Monday, 27 June 2011

Imagine falling in love with your own reflection, or only ever being able to repeat the words of others. (Echo & Narcissus)

Narcissus and Echo, by John Waterhouse
Happy Monday, all!

Wow. Last week was intense. Writing poetry, poetry, poetry and ... gave a poetry reading at The Athens Centre on Friday night. I also read an excerpt of String Bridge which was very well-received by the 20 or so American Art Students that were studying there. I had a great time. It as the first reading I'd ever given, and surprisingly I held it together pretty well. (I usually get REALLY nervous when I have to perform in public.)

So just to give you a quick rundown of the type of poems I ended up writing during the workshop:

List poem

I also learned a little about the myth of Echo and Narcissus, which was a brilliant inspiration for poetry. The Pantoum and Mirror poem I wrote were inspired by this myth. I'd love to share my poems, but I plan to submit them to magazines so it's not a very good idea. Sorry! If any of you are interested in seeing any of my creations, I'll email them to you.

PS: Our instructor was amazing. If you're into poetry (even if you're not!), check out A.E. Stallings. Genius. Absolute genius. I've never ever met anyone who can retain and regurgitate so much information on the spot without referring to notes. Plus, she was able to dissect our poetry after reading it only once. Amazing. I am in awe.

Stupid me forgot to take photos ... :-/

So what did I miss last week? Anything interesting you want to direct me to?


  1. I absolutely love writing Pantoum and Sestina poems! So tough to weave emotional impact with the strict guidelines of the forms. But reusing lines or line-ending words in the new contexts of later lines is so much fun! I think the Villanelle is one of the hardest to write. I wrote one recently and much of the feedback hinted that I'd missed the mark in the emotional category. However, I did write that one in iambic tetrameter, just for the added challenge, so I still look on it as a success. :))

    Sounds like the workshop was a lot of fun, and how cool that you read some of your work! Awesome!!

  2. I've always liked poetry, but never studied it on this level of depth. I commend you for it.

    Sounds like you had a great time, too.

  3. Pleased you enjoyed yourself, I will certainly look up the link. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good day,

  4. Sounds like quite an intellectually stimulating week. That's great to hear your work was so positively received!

  5. I'll take a Pantoum with a side order of Sestina.

  6. I bet you did fine in front of the crowd!

  7. I love that you've been reading your work in front of others! So cool. Glad you enjoyed yourself!

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  9. Oooooops....sorry about the delete...I goofed.
    Welcome back. It sounds like you had a great time and your reading was a great success.
    What do you mean, NO PICTURES?????

  10. I'm glad your readings went well. I don't know if I'd have the courage. I hate how my voice sounds. I'm going to check out the story of echo and the other word that starts with an N.

  11. The Athens Center- what a wonderful experience for you!

  12. I would imagine reading one's poetry aloud is similar to singing - pretty darn scary because it's so personal. The only thing that has helped me overcome that fear is doing it over and over again, so by the time you are done promoting String Bridge, the next book will be easier.

  13. Sounds interesting. I enjoy poetry, but I've never spent too much time on learning the crafts of it. Maybe I should take it up.


  14. Sounds like an amazing week! :) I'm so glad you got something positive out of your experience!

    As far as me - same old. Still working a lot, not writing as much in the mss, but LOVE being paid to write wine reviews and movie reviews with Mike!

  15. My life right now is infinitely more boring than yours! I'm doing a five year massive house cleaning. Sexy, no?;)

    Glad you had such a stellar week!

  16. Sounds fantastic, Jess! I'm glad the workshop went well.

  17. Being evil like I am, I am cackling madly at the following convo:

    Narc: I am SO gorgeous
    Echo: I am SO gorgeous
    Narc: I can't get enough of me
    Echo: I can't get enough of me
    Narc: Stop it. It's all about me.
    Echo: Stop it. It's all about me.

    I bet THAT would make him nuts...

  18. That's awesome, Jessica! Sounds like you were challanged in a good way. Glad you had fun.

  19. I love it when you meet a teacher who really forces you to push your limits. Sounds like you had an amazing week!

  20. I am not a poet or a songwriter. You are multi-talented, and it sounds like you had a great weekend sharing your talents. It's only just begun for you, Jessica.

  21. Sounds wonderful! I love when instructors know their material so well - they're the best to learn from :)

  22. Your life sounds so amazing! I don't know much about poetry and am in awe of anyone who writes it.

  23. Poetry ("real" poetry) isn't easy to write or to read, or hear read. That you are a poet makes me want to brush up on what I did/learned/read in the poetry workshops I took almost three decades ago. I wrote one good villanelle. I wrote a semi-successful sestina. I love writing list poems. I'll have to look up Mirror. That one doesn't ring a bell.

    Like you, I love poetry. But if I start again trying to write poems, I might not get anything else done!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  24. p.s. Wish I could have heard you read your poems!


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris