garnered international attention including the poem, “Ocean Acidification,” which was first published in Watch Your Head, and later featured in the Virtual Ocean Pavilion at COP26. Sam is a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Calgary and has a background in geology. Her work also documents her experience living with OCD; her OCD visual poetry chapbook, Site Orientation, is available from the Blasted Tree (2022). Sam is white settler and Black Canadian, and is the founder and facilitator of the Diverse Voices Roundtable for BIPOC Writers at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society (Calgary). 

Twitter: @jones_yyc 

How did you first engage with poetry?

I first engaged with poetry in childhood through books and stories like Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I remember creating an illustrated poetry project in elementary school with a classmate. Around the same time, my grandfather was helping at a used bookshop and would bring me there on occasion. He was always interested in poetry and the shelves in his study included leather-bound books with verse by folks like Longfellow. In adulthood, I learned about the diverse expanse of poetry and was drawn in once again, but this time by the styles and stories that spoke to my experiences and ways of navigating the world. I’ve been reading a lot during the pandemic, and in some ways, I feel like the last few years have been my first true immersion in poetry. 

Friday 16 December 2022

Subhaga Crystal Bacon : part four

What other poetry books have you been reading lately?

Kayleb Rae Candrilli’s Water I Won’t Touch, Jennifer Martelli’s Queen of Queens, Dana Levin’s Now Do You Know Where You Are, Jill McDonough’s Where You Live, Dustin Pearson’s Millennial Roost, Derrick Austin’s Tenderness. I’m anxiously awaiting Suzanne Frishkorn’s Fixed Star and Luther Hughes’ A Shiver in the Leaves

Thursday 15 December 2022

S. T. Brant : part two

How did you first engage with poetry?

I started out writing songs for a band I was in in middle school. Terrible songs. They’ve thankfully vanished. I know youthful writings are generally embarrassing, but… yikes. I was never a great musician, either. My friends that I was in the band with are actually still playing! I’ve lost touch with them, but they’ve stayed close and, I think, still play together. So that’s pretty cool. But I began writing songs, then when I left the band in high school and dropped all musical ambitions, I stopped writing anything. Then there’s a blank until I met this one girl. Her and I become close, and I start telling her about my band days and show her the current music of the guys I played with, which impresses her, which makes me jealous; so I mention that I wrote songs and show her some of the lyrics. She assigns me homework: write more. She gives me a deadline: a new song by next week. For years I always called poems ‘Deadlines’ because I would always say I can’t write poems, so I called them songs, then called them ‘deadlines’ (even though I was always late turning them into her). Now it’s become about trying to impress Time, but it all started out trying to impress a girl. 

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Stephanie Henson : part three

How important is music to your poetry? 

Music is an integral process to my poetry writing, as well as to my writing process in general. Music is a language all its own. The beats, the sounds, the rhythm, the lyrics, the cadence etc.  - it’s all very poetic by nature. I am greatly inspired by Lin Manuel Miranda, so when there are times where I hit a writer’s block, the first place I turn is to his music. I am almost overwhelmed by his talent. He has a way of incorporating many poetic devices into his work and the flow and intelligence of it is energizing. Of course, Hamilton is a favorite but I also enjoy In the Heights and the Encanto soundtrack as inspiration. The way he weaves central themes throughout his pieces whiie maintaining that overall connection and cohesiveness to the material is genius.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Jaeyun Yoo : part four

What do you feel poetry can accomplish that other forms can’t?

Precision. As poetry is often about compression rather than expansion, a poet’s job is to figure out the best way to capture a message or an image with limited words. Having said that, I am interested in writing that is not bound by literary rules and enjoy the cross-pollination and genre-bending between different forms.

Monday 12 December 2022

Ryanne Kap : part four

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

I usually write poetry out of an abundance of emotion. I find it hard to then articulate those feelings in a way that resonates outside of my subjective experience. I love confessional poetry that reads like it’s staying true to a feeling while also elevating it into something artful. I struggle to write my unfiltered feelings into more than just a rant on the page. 

Sunday 11 December 2022

James Davies : part one

James Davies’ writing includes the poetry collections stack, published by Carcanet, which is a book-length, minimalist poem, that explores and documents experimental walking practice, as well as Plants from Reality Street, a set of conceptual poems. He is also the author of two novels: The Wood Pigeons from Dostoevsky Wannabe, which is a tale of a night-in, where chapters are slenderised page by page, and When Two Are in Love or As I Came To Behind Frank's Transporter (from Crater Press, written in collaboration with Philip Terry), an Oulipian psychedelic romantic comedy. His latest prose is the short story The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton from Ma Bibliotheque, ten rewrites of the first page of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Find out more at

How did you first engage with poetry?

Although retrospectively I can remember reading poetry as a young child, a standout moment as a writer was reading Salvador Dali’s poem Dandled Brochure and other poems by surrealists in the Surrealist Manifesto when I was about 16. e.e. cummings books were around the house also, amongst a small selection – they were important too. These poems confirmed for me that poetry (writing) could be stretched, and then I wrote and wrote in a multitude of styles and forms, many of which were my own experiments. Around the same time that I read the Surrealist Manifesto I studied Keats at school and enjoyed it, although not as much as the surrealist writing – joy over moodiness most days for me. I’d cite these things as initially turning me on to the ethereal power of poetry.

Friday 9 December 2022

Subhaga Crystal Bacon : part three

What poets changed the way you thought about writing?

Diane Seuss is the contemporary poet who has had the biggest, most recent impact on my understanding of and thinking about poetry. She combines contemplation of quotidian realities of being alive with what I might call big ideas in a way that is alchemical. We are the same age, so I find in her work familiar references to people, places, and particularities of being an American woman that I’ve found liberating and inspirational. Others are Erika Meitner and Kendra Decolo, both BOA poets, whose catalogues of female experience have also loosened up some of my self-imposed restrictions in style and content. This is also true of Levin’s Now Do You Know Where You Are.

Thursday 8 December 2022

S. T. Brant : part one

S. T. Brant is a Las Vegas high school teacher. His debut collection Melody in Exile will be out in 2022. His work has appeared in numerous journals including Honest Ulsterman, EcoTheo, Timber, and Rain Taxi. You can reach him on his website at, Twitter: @terriblebinth, or Instagram: @shanelemagne

What are you working on?

Everything and nothing, it feels like. I’m trying to make a point to review more work, so I have a few poetry reviews on the docket. Otherwise, I have a poetry manuscript in the works. Life Between Transmigrations. That title will change but for now it helps me keep track of the idea. It’ll be the first note in a big song. Told through a series of dramatic monologues and narratives, an ‘epic’ in psychic fragments, traversing mythical, literary, historical personas, the same soul’s journey from the origin when he broke off from god to now, the day it All ends, and he confronts his exiled source. We’ll see what becomes of it. I have a few things written for it now. But it may wind up being multiple volumes because I also have a gnostic treatise of epistles written from one of Paul’s rivals going, St. Brant, which was supposed to be part of that manuscript but has seemed to take on a life of its own. These poetic works are supposed to complement the dramatic as well. Like O’Neill’s plan to write a huge cycle, I have a Vegas cycle: Meadow the Shadow of Golgotha. Also a title I’m not married to but helps keep me grounded to the concept. To turn Vegas into Dublin, that’s the plan, and be synonymous with Sin. Plays and poems: those are the projects, with the littlest bit of critical prose to help fight off the indolence. These ideas probably sound like unpublishable hodge-podge (most journals agree with you!), but hopefully not. If I get it right… that’s the thing… if I get it right, it’ll be Great. 

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Stephanie Henson : part two

What do you feel poetry can accomplish that other forms can’t? 

I feel poetry connects people. It is built on the foundation of emotion. People need connection, now more than ever. We all have been separated, literally and figuratively, by the events of the past couple years so it’s important to have creative outlets that can fill the gaps when people need it the most. Poetry provides love and comfort and a deeper understanding of feelings - the things people long for right now. Children, especially, have been greatly affected and are in need of pieces to help them understand and find their place in the world, a world that looks much different than it once did.

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Jaeyun Yoo : part three

How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with? 

Once I write the first draft, I let it rest for at least a few days before looking at it again. I bring my draft to workshop groups for their thoughtful input. Afterwards, I edit the poem again. This may take a few days or years! Depending on the poem, I may submit it to literary magazines or add it to my manuscript in development. Poetry is a paced process for me.

I recently completed The Writer’s Studio, which is a creative writing certificate program at Simon Fraser University. My classmates and I still meet monthly for workshopping which I find very enriching. I am also part of a collective of emerging poets called Harbour Centre 5 ( We met through a continuing education poetry course at Simon Fraser University and have been workshopping together for several years. We recently produced a collaborative chapbook called Brine. The sense of community has been so valuable in my development as a writer.  

Monday 5 December 2022

Ryanne Kap : part three

What do you feel poetry can accomplish that other forms can’t?

I view poetry very similarly to short stories. It’s like a burst of feeling that you can communicate without losing momentum over pages and pages of writing. But whereas short stories require more of a framework, with poetry you can focus on the foundation alone. That isn’t to say that poetry is “simpler” than fiction; as someone who predominantly writes fiction, I find that poetry has a level of complexity that remains both inspiring and challenging to me.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Grace : part five

Why is poetry important?

Poetry is important because—and this is somewhat related to the fact that it can accomplish what other forms of writing can’t—for me, it requires me to look at and think about my world in a different way.

You could technically make that argument that sci-fi (which I also love) and other types of writing can do something similar, but there’s an immediacy in poetry for me that really gives you that “punched in the gut” feeling.

I think it’s because whether you’re writing or reading poetry (or listening to a song), the sounds and rhythm, the creativity with which the sentences and phrases are formed—all of that works together to suck you in, and invites you to consider the world around you in a way that maybe you haven’t considered before.

Allison Thung : part five

How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?

I share some of my WIP work with two of my closest friends, but writing tends to be a solitary act for me. I need silence, to be alone, and a blank Microsoft Document. I do wish that my process was a little more romantic though, like a walk in the woods and the first draft scribbled on the pages of a leatherbound notebook. 

Friday 2 December 2022

Subhaga Crystal Bacon : part two

How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?

I belong to two workshop groups. One is a group of local poets and the other is a small group of friends from my days in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. The first group is a place where I can get a sense of a poem’s nearness to completion. The second group is the place where my most challenging poems get read and responded to with laser precision. These friends have often helped me to find the best logical ordering of my somewhat wabi sabi lyric narratives. Both groups are indispensable. Of course, I don’t have every poem critiqued before I submit it for publication, but I typically feel more confident submitting work that’s been vetted this way.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Emily Osborne : part five

Why is poetry important?

Poetry is one of the oldest and most widespread of human traditions and creations. Before writing, oral verse was a means of storing data, of communicating value, of bringing people together, of recreating the known world and imagining it better or worse. Children instinctively respond to poetry and yet I know many adults who say they cannot stand to read poetry. To include poetry in one’s life seems to me almost an essential part of being human and recognizing how humanity has (or has not) evolved.