We realize that this page has been down for quite a while. Good news, though! It will be back up and running once the semester starts. We will have members making posts throughout the year. So, keep an eye on the page because we’re back and we’re stronger than ever. We can’t be stopped.
Also, there’s a super convenient page for Ball State students and members to stay updated and get easy access to everything WC related. And it’s riiiiggghhhttt here.
See you all in the fall (poetry).
It is summer time. What to read?
How about supporting some Writers Community folks?
Michael Meyerhofer, Ball State professor and reader at last Fall’s Faculty Reading, has some poems in the Spring Online issue of Poetry Quarterly here on page 44.
I, Tyler Gobble, have two interviews up at The Collagist Blog in conjunction with the new issue.
Be sure to check out all of the blogs of our members (on the side bar) and send us any announcements that should be on this blog.
Thank you, summer people.
Another great year. Thanks for everyone who came out to our meetings and events. Very successful year.
Please, let us know, Ball State writers, what time you would like to meet next school year. Also, send us ideas for events and ways to improve.
Also, we will continue to post sporadically on this blog and the twitter. Please, send us ideas or posts!
We look forward to a good year next year.
Hey, I’m Jeremy Bauer! Again! Hey, whoa, hi.
In my previous post I mentioned writing in the margins (which, coincidentally, is the title of the Writing in the Community publication I am a part of this year that will be coming out soon.!.). Sometimes I have pages where I get on tangents and my margins get primo filled like they’re in an eating contest and man, can they pack away the ice cream and sauerkraut. As a sort of disclaimer (DISCLAIMER..DISCLAIM HER…HE PROBABLY DESERVES IT MORE, I SAW HIM OUT DRINKIN’ AGAIN WITH LENNY ROTGUT AND THEY WERE BURNT TOAST, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, HE DIND’T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO CALL, OR SCREAM, OR STAY FAITHFUL, THE TOILET MADE HIM RENOUNCE GOD), I want to say that not all first scraps are good. That’s the point of revision, and I really hope The Greats have bad scraps too, and I think they do. So be gentle, young wielders of the serrated serpent e-tongue. Oh, and don’t be afraid to comment about your views on the visual side of writing, or even start a flickr or something with pictures of your own notebooks. Make connections and keep ’em hard and vibrant like computers are beating us at!
In the middle of this page is my original draft of a poem with the caption’s title. I frequently write notes to myself, sometimes even talk/write to myself, and just jot down whatever’s yelpin’ out my skull at the time. Sometimes I write future.
I’m gonna post a few more of these sometime in the near, and remember don’t be afraid to leave comments or discuss your own visual techniques in your writing, physically speaking.
Oh, and here’s what the poem looks like now:
He’s One of the Feather Children
She is an edible flower with skin
made of whispers
and veins that run black like botulism
in a can of tomatoes.
Do you know how you penetrate me like radiation fog,
making my cells contort and inflate with growing bulbs
that when the reach the brain make it dead?
(And they have)
Do I invade you like a logger to a tranquil South American forest,
stripping away pockets of life so strange
it can only be obscenely organic?
(Like you do to me)
I think in a past life we were some sort of Siamese animal
with two heads that struggled to kiss
and bodies that formed to be one
Or maybe we were both bones that interlocked to make
a young body work, or just the marrow that gelled
together to form cell-birthing chasms
(Oh, the chasms)
You are an edible flower with skin
made of whispers
and veins that run through me like botulism
fucks in cans of tomatoes.
Hey, this is Jeremy Bauer doing a post as part of the Writer’s Community. Hey, whoa, hey!
Now I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally borrowed some technology so here it is. I like seeing notebooks and scraps and such of writer–seeing their revisions, what sort of marginalia (margin stuff) they’ve added, etc. Personally, I write on a variety of things, such as pocket notebooks, legal pads, post its, composition notebooks, and of course the computer, but when using any paper medium I put tags, notes, and whatever else I’m thinking of at the time in the margins. A few weeks ago I saw one of Vonnegut’s original drafts of Breakfast of Champions all taped together with illustrations, penned notes, and all sorts of cool junk at the Lilly Library at Indiana University. I’ve seen various other original drafts of notable literary works and this stuff always makes me curious as to what the notebooks of writers look like. I decided to just scan some of my own and hope other people will do the same with there’s.
Show the world that we are visual, writers!
This is a poem I tried to put on my blog, but it was really about the alignment and shape of the poem, which was reflected in the content, and my blog provider or whatever they’re called doesn’t jive with different alignments. Writers are artists and most consider the visual element of their writing. This is why I wanna see the scrap birth.
By the way, the stuff below the poem is a collection of snippets that popped into my head for other things or just as standalone lines to be inserted or built upon later.
During recent meetings, we have discussed the Dickman brothers. For a class, I wrote a review about Matthew’s All American Poem collection. I thought the community might be interested.
I have this bad habit of reading individual poems carelessly, skewing my overall experience with a collection, especially when immersed in the middle of a school semester. I’ll read half a poem and say Nah, I’m done with this or get caught up in individual cool/sucky lines. Because of my growing respect for the Dickman brothers and I thought Todd might quiz me, I wanted to read this one with care.
As a young poet still trying to find out how I want to come across in my poems, I appreciated Dickman’s defined poetic voice. I felt like he was writing in a “talking” manner. Oddly enough, this element was bogging me down with the O’Hara collection; I love the straightforwardness of these types of poems, but there is a certain element of description (for me! for me!) that makes Dickman’s poems a little more accessible in my particular place in my poetry-reading-life.
For instance, the poem “Love” is one at which many readers might grumble or even pass over, but Dickman used his method of bouncing around several ideas about love to come to “a love that can be translated into any language: I hope you do not suffer.” He goes from typically love scenes like weddings and restaurants to corn fields in love with the scarecrows to a penis taking off like a spaceship (one image I found poorly executed and worded). The point is Dickman has the way to place together images to create a whole that is seemingly “done,” but really powerful.
I have a professor that says not to write about our souls or our hearts, write about objects, people, things. In modern writing discussion, I’m always hearing things about abstractions being dangerous/sucky and “what does that look like?” worries. In his opening poem The Mysterious Human Heart, Dickman seems to address this, both the objects and the abstractions, beginning with a list of produce in New York, everything from oranges to walnuts. When he does get to his heart in the sixth line, Dickman describes it as “something I will never hold in my hands, something I will never understand.” In a way that reminded me of Hoagland (who selected this book as the APR/Honickman First Book Prize), Dickman places these sentimental asides (lame abstractions?) alongside nice images.
Much of this book has an undertone and often straightfowardness about longing and lonliness. Dickman seems to reveal himself with poems like “Slow Dance”, describing how “the slow dance” is that connection he is looking for, and “Amigos,” telling of his desire for companionship through a scene including a big storm, a coffee shop, and “his amigos.” It is poems like these that show Dickman’s concern with the feeling of the poem as a whole rather than perhaps each individual line/word.
Side note: Amigos holds one of my favorite lines in the whole book: There are days I feel as though someone has written my name on a stone/and thrown it over the side of a cliff.
Slow Dance does also have examples of my complaints with some of these poems. For instance, he says, “It’s all kindness like children before they turn three.” For such an attempt at a sweet sentiment, it ruins the thing for me as it just doesn’t seem true. I’ve met two year olds with no kindness in their hearts. Also, the poems ends with “The haiku and honey. The orange and orangutan slow dance.” While I think I see where he is going, such a connected poem, twirling around this metaphor of the slow dance, gets muddled with these dropped images.
These poems are also filled with references to sexual desire. While some work, like the S&M reference in “Love”, others as mentioned before, distract from the (possible) beauty of the rest of the poem, like the line “The blastoff of the first word sending the penis into space. Not that I ever imagined/my cock being a spaceships/though sometimes men are like astronauts, orbiting/the hot planets of women” from the same poem, Love. At times it seems as though Dickman can’t filter himself, limiting the projection of sincerity in his poems.
My favorite poems: Love, Snow, Amigos, All-American Poem, American Studies, The World Is Too Huge To Grasp
Least favorite poems: Classical Poem, An Imaginary French Film, Grief