Tag Archives: Robert Peake

Poetics Serendipity

8:29 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to one of my favourites, Mack the Knife, sung by Bobby Darin

Hello, all. I don’t know about you, but one foot is still in December. It will help when the tree comes down (it’s so pretty, we’d love to leave it) — ornaments are stashed and Christmasy objects packed away, although I have every expectation of coming on something in August, as our daughter is brilliant at finding spots to place small things. I keep being surprised into a laugh as I come across something. Okay, gang, ready for some sites to start the year with?

1] I can think of nothing better than a series of TED talks to kick us off. Jessica Gross gives us 6 Ideas From Creative Thinkers to Shake Up Your Work Routine. I love the way Gross has structured her article. The six ideas are ones we are all familiar with, but within each, she gives us a link to a playlist of talks to go to. There is everything from an excerpt by Pico Ayer on The Art of Stillness to a talk on the power of time off.

2] The next link is compliments of d’Verse, which has put together a schedule of what comes when submissions-wise. I don’t know about your brain, but mine requires this kind of help.

3] In an article for The Huffington Post‘s blog, poet Robert Peake gives us this year’s mix of UK-based poets whose work gave me pause and, sometimes, made me gasp, in his article Five British Poets to Watch in 2016. With so many accessible writers, now, I am always grateful when someone points the way.

4] Just in from Found Poetry Review‘s poetry editor, Beth Ayer, Volume 9 has gone live.

S’okay? Go forth and discover. I will see you Tuesday for the next prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 07/01/2016 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:33 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Istanbul sung by They Might Be Giants (who have a fascinating repertoire)

Hello, there. Everyone good? Nanos, still breathing? Let’s see what we have today.

1] The first place we will visit is short but fun. Kath over at For Reading Addicts gives us How to Write Fiction: Tips From Ernest Hemingway. In her introduction Kath says: Unlike other authors, Hemingway never wrote a book on writing, but he did give good writing advice and some of this is immortalised in correspondence and articles he wrote during his life.

2] TED Talks, anyone? Yeh, I knew you’d like that. I chose a playlist that focuses on narrative: 10 talks by authors. The talks range from ‘The Politics of Fiction’ to ‘What Fear Can Teach Us’.

3] Narrative structure being the framework that holds and unfolds the story, I push it every year. While looking around this year, I found an excellent article on Wikipedia (had to be written by an author, or teacher): Plot (narrative).

4] While all the above might be of interest to the poets,here’s one just for you: The Seven Types of Poetry, by Robert Peake. We haven’t had a piece by Robert in a while, and his is an interesting viewpoint.

Okay. I mentioned I will not be around Tuesday. I will be in New Orleans. Depending on the time of day, I will be sipping coffee, or a Bloody Mary, and eating beignets, or oysters. I will see you again next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 12/11/2015 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

7:48 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Take Back the City by Snow Patrol — one of those songs I dance to even in my chair

Hi, everyone. I vote everyone in the US not living in California, or Florida, stay home and stay warm, today. The US weather map is crazy. Should you be home I have some entertainment for you; if you have to go out and make a salary because your boss insists (or you’re the boss), these will be waiting.

1] I think many of you will know the first item, from Facebook, but for those who don’t, I would not want you to miss out on the fun. The Found Poetry Review has announced its focus for National Poetry Month: We’re excited to announce that our 2015 National Poetry Month project will be called PoMoSco (short for Poetry Month Scouts) – an adventure that will require you to complete a variety of poetry tasks to earn merit badges across five found poetry categories.

If you love writing found poetry, then what are you waiting for? If you haven’t participated in National Poetry Month (an international event, at this point), then what are you waiting for? If you haven’t tried found poetry, then what are you waiting for?

I have participated, for the last two years, in FPR’s challenges and I’m here to tell you that the experiences are highlights of my life. I can promise you a special month. Have I ever lied to you? Then what are you… well, you know.

2] Winter can be tough. It doesn’t help writers, or writing, to be in the grips of despair, or to just be feeling blah. One of the best pieces I have read is on E. Kristin Anderson‘s blog. Her title: Write All the Words: A Creative’s Guide to Surviving the Winter Months Without Completely Spiralling into that Dark Place that None of Us Want to Talk About. Yeh, you weren’t going to check it, but now you are, aren’t you? EKA (who I met during the FPR challenges) writes from experience and speaks from the heart, with humour. She says: I’m a hot mess, too, but I thought I’d share some of my tactics. You know, tricks for keeping the hot mess under control. Or at least manageable.

3] We have seen pieces before from Robert Peake, the American poet living in England. In 5 British Poets to Watch in 2015, he tells us: Here is my contribution, now three years running, to the list of British poets that American readers of poetry ought to know more about. I figure American writers of poetry ought to know more about them, too. With each name, Peake gives a brief bio.

4] Trish Hopkinson, writer and blogger, gives us a post on Which lit mags publish nontraditional forms and found poetry. If your poetry qualifies as nontraditional, or found, and you submit, you’ll want to bookmark this. She talks, briefly, about each ezine, giving us submission dates and what they are looking for.

I know, I know, five is a lot, but this is such a mishmash of topics that I figure you won’t check them all, so one more.

5] How about finishing up with a playlist of TED talks, Words, words, words that presents talks by linguists, data analysts and word nerds who explore the all-encompassing power of language. There is something for everyone. With 14 talks, you’ll be hard put not to find an interest. Give yourself a challenge and watch one you might, ordinarily, pass over.

Whew! Now you’re glad it’s cold and you decided to stay home, right? Sorry, Australia, NZ, and places along the Equator. I don’t think ‘too hot’ qualifies in quite the same way. I shall see you tomorrow for the weekly roundup of prompt sites; Tuesday for my prompt; and Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 08/01/2015 in links, poetry


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Poetics Serendipity: Love a Little Link

8:35 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to live streaming of NASA’s Orion rocket launch

Hello, everyone. I may be a bit distracted. While down at my Florida brother’s he told us that they could sit outside their house and watch rocket launches [I am so jealous]. He also told us we could watch because one of their news groups always runs live streaming. I’m sitting here listening to the incredible patience of the NASA people as they try to get the rocket Orion off the ground. We have reached just outside three minutes twice and they are hoping to start a third count before they run out of launch time. It is exciting to listen to the process.

However, we are here for links. Having spent November in fiction, I have a backup of links, but will endeavour not to overwhelm you.

1] The first link is to a short essay titled ‘Ruthlessness’ by Douglas Goetsch, who is guest posting on Adele Kenny’s site. I was attracted to the essay by its title, as ruthlessness was a mantra of mine when I taught. On almost every essay or creative piece handed me for editing and remarks, I would write: Cut 10%. Be ruthless, ruthless. With my own writing, I keep the word to the forefront when I revise. Goetsch says, while bad poems are harmless, in that they would never deceive us, “good” poems are inherently limited and dangerous, in that they were made to please our egos, and are very difficult to come away from. Go read what else he has to say.

2] I found myself quoted everywhere this week ^–^. Poet Robert Peake has been analysing word frequency in a couple of different places and brings us his results along with a brief commentary. He came to the conclusion: For this reason, to me, there are no bad words, only words used badly. That was a phrase my students heard often, especially when talking about using swear words in creative writing pieces. This is just one of those interesting things to read, but I also thought some of you might like to use the words as a Wordle poem, or a remixed poem, or poems [i.e. only the words on the list].

Peake ended up writing three pieces: No Such Thing as Bad Words, Top “Poetry Words,” and Unconscious Preoccupations, Machine Revelations. That’s the order in which they should be read.

3] The final link is to a fun little exercise, a short video that explains the connection between math and Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. You only need five minutes. Link to poetry? Um. Just go watch it. It expands your neurons.

I’m going to sign off, quickly, before I put a fourth link in. Mustn’t overwhelm. Mustn’t. I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompt sites; Tuesday for a prompt to do with flowers; and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, all.

I know you’ll want to know: NASA is changing the way they are monitoring the winds, to manual (!), in the hopes they can get Orion off. I’m thinking this means someone steps outside(?). They have one more chance. Fourteen and a half minutes to launch. They hope.


Posted by on 04/12/2014 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:06 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to a sampling from Google Play, based on my play-lists

Hello, all. How are you? Enh, you say? Come with me and wander through some distractions.

1] The first has all sorts of possibilities for distraction. Poet Robert Peake is one of a small group I have been following since the inception of this blog. He has written a lovely little essay ‘How Bedtime Stories Restored My Faith in Humanity‘. Sounds heavy, but it isn’t. In his essay Peake describes a recent epiphany regarding paper and ink books: I never thought a slim paperback of children’s poems, packed with silly illustrations, sing-song rhymes, and bottom humour would restore my faith that printed books will endure.

As for further distractions, you will have noticed that Peake writes beautifully. Look at the right hand column and check out some of his other posts. He also mentions a free, live online poetry broadcast and gives the link to investigate this project which he helps produce.

2] NaNoWriMo is hoving into sight and while many of you sharpen your pencils, you may have forgotten that Robert Lee Brewer has a November Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge. I have known some of you do both challenges [I will wait until November to give you a hard time]. Brewer tells us: While I’ve always considered the April challenge as a free-for-all; November is when I try (though don’t always succeed) to write around a specific theme. The article to which I have linked you, gives the guidelines.

3] This next is a weightier, but none the less interesting read. Kimberly Veklerov wrote an article for the Daily Californian, titled Poet in Motion about Robert Hass. One of my theories regarding the writing of poetry is that not only should we read a lot of poetry, but we should read about some poets and their work. Ideas spring from a variety of sources many of which we aren’t expecting. Reading what a writer says about his work can be helpful to our own. Besides, I love the final statement by Hass: Grief is the poetry of the world. What happens to bodies is the prose.

That should do us for today. I shall see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for our image prompt — we might go surreal again; and Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. Did you notice that all three posts involve Roberts? I didn’t notice until proofreading.

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Posted by on 23/10/2014 in links, poetry


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Poetics Serendipity

7:35 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, all. I hope you are well. First, a reminder that summer is coming [unless it’s winter is coming, where you live]. During the summer, Thursdays go dark. For some reason, I still give you Fridays. Hmm. We’ll see. Tuesdays I give you ahead and I drop by to expound, but I don’t read, or comment. I will explain further the first Tuesday in June, how Tuesdays will work. Meanwhile:

1] Our first link, to my amusement, also appears in today’s We Write Poems, so, I will give you a companion link, one that takes you to Robert Peake’s home page. Robert’s is among the handful of writers’ blogs I began following, when I returned to the U.S. in 2010. He writes beautifully, and articulately, and he has a sense of humour. Sometimes he reviews poetry books, sometimes he shares one of his poems, sometimes he has interesting stuff, like poetry hotspots in London [where he lives at the moment]. His blog is also a thing of beauty to behold, clean lines and easy on the eyes. Go explore.

2] Our second exploration is an unusual publication, the Safety Pin Review. In their About, they say: biweekly literary magazine featuring fiction of less than 30 words, with a major D.I.Y. twist: in addition to being published online, each story is hand-painted onto a cloth back patch, which is attached (via safety pins) to one of our operatives—a collective network of authors, punks, thieves, and anarchists—who wear it everywhere they go for a week. I’m not sure how anyone can resist submitting. Despite it asking for fiction, its 30 word maximum means that something poetic can work so long as it looks and feels like fiction and you call it fiction. They have forty-eight issues to date. Read a few. It doesn’t take long.

3] This is for your amusement. As it regards punctuation, I know you are intrigued already. Punctuation is not usually a topic for amusement.

4] Patrick Ross’ The Artist’s Road, is another blog I have followed from the beginning of my own odyssey. You have read one, or two, of his posts here. This one, entitled ‘Stop Super-Sizing the English Language!‘, should be of interest to all of us, as writers. Patrick’s topic is one I have long fought in the classroom, even forbidding the use of the word ‘evil’ when we study Macbeth. I offered twenty-five shades of the word, instead. It lead to a more nuanced study. We lose the meaning of words when we apply them to everything, with no thought to degree. Think about how often we hear the word ‘tragedy’.

5] The final link is to a free photo editor that is easy — i.e. I was able to use it — and produces useful effects, as well as collages. PicMonkey has a paid upgrade, but if you go through the offerings on the left of whatever photograph you are looking at, you will find a number of the effects are free.

Go play. I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for an image prompt; and next Thursday, for the last Poetics Serendipity until August.

Happy writing, all.



Posted by on 23/05/2013 in poetry, writing


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