Tag Archives: Peter Murphy

Poetics Serendipity

12:56 p.m. — San Antonio

listening to Cracklin’ Rosie sung by Neil Diamond

Hello, all. Late, you say?. Well, yes. I walked a fast mile and a half in the cold morning air and was recovering (read: felt lazy). However, here are some things to investigate.

1] The first is a correction to the post I gave you last week. Dale, of Right Hand Pointing apologises and says: Here’s a revision of the call for submissions for our May issue. The main change is related to our referring to 5×7 index cards, when it turns out that the larger index cards are actually 5×8. So, if you were out there frantically looking for 5x7s, it’s not your imagination, there are none.

2] Our second is from She Writes and mostly pertains to prose, but can be adapted to poetry. For those of you submitting, especially chapbooks, and who think they are at final draft stage, check these ten things.

3] For all you writers in the New Jersey area [and what with short distances, there must be a whole lot of you], consider a one-day writing getaway with Peter Murphy and his gang. His getaways are at the top of my writing bucket list.

Okay? Get to it. I will see you Tuesday for a prompt and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 25/02/2016 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

7:32 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Wild World sung by Cat Stevens

Hello, all, and a happy halfway through the week. I notice that most everyone has cooler weather, except the south south-western US. Feel free to share. While I’m waiting, here are some links to explore:

1] Hot off the presses: Penguin’s Vintage Books arm has signed several authors (Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Anne Tyler, Howard Jacobson…) to write novels inspired by several of Shakespeare’s plays. Watch this video to see which plays and hear from the authors about the Hogarth Shakespeare series. The video is a little over four minutes.

2] The semi-colon is the most misunderstood and misused of the punctuation marks (although apostrophes are catching up). It’s also one of my favourites because no other mark implies the same relationship. The Writer’s Circle gives us Finally! An Easy Way To Know When (And How) To Use A Semicolon! at the end of which they have included a TED talk. I found their presentation, in the written part, to be admirably clear and fun to read.

3] Diane Lockward’s October newsletter is out. It’s always worth a read with its poetry, prompt, tips on the craft, and links.

4] This last is for Philly folks, or people who don’t mind driving into Philadelphia. Peter Murphy, of Murphy – Writing Stockton University, is holding a writers’ happy hour and invites anyone in the area to join them for an informal evening of socializing and camaraderie. Draw inspiration and support that comes from being a part of a larger community of writers. The date is October 21st and you’ll find more information on his site. I’ve given you the page with the October events.

Enjoy and I will see you again on Tuesday for our next prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 01/10/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:24 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Phil Collins sing A Groovy Kind of Love

Good day, everyone. You say you have things to do and places to be? Let’s get started.

1] I was havering on whether to give you Robert Peake’s ‘Why Poetry Workshops Matter’. He’s a poet who writes on poetry and I love his style, but this particular article isn’t structured to easily read: no paragraphs. It seemed unlike Peake (I discovered that it’s only when clicking through to the article that the paragraphs disappear). Then, I saw a link at the bottom, The Joy of Revision. Of course, as I love the revision process, I checked. Much better.

The first article is an update of the second. The second is properly paragraphed and has additional subject matter of interest. I would add a caveat. In his suggested questions about form, there should be a why after each. Otherwise it sounds like he’s saying this is the way things should be because we’re questioning them. He’s not. In the questions about content, readers and writers should be asking why and how.

2] It’s that time again: Peter Murphy’s Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. This one I am determined to make some day (at least, one of the several Murphy offers each year). The dates are in January which gives everyone plenty of time to save their pennies. I love this in the description:The Getaway creates an environment that encourages each writer to take creative risks. Peter begins the weekend by singing in his off-key voice which leads participants to realize that if it’s okay for Peter to risk that kind of embarrassment, they can too. Clearly, a born teacher.

For those who live in the area, don’t forget The Collingsworth Book Festival, held on October 3. Peter will be offering a free workshop from 12:301:15 p.m. in the Festival’s Poetry Tent, with the theme Seeing the Sea Anew.

3] Feeling brave? I havered on this one, as well, but when I found I differed (no, not got it wrong — there are a couple I’d argue, but that’s why I don’t do well on multiple choice tests) on a couple of answers, I decided we all needed to read: 10 Outstanding Grammar Tips for Writers: Take the Quiz. I wasn’t sure about the quiz format, either, but the tips are more effective if you have a choice already made. So, take the quiz, read the whys of the answers. If you find it helpful, follow the links to Daily Writing Tips then Grammarly to find the next groups of 10 tips. Only the first ten have the quiz. If I were to choose one to keep by, it would be Grammarly’s.

A nice, hefty bunch of things to go through. Enjoy them and I shall see you Tuesday for our image prompt and Thursday next for more links.

Happy writing, all


Posted by on 24/09/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:32 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Audrey Assad singing Show Me

Hello everyone. Whichever of you is in charge of keeping time from galloping away is losing control. See to it, please. The rest of you can play.

1] A little while back I posted Murphy’s Laws for Writers, Pt. 1. A couple of days ago, part 2 landed in my inbox. Head over to read Peter’s laws for writers. He provides a link to Part 1, if you haven’t seen them, or don’t quite remember. I like many things about Peter’s laws. For one thing, he knows what of he speaks; for another, they are short.

2] Poets & Writers continues to update and present us with databases. A couple of weeks ago I gave you a link to contests. Today, how about a database of magazines? There are only about 1,000. Start winnowing. Create your own database.

3] I mentioned Miz Quickly’s return a couple of days ago, but this is the official announcement. Miz Q, she comes and goes. We never know quite when she will pop up and when she might disappear, so get your rabbit hunting gear on and visit. She’ll give us a prompt a day, until she doesn’t. You have only missed three, so head over.

Let’s see, something nice and short, something in which to lose yourself, and something to inspire. My work here is done. See you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for my prompt; and Thursday for more links and things.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 04/06/2015 in links, poems, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:06 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to `Auhea Wale Ana `Oe sung by Keali Reichel

Hullo, all. Many of you will be getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend. We are driving down to Florida for some R&R at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s place. John loves to cook a Chinese feast, so every time we go down, we know that treat is waiting. Four new dishes, this time! Speaking of dishes… okay, that segue is not going to work. Let’s see what we have on the menu. There we go.

1] The first is an article I read earlier this week. Will it help your writing? Probably not. But, I knew, half-way through, that I would post ‘The Bizarre, Complicated Formula for Literary Fame,’ written by Joshua Rothman for the New Yorker. (I came across the article thanks to Peter Murphy’s newsletter.) I found its topic fascinating and beautifully written (it is so good to read something well-written).

What is it about? Rothman says: Jackson never denies the excellence of Wordsworth’s poems, or the brilliance of the novels of Jane Austen, whom she also writes about. But she does show, convincingly, that a number of other factors, some of them quite bizarre, help literary fame to endure. It’s a good read and won’t take you long.

2] Again with thanks to Peter Murphy (it is a particularly good newsletter, this month), another article worth reading. You know all the poetry is dead, poetry is dying, there’s no place for poetry stuff? Jennifer Benka, executive director of The Academy of American Poets has written, for The Huffpost, ‘National Poetry Month Ends and the Great Work Begins,’ in which she takes on the nay-sayers and doom prophets.

While the article centres on the American poetry scene, I’m guessing much of what Benka says, holds true around the world: …poets today, especially younger poets, seem comfortable working beyond binaries and with a greater appreciation for fluidity and genre blurring in their poems. 

Poets who had focused on publishing in print, are now making videos and podcasts of their work. Poets who came of age on the slam stage are publishing books. Poets have seized the fact that poems are highly shareable art objects.

3] Someone at Poets & Writers has put together a tremendous database of Creative Writing Contests. While most of us are probably not going to enter, some of us might. Whichever way, the database is an interesting stroll. We are given: Entry fee, genre, cash prize, prize includes, and application deadline. There is a search function that includes several perspectives to search from. Note that there are twelve pages.


by Mick Stevens

by Mick Stevens


I’ll see you tomorrow for the roundup; Tuesday for our image prompt; and Thursday for more links and things.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 21/05/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:04 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Cat Stevens sing Morning Has Broken

Hello, all. Hey, out west. What the heck is your weather doing? You’re going to have to haul your sweaters back out. For today, I looked for things to keep us from sinking into the post-April mire. It can be tempting to sit back and bask in thirty poems. Resist.

1] The first jaunt is to Peter Murphy — who holds writing retreats throughout the year. Sign up for his newsletter. He has come up with ‘Murphy’s Laws for Writers‘ (part 1). I love them. Peter does not pull his punches: #6 If you write only to express yourself, you will bore others immediately and yourself eventually. If you write to discover and understand, you have a chance of being interesting to someone who doesn’t know or love you. Visit and read the other nine.

Bop stop… Remember Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum? I had to stop and dance.

2] One of the things I appreciate about the site Write to Done is that they approach old topics with fresh ideas, or fresh ways of presenting them to us. The article ‘Learning to Write When You’ve Lost Your Mojo: 5 Tips‘ by Jackie, is one of those. We see many articles on the topic of running out of creative juice, but a new voice might click. If nothing else, reading the tips reminds us of things we may have forgotten, like the first one: Honor the Rest Period.

This is one of those sites that flashes a sign up thing at you. Click the x and you won’t see it again.

3] Finally, an article that I found fascinating: ‘25 maps that explain the English language‘ by Libby Nelson. If you are interested in the evolution of language, if you are curious how English became so wide-spread, if you like maps, this article will keep you happy and engaged for quite a while. The variety of maps, alone!

Enjoy these and I will see you tomorrow for the Friday roundup of this week’s prompts; next Tuesday for my prompt; and next Thursday for more links.

Those of you who are new to the blog, welcome. If you have any questions, ask. Thursdays can serve as a place to announce things (new chapbook anyone?) and, if there is a topic you would like to see discussed/written about, a place for actual poetics to happen.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 07/05/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetry Freeforall: Are You Writing?

8:31 a.m. — Atlanta

contemplating silence

Hello, all. I’m looking at a gorgeously sunny day and thinking about Fall in New England. We will be seeing our first, so get your act together up there. Meanwhile, we have a couple of one time prompts that we will start with.

Remember Donna? I know, It has been a while and she does miss the circus. In celebration of the release of her book A House With Many Windows, she offers a prompt with a giveaway. To find out more head to Put Words Together. Make Meaning. Go.

The second is from Peter Murphy, on his Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway site. If you don’t know about Peter and his Getaways, head over. After you read his prompt, which has to do with vacations, explore.

Joseph Harker, at Naming Constellations, is still alive. If you haven’t been over to look around his site, I have given the general address. His archives are worth a visit. See them in the left sidebar under recursions, reveries and refinery. Three lots to play among. If you just scroll back through posts, you will find plenty of poetry to read and reviews of chapbooks to consider. It’s a must blog for writers.

adele kennyAt The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog, Adele reminisces about jigsaw puzzles. Like she did, my mum always had a card table set up. Jigsaw puzzles were part of my growing up. Adele gives a list of suggestions to start your thinking. Another must stop for writers.

sunday whirlAt The Sunday Whirl, Brenda chose this week’s words from a YA novel. They are an interesting collection. If you haven’t wordled yet, what are you waiting for? Brenda will have the new words up on Sunday. Visit to see the wordle and to read what others have done.

We’re at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for Limerick-off Mondays. Never written one? What are you waiting for? After looking at this week’s key word, go to the main page and read Madeleine’s limericks on National Punctuation Day, and on the Emmys (try reading this one aloud fast). Laughing is good, so visit to read, to laugh, perhaps to write.

Visit The Mag [Magpie Tales] for our first image prompt. The painting, The Moth and the Lamp by Cesar Santos, is… interesting. Go see. Then write your response to it. See where it takes you.

Alan1704, at Poetry Jam, waxes lyrical on October. He suggests several approaches, so head over.

This week on Carol’s Light Words we have a black and white photograph of shapes and shadows. It’s an intriguing photograph. Also, Carol chooses a song each Friday to get us dancing around — remember she is on California time. A different kind of poetry and a whole lot of fun.

Poets & Writers’ suggestions for all three genres work as possibilities for a poem subject. We have revisiting a favourite poet, adventure, and medicine cabinets.  Yet again, I particularly like the non-fiction suggestion. Visit.

At imaginary garden with real toads, Margaret has a long piece for us, but it boils down to writing about place and you know you love prompts to do with place. Head over to read. Go play with the toads.

At  We Write Poems Nicole has the final installment of her four prompt series. Even if you haven’t created a character, her discussion of ‘doors of perception‘ is interesting and might serve as a splinter prompt.

At Poets United Verse First, where simple notions prompt amazing poems,  visit and see what they say about interconnectedness.

brownwood-bunny-header Miz Quickly offers two prompts a week, so I will always give you the general address. Miz Q told us she is going dark for September.

Victoria, over at dVerse, writes of poets dealing with forbidden, or somewhat dicey, topics. Visit. Look around. Stay awhile; it’s a friendly place.

Flash fiction fans: I’m going to give you the link to the general site of Flashy Fiction, rather than always giving you Friday, as you might come to the site on a different day, thus be offered a different image. Pot luck.

If you have questions, ask. If you write in response to any of these, the people whose blogs you visit would love to read your responses. Post!

I shall see you Tuesday, for a prompt that I postponed from last week; Thursday for links, unless someone sends me a topic; and Friday for the round-up of prompts.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 27/09/2013 in exercises, poetry


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