I was tagged by the poet & artist (& my friend) Karen Dennison to answer set questions relating to my “next big thing”. This tag chain (or chain tag?) circulated around the writing community the last few months, and many poets described their latest (or forthcoming) poetry collection in print.
So since I’ve been tagged, I have decided to solidify my intentions and to declare them.
Where did the idea of the project come from?
I’ve started to write reviews of poetry collections and I want to do more reviewing. Reviewing and responding forces me to write, which forces me to think and have opinions. And to come up with some reasons for my opinions. Which I think is good for my mind. And which helps me feel like I’m contributing – being part of the community of readers and writers. And adding some linkages and make some connections. Maybe it’s not so much like adding links to a chain,
or the spider-web thing, but more like drawing mind-maps and adding them to the ocean of other mind-maps out there, and somehow, maybe, being part of the proverbial “something bigger than one’s self”. It sounds a little pompous when I write it down in words – but all I mean, is that I feel it’s important to go on the assumption that every little thing counts in some way.
I feel inspired and challenged by this blog post that Helena Nelson wrote on her Happenstance Blog where she asks the question “IS A POETRY REVIEW EKPHRASTIC ART?”
Please read all her excellent post if you want to find delve into the possible meaning(s) of “ekphrasis”. She ends with this –
I think a poetry review could be one art form responding to another. It need not necessarily comment on perceived strengths or weaknesses, because reviews can do all sorts of things, not least when they think of themselves as art forms (though this has risks of its own).
Most poetry reviews are written by poets. A review might be written with the same precision and attention that a poet pays to her poem in construction. It could be a piece of ekphrastic art: a creation in its own right, a unique response to something worth responding to.
So that’s what I’d like to do.
What genre does your
Reviewing. Essays. Creative nonfiction. Exphrasis (plastic-ally defined). Poetry. Blogging.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a film version?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the
I expect to be publishing most of my reviews/responses as individual, not-too-long posts on this blog. Time to write? Varies. I sometimes spend months reading and thinking about my review-type blog posts – and then write them up fairly quickly in a couple of days. So I tend to be slow. And suffice it to say… I don’t expect to ever write a novel.
Who or what inspired this book?
See answer to First Question.
And I like how Virginia Woolf tackled reviewing in her Common Readers . Obviously I’m no V.W. – but it’s important in this life to aim high. And of course keeping in mind what Frank says. Or how Andre responded to what Frank said.
And I want to write more response poems. Or my own translations/versions of other people’s poems.
I remember back in Grade 12, our teacher asked us to write a response poem to the shepherd. Not sure if I can find what I wrote – or how it stacked up to Walter’s. But I’d like to do more of that sort of thing.
The Internet is a Huge Collage– it’s an amazing playground for bringing together strands of text, sound & sight & subject matter. And experimenting.
Will your book be self-published or published by an agency?
Self-published (with the help of WordPress), though perhaps I’ll end up submitting some of my reviews elsewhere too. I’ve already had a couple of my reviews published at Eyewear.
p.s. I’m not going to tag anyone else. Not now. Maybe later. Who knows. We’ll see.