Monday, March 31, 2008

Form, Princeton Encyclopedia, pps. 420-1.
from CAConrad's interview with Rachel Blau DuPlesses, posted today at Phillysound

"That is--someone less culturally powerful and only sporadically acknowledged, if at all, contributes a significant "something" to the career of someone more culturally powerful. It is the structural inequality, not the act of appropriation, that is particularly problematic for me.

Nonetheless I happen to feel that appropriation is not a crime; it is a cultural situation and a cultural tactic. The issue is not intertextuality (citation, appropriation, reuse, torquing, influence, adaptation, borrowing, refashioning, transmission, imitation); it is the cultural inequality of that tactic that is problematic. The issue isn't that borrowing occurs; the issue is that the work of women (and others) is not acknowledged by the borrowers, and the less hegemonic may not have the power to answer back. "

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oregon Literary Review seeks Genre Submissions

The Oregon Literary Review's "Genre" section is currently looking for science fiction or detective stories for its upcoming Summer/Fall 2008 Issue.
Guidelines are as follows:
Stories should be between 4000-10000 words.
Original illustrations accompanying the stories are accepted.
Preference is given to Pulpy Detective stories and Sci-Fi that veers towards Space Opera. Submissions must be MS Word .doc or .rtf
Submissions should include author's name, a short bio, and email address.

The Oregon Literary Review is an online non-profit. For more information, visit
The Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence Project presents:
The 2008 Central Florida Book & Music Festival
Friday and Saturday, March 28th and 29th

Friday, March 28th, be part of the scene at Uptown Altamonte
Eddie Rose Waterfront Amphitheater at Cranes Roost Park and enjoy a
FREE live concert featuring the David Amram Jazz Quartet, 7:00pm until 9:00pm,
and special guest Ben Alba, author of Inventing Late Night.

Venue Information:
Eddie Rose Waterfront
Amphitheater at Cranes Roost Park
247 Cranes Roost Blvd.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Saturday, March 29th, re-live the NYC of the 1950s with a 12:00, noon, luncheon. Seating begins at 11:00AM and show begins at noon. Admission cost is $30 which includes lunch and play.

Southern Winds Theatre presents: An Evening with Jack Kerouac - End of the Roadwritten by Steve A. Rowell and David A. McElroy. Directed by Marylin McGinnis. Rowell and McElroy bring Kerouac's brilliant, yet tortured life to the stage in this demonstrative one-man show. McElroy, portraying Kerouac takes "the spotlight" that illuminates Jack's life as the road experience it was, and how he only wanted to observe and write those observations.

After the play: A performance commemorating the 1st ever Jazz Poetry
Concert of 1957 by David Amram and Jack Kerouac - re-created by the David
Amram Jazz Quartet.

Venue Information:
Holiday Inn Altamonte Springs
For tickets order online at Southern Winds Theater site or RSVP to this email or just show up at the last minute

For information regarding any of these events contact

For even more information
But Wait There's More!!! UCF Events

Monday the 31st - Library room 511, 2:00 PM
Roundtable about Kerouac and the Beats to be hosted by the Library.
David will read from his book on the Beats and discuss the significance
of the 50th anniversary of Dharma Bums.

Tuesday the 1st - Library room 223, 7:00 PM
Screening of Pull My Daisy, the short film narrated by Jack Kerouac and
scored by David Amram with a short presentation about the making of the
film and a Q/A session.

Thursday the 3rd - Reflection Pond, tentatively scheduled for 7:00 PM
An Evening Affair with music...David would like to use this time to
improvise with music students...also plan to ask Sigma Tau Delta if they
want to read selections of Kerouac's works with David's accompaniment.

Process Discussions Elsewhere

You all know we've had several process disucssions during the term, trying out several things -- asking questions, offering book recommendations, reading someone else's work aloud for them --

here are some ideas about "how to conduct writing workshops" from sources different from me:

"... Francine Prose talks about her method, which involves strictly forbidding all praise *or* blame when discussing works-in-progress. Students are simply not allowed to say what they "like" or don't. The focus is on analysis, talking about what's on the page, picking apart syntax, clarifying pronoun references, looking for parallels in the imagery and metaphors, describing point of view and how it's working, and so forth."

From workshop participants (various sorts of workshops)

"...I like [written comments] because the first sting of criticism can be rethought when the comments are reread later. ... When someone says they don't "get" something, it is based on the work and if more than one person agrees, it is probably a point to be considered."

"My first workshop ran on the "receive silent" mode, speak only when asked a direct question and afterwards, do not defend your poem, only express thanks or ask questions. ... I note every comment that is made on my copy of the poem in workshop, even the comments I found "foolish". You don't know how many times I have gone back to rewrite after a cooling off period, and found those foolish suggestions had some fingerpointing going on to a weakness that needed revising. Which isn't to say that I incorporate every comment.

What I have discovered about this format is that people are unafraid to make comments that might hurt my feelings, because without a defense, they never get to hear that. The 'look here, and see if you can figure out why this makes me uneasy' comments prove useful."

"... workshop is composed of a series of non-sequitors, each student wants to
have her own say & rarely engages with ideas of other students (until, of course, there's silence, & then someone says "i agree with what blah blah said fifteen
minutes ago"). so, we stick to ideas that get placed on the table, we wrestle with those ideas..."

"... a workshop where the student poems are used to teach something specific. An example: Recently ... I had 3 student poems to "workshop" (I have come to loathe this verb), so I looked for something I could focus on-- endings, in this case. I first went over 2 outside poems: Diane Glancy's "Without Title" and Komunyakaa's "Facing It" so as to show that endings can work differently, that it's possible to talk about difference without ranking."

"One of the things we do at the writing class I am involved in is to critique the works anonymously. Each poem or extract is put up on an overhead projector and read by a volunteer. It can often be really helpful for the writer to hear their work read by someone else. The author is not to respond, explain or defend, but simply to listen to the responses."

A number of people participating in this discussion have mentioned the late Wendy Bishop, Floridian author/editor on many books about creative writing and teaching creative writing.

Several have mentioned that they sibstitute in class free write and exercises for participant comments.

The workshop format was pioneered the the beginning of the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

Responding to troubled students is not a new topic for creative writing
teachers. By the nature of the craft we teach as creative writing faculty,
we may see, at times, glimpses into the destructive (or self-destructive)
psyches of our students through their stories, poems, and plays.

You may be aware that colleges have seen a sharp increase in students who
arrive with psychological and psychiatric issues. According to the 2006
National College Health Assessment 43.8% of 94,806 students surveyed "felt
so depressed it was difficult to function," during the previous year and
9.3% had "seriously considered suicide" during the year. In addition, in a
landmark study of school shootings, the United States Secret Service
concluded in 2002, that more than one-third of school shooters "exhibited an
interest in violence in their own writings, such as poems, essays, or
journal entries."

While it is true that teachers at any level, and in any subject, might pick
up on troubling signals from a student, it is college teachers in creative
writing for whom the issue is pressing.

The following brief survey (click on the link below) presents an opportunity
for you as a creative writing teacher to respond to the question: The
Troubled Student and Creative Writing: What's a Teacher to Do?

I appreciate your response (responses can be anonymous) regarding this
sensitive but critical subject. Collected responses will be instrumental to
a forthcoming presentation and scholarship on this issue.

Thank you for your time and contribution.


Dianne Donnelly

Department of English

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Monday, March 24, 2008

Helen Adam

I mentioned Helen Adam in workshop last week -- well, here she is!

The Electronic Poetry Center has added a new page on the work of poet
Helen Adam.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Market Segments

Different from ... anything we've been talking about thus far ... is market segment.

Young Adult novels
increasingly many "regular" novels are being marketed in the "Young Adult" segment, split out from regular fiction as -- a marketing ploy? censorship?

When I began teaching, I had many adult students ask me for book recommendations for their 12-16 year old children. As soon as I started listing what I thought was great, Frankenstein, Dickens (if not already read), Russian novelists (Doestoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy, etc.), Salinger, Updike, Saki, etc. it seemed that it dawned on the overly-concerned boomer parent that really anything so long as it was good or not by Bataille, Artaud, whatnot was probably going to be just fine. Apparently, though, this desire was effectively channeled into "the young adult market." Now, with the market maturing, many writers who wrote their novels as, well, just novels, are finding their work resegmented, especially since the agency view seems to be that young men who are 18-24 are not doing anything but watching Will Farrell movies and NASCAR, or perhaps watching Will Farrell movies about NASCAR.

In answer, though, to Kate Weber's query, there are several novelists whose novels are being pushed into young adult, and if one wants to be a novelist and actually sell a novel occasionally, young adult is not a bad place.

The novels from the McSweeneys / Believer group of editors and writers, including Heidi Julavits, are often listed as young adult.

Tod Theilman's novels are listed as Young Adult. Many of Joyce Carol Oates' are. Juliana Baggott.

Since the LA Times Book Awards have a young adult category, I thought I would search there.

· Kate Banks, "Dillon Dillon" (Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
· Sarah Dessen, "This Lullaby" (Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group)
· E.R. Frank, "America" (A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
· Joyce Carol Oates, "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl" (HarperTempest/HarperCollins)

M.T. Anderson’s 2006 National Book Award-winner The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party (Candlewick -- a YA press); John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines (Dutton); Meg Rosoff’s Just in Case (Wendy Lamb); and Nancy Werlin’s National Book Award finalist, The Rules of Survival (Dial)


There are thousands of listings of litary journals, commercial magazines that include creative writing, eZines, etc., including Poets & Writers classifieds (, AWP Chronicle, Writer's, Artist's, Poet's Market, Writer's Digest, etc. etc. But how to use? How to decide?

1) By content.
Identify your subject, and who is likely to be interested in publishing creative writing on that subject. Is it Feminist? Serbian? Formal? Visual? Look for publications which specialize in publishing creative writing on the same theme, or look for publications with special theme issues, or look for publications which publish all sorts of content on a theme who occasionally publish pieces of creative writing on that theme.

2) Write "to" the publication / CFW.
Maybe you don't have anything ready to send, but are seeking some writing prompts. Why not look at what publications are asking for, and attempt to deliver it? For example, here are calls for work for anthologies (generally more prestigious credits than periodical publication) from the most recent classifieds:

(BLANK) BEGINS at conception. Seeking essays for an anthology about female experiences with reproduction. All perspectives welcome: infertility, pregnancy, adoption, abortion, parenthood, deciding to remain child-free, etc. Target audience is anyone looking for a broader perspective on reproductive choices. Send queries and submissions to

THE POWER of the Center, a Wising Up Press anthology. In a time of troubling polarization, we invite submissions on how we have used social centrality to promote inclusion and change. Essays/memoirs personal experience, thoughtful and emotionally evocative. less than 4,000 words. B&W photographs/artwork: less than 5. Deadline: June 1. E-mail to Guidelines:

and another

Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown. Edited by: Mary E. Weems, and Michael Oatman.

We grew up on James Brown’s Hit Me! When he danced every young Black man wanted to move, groove and look like him. Mr. Brown wasn’t called the hardest workingman in show business because he wasn’t. Experiencing a James Brown show was like getting your favourite soul food twice, plus dessert. His songs, like black power fists you could be proud of and move to at the same time. When Mr. Brown sang make it funky we sweated even in the wintertime. Losing him was like losing somebody in our family. This is a shout out for poems about the impact James Brown had on our lives. Poems that will help people remember, honour, and celebrate his legacy. Don’t be left in a cold sweat, send us your old and new James Brown poems today.

Submission Guidelines: 3-5 Unpublished and/or published poems with acknowledgement included. No longer than 73 lines Deadline: April 30, 2008 (Receipt not postmark) Send hard copies along with a Word Document and short bio on a CD to: Dr. Mary E. Weems / Education Department / John Carroll University / 20700 North Park Blvd. / University Hts., Ohio 44118 / Send via e-mail attachment (Word Documents Only) to:, and

3) Track writers: where writers you admire or writers whose style or subject matter may be similar to yours are publishing. Use these publications to track down other writers as well as the publications.
You read a work by a younger contemporary writer you admire. Google the name or do another search to find a bio which lists credits, such as "published in blah, blah magazine, the journal of blah, and the annual best of blah anthology 2007." Then look at blah, blah magazine. Look at the work of the author that they chose. Read any editorial statement (with a grain of salt -- read it alongside what seems to be chosen in practice, and compare it to the statements). Read the other works published in the publication.

Variation: read a book published by a writer you admire, etc. Read other writers published by the press, but also look at the acknowledgements page. Are you familiar with the journals which have published the writer you admire? Look them up.

4) Track publications. If you have the "best genre work year" anthologies, take a look at the list of publications contributing to the anthology. Are you familiar with them? Look at the link list for online journals, especially for journals that keep appearing on list after list. Look at the bios in a publication you admire. Are there are publications that appear in one or more contributor's credits? Look it up!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Week Seven

Version and Format

Revision is different from version. Lessons from software version control. The police in different voices. Format – utterly different from form. Presentation of content.

It is midterm week. While you have no unusual assignment, it is probably time to begin thinking about your final project.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Summer Seminars

David Belew asked that I compile a list of Summer programs in creative writing. These are of two sorts: colonies/conferences and academic programs.

Based on reports of the writing colony experience I have not had, I would recommend programs unless or until winning a fellowship, scholarship, or otherwise subsidized stay at a colony, such as Breadloaf, where hierarchies of paying vs. non-paying writers often develop.

The Poetry Society of America keeps an excellent list of links:


Iowa Summer Writing Festival


Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in Kenya (don't know if Kenya is the place to be this summer -- though maybe it is? --)

New School for Social Research:

Then there are also continuing education courses in creative writing, such as those at New School for Social Research, Naropa, Columbia University, UCLA Extension. These are year round (not summer only) and occasionally online or for graduate or undergraduate credit:

Boston University has a summer term with creative writing courses.
So does Harvard, however many of these are not workshops led by published writers: google the faculty.

The Kenyon Review has one at Kenyon in Ohio:

Antioch's in Ohio is only a week:

(there are lots of them which are just week-long intensives with lots of exercises, for example Wesleyan (CT), Aspen (CO), etc.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Week Six

Week Six

Genre and Adaptation

In Granger’s:

Genre: The form of a poem in particular relation to its content. The term encompasses not only pastoral and lyric, which are conventional genres, but also apostrophe, dramatic monologue, nocturne, and so on.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships

(go to this address to download entry form)

Five Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships in the amount of  $15,000 will be awarded to young poets through a national competition sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry. Established in 1989 by the Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the fellowships are intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry. Applicants must be US citizens between the age of twenty-one and thirty-one as of  March 31, 2008.

Applicants should submit:

Completed application form

Ten pages of poems, double spaced

One paragraph explaining how the fellowship would aid the applicant’s work

A publication list (optional)

Do not include any additional material at this time (cv, cover letter, references, etc.). If you wish to be notified of receipt of your application, include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. Application materials will not be returned. Applications must be postmarked during the month of March 2008. Electronic submissions will not be considered. Finalists will be announced on August 1, 2008 at Winners will be announced by September 1, 2008.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

March 18th in Sainer

I'm writing this from the e-mail room in Sudakoff, where I'm about to moderate the Modern Medievalisms panel. I love conferences. Highly recommend that you come over and attend something.

In any case, there's another campus event ALSO related to writing, in a sense, in Sainer March 18 (that's a Tuesday -- THE Tuesday before the next chapbook collective meeting).

Tuesday • Mar 18, 4 pm (note that this conflicts with class; I would prefer you attend class, but... spread the word...)
The Power of Women in Media, Communications & Entertainment

Carol Flint, TV producer (ER) (alumna)
Cathy Guisewite, syndicated cartoonist “Cathy”
Leslie Glass, journalist, playwright, and novelist
Susan Burns (moderator), editor, Biz941 (alumna)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Genre Theory

Week Five

Aristotle's Poetics is brought to mind by Kate DeBolt's poem, mostly by the title ("Recognition Scene" -- I would cut the "The" because it is a recognition scene of a softsurreal sort rather than a poem about recognition scenes per se, tho it is a bit more ambiguous than "A Recognition Scene" would be).

I'm assuming you've read The Poetics -- there are many versions online -- hint, if you haven't, now's your chance:

At the Internet Classics Archive (ok, really frumpy html)

At Perseus (great resource)

Aristotle's genres are Tragedy, Comedy, and the Epic, although the Comedy part is missing. It's that always the way?

There are some ideas in the poetics that are important to consider, especially given our rubric:

imitation/representation. what does it mean to imitate 1) nature, 2) another writer, 3) "reality"
beyond this, what does representation mean?

the classic book regarding this is Auerbach's MIMESIS. The classic scene is a recognition scene: Odysseus & Penelope.

interruption of another course poem, this one an ongoing project that Jeremy may share bits of, if he's happy with it. about writing an ars poetica. because, of course, THE POETICS is an ars poetica, albeit not written as poetry.

But I've several back burner things involving another group of ars poetica, perhaps more suited to Jeremy's task than Aristotle:

Philip Sidney, Defense of Poesie (i.e., what is it good for?)
at Project Gutenburg (great resource)

the much later Percy Bysshe Shelley's Defence of Poetry
at Bartleby, pretty good resource, block pop ups

George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie
prosody, style, diction/decorum

Thomas Love Peacock, The Four Ages of Poetry