Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blog: Avoiding the Muse

This blogger’s name is Dale Young who lives in San Francisco and practices medicine. All of this is in his profile. What I like about Dale is that he does not fit the description of what most people consider to be a poet. Growing up I was always given the impression that all poets were starving artists who lived in Starbucks. Obviously this is not true of pretty much ALL poets, and Mr. Young is refreshing in breaking up that idea for anyone else clinging to that view. After all, he practices medicine, not only that, but he also magically finds time to teach AND carves out time to write AND is an editor of New England Review. Trust me, he has plenty to talk about and plenty of interesting things going on in his life. Check him out at:

Thanks again for reading my little blog, and please stop by tomorrow for another living poet…

Friday, October 26, 2007

Poetry Tips: An Outside Perspective

Many poets, myself included, tend to write poems from only one perspective: their own. They write about their lives, their view out the window, their own objects and family and friends. Sometimes it is good to take a look at things from someone else’s perspective, or even something. For example, if you were to write about the view from the window, why not write it from your pet’s perspective? How might an ant crawling across the carpet to your cabinet door view things?
Or, you can write about events outside of your immediate control. You could write about the wars in other countries, marketplaces in other countries, the sights and smells of a safari you’ve never been on. Perhaps you can write from the perspective of a person in office, a person with short term memory loss, someone with paralysis, someone with mental illness such as Schizophrenia. The idea is to literally set yourself in another pair of shoes and walk it for an entire length of a poem.

Good luck and may there be no writer’s block on your paths of writing…

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tampa Review Open Submissions

This journal ends it’s open submission period on December 1st. So you have some time to pick through your choicest poems before sending. Send between 3 to 5 poems, and include a line count for each one. The mailing address is:
Tampa Review
The University of Tampa
401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606

Good luck to those of you submitting! I’ll see you tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poem by Poet Hound


Skies whisper
secrets of Greek gods who
gild ears of listeners
and hold captive
the sound
of Ancient Rome’s chariot
race wheels which still spin.
Horses whine and whinny,
gladiators blue-faced in fear
fight tigers who grin fully.
Echoes ruminate
into nightmares
and story books whimper
after all these centuries.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my rough draft, check out Open Submissions Thursday….

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Allen Ginsberg, Beat Poet

Allen Ginsberg is synonymous with Beat Poets, the generation that revolutionized Poetry in the 1940s and 1950s. Almost all poetry readers know Ginsberg because of his most famous poem “Howl.”

According to,
“Beat poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York City and on the west coast, although San Francisco became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning mainstream politics and culture. These poets would become known as the Beat generation, a group of writers interested in changing consciousness and defying conventional writing.”

I have picked up Allen Ginsberg’s book Death and Fame Last Poems 1993-1997. His poem “Nostalgia” was written six days before he passed away. The poems reflect his life’s journey, political views, perspective on fame (as he was very famous and dealt with the celebrity world) and his final thoughts.

Here is an excerpt from Ginsberg’s poem:

Don’t Get Angry with Me

Don’t get angry with me
You might die tomorrow
I’m an empty hungry ghost
Any spare change I can borrow?

Don’t get angry with me
Hell’s hot tomorrow
If we’re burned up now inflamed
Could pass eons in horror

Don’t get angry with me
We’ll be worms tomorrow
Both wriggling in the mud
cut in two by the ploughman’s harrow

(again, “…..”means the poem is excerpted. Since I am acquiring more readers and realizing I need permission to reprint I excerpt for educational purposes so people viewing the blog get an idea of the poet and I also don’t have to spend ample time hunting down who to get permission from.)
Thanks for dropping in, please stop in tomorrow for more rough drafts by Poet Hound.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Forklift Ohio

Forklift Ohio is not your ordinary literary journal. It is not based out of Acadamia and it does not produce journals in a typical fashion. Check out their Operations tab to find out just how unusual they are. Anyone this interesting deserves a nod. I have been dying to get my hands on one of their journals but I keep spending my money on poetry books instead. They feature poets from around the world and I love exploring their web-site pining for the day that I buy a copy of their journal before heading out to a book-store. Check them out at:

Thanks for tuning in, see you tomorrow for a poet who has passed but his words carry the howl that is Poetry…

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Laurel Snyder and her First Book of Poems

I happened upon PRESS PRESS PRESS blog one day and have to say that the cover art of her book was the first thing to catch my eye. I had never heard of Mrs. Snyder before and searched out some sample poems and found that I thoroughly enjoyed them so I ordered a copy from and must say I am very pleased. So pleased, in fact, that I sought her out for an interview and here are the results:
In regards to posting the poem featured at the end of this interview, “What the Dock Saw,” Laurel Snyder replied:

“Sure, of course, yes! Please post anything you like. Now that the book is out I think it's my call, though I'll check with the publisher... it was first published at American Letter & Commentary, so they get the credit I think.”

Here is the interview about her new book The Myth of the Simple Machines:

1. I can see that you write in several genres such as essays, children's books and poetry. Do you have a favorite genre and if so, why?

God, what a question to start with! It's a really hard issue for me right now. Because although poetry will always be my first genre, when I'm being honest I have to admit that I feel its limitations strongly. Poetry is (for me) the most important kind of writing. Condensed, reduced, perfect. It serves my need to tinker with language, with my own thoughts. But as a way of communicating with a larger world, a wider audience, it sucks. People can argue about this all day long, but at the end of the day, an essay or a radio commentary or a novel is usually a better way of "telling" someone something. And since I'm a yammery kind of girl, and I love to communicate with people, this is a good thing. Since I've begun to work in prose, especially to write for kids, I feel freed up. But poetry will always be the way I think. It's nice to have both.
2. How has the road to publication been since you decided to try and when did you start?

Oh, lordy... The truth? I wrote my first poem in 4th grade. I took my first workshop in 10th grade, and published my first poem in the high school literary magazine that year. Does that count? I only ever wanted to be a writer, and on some level, what I meant by that always included publishing. But I didn't really start sending my poems out in a serious way until a few years after I finished my MFA. I was feeling really lazy until then. Boycrazy and drunk, too distracted to focus. When I finally got into gear, I found the contest circuit to be awful. Really daunting and dumb. This book was a finalist or semi-finalist too many times to count-- for the Whitman and the Beatrice Hawley, and the Brittingham and Pollack and so on. It made me feel crappy and second rate, over and over. When No Tell Books asked to see a manuscript, I was over the moon. They've been amazing.

3. In your first book of poems The Myth of the Simple Machines how did you decide which poems to put together?

I tend to write in cycles, series. So that made the first and last sections easy. The poems in the second section of the book all speak in first person, and the poems in the third section all address (to my way of thinking) language directly in some way. I don't want to get into this too far-- since I want to believe that if it matters, readers will notice-- but essentially the book moves from the bones of narrative, through an accretion of personal/confessional detail, into an examination of language, and then out again. Into prose. It mimics my own process as a student.

4. How did you decide on the title?

I like that its unclear whether the term "myth" applies to the machines themselves, or just to the idea of their simplicity. I'm not sure that I know the answer myself. I love myth. I believe strongly in myth and all that the term implies. The falseness underlying a myth, and our need for it. Religion is a mindf**k, no?

5. I love the cover art and I must admit that's how I first stopped to look at the sample poems. Once I saw those, I fell in love. Did you have any say on the cover art?

I actually commissioned that piece, from my amazing illustrator for a picture book I have coming out in 2008. ( I liked the idea of creating continuity among my genres. A connection between my poetry and my kidlit. Isn't she great? I think I said, "make it lonely, with a bird, and something that's almost a machine."

6. What was your inspiration for "the girl poems" as you and I call them in the first section of the book?

In the beginning I thought of them as arithmetic. I wondered what would happen if you had a very few number of variables in a series of poems. And you just sort of added and subtracted the variables from one another. I liked the idea of a closed system. I love narrative.

7. I am quite taken with the poem "What the Dock Saw" and would like to post it for everyone to see. So long as I have permission I will do so and would you tell me more about how this poem came about?

Well, so that's the arithmetic I'm talking about... I took the girl, and put her on a beach, and gave her a bottle. I wanted to see what the bird would do. What the girl would do? What the beach would do? I think these poems are very invested in how the inanimate world can become animate. Not unlike kidlit, now that I think about it... Hmmmm....

8. Any advice for those seeking to publish their own poems or stories?

Absolutely. My advice is to be insanely persistent. INSANELY! Publishing does matter. Being read does matter, and feeling like you've taken steps forward is critical if you want to keep on going. But so often people start "at the top" and send to the New Yorker or the Paris Review. Then they get frustrated. My best advice is to find online magazines publishing really good work. So much of the best poetry today is online, because with no overhead, online media can publish more, and they tend to be a little riskier in what they accept...

This is the longest post I’ve ever done and I’m thrilled, actually. But wait! There’s More! Here is her poem, first seen in American Letter and Commentary, mentioned earlier:

What the Dock Saw

The moon shone on the bottle, girl inside.
At rest, it was resting. It was still
where the girl slept, cheek to glass. Hushed.

She was done with the water, but first
the water had done with her—nearly
finished her with one clever wave.

And how the bottle escaped the wave
was a miracle of division. It was a strong bottle.
The girl was fine, if held. They were two vessels.

So if a gull, white rustling in darkness,
found himself less white in that darkness,
less lit from above—he could hardly blame

the moon its grudging love.
The gull cried hollow, outside the moment.
The girl slept on. The bottle was full.

The moon felt sad, but when he turned
to them, he turned on them. The girl turned
in her sleep, and the bottle shivered.

The girl crawled out, and into morning.
All pale and simple, she found: Herself,
with sand on scrambling knees; Water,

held by the waterline, now inching an apology;
Bottle, empty object; Moon, gone.

Instead, the sun. A sure sun and almost
where she looked, almost everywhere.

Thanks so much for checking out Laurel Snyder’s interview. Please check out her book of poems, they are reported to be out in Barnes and Noble soon if you don’t want to order through or Amazon. You can also check her out at:
Always support living writers for they are generally unable to make a living off writing alone.

Check in tomorrow for another great web-site!