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Kate Gale
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October 26th, 2012 AWP I’m in Seattle for AWP 2014 planning. The next AWP is in Boston, March 6-9, 2013. I am always telling young poets that they should go to AWP. Here’s why. You meet lots of writers there and there’s nothing like being in a bar and looking across at Yusef Komunyakaa or C.D. Wright to know you are in the center of greatness. The panels range from great poets and writers reading to how literature is made to the network on which literature is built. As a young writer, you want to understand the world in which... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
October 25th, 2012 Los Angeles will soon have its first city laureate. It’s a great honor for a city to have a poet laureate, and in the process of choosing someone, what we on the committee found out was that L.A. is crowded with poets. There are poets on the streets, poets in the classrooms, poets who don’t leave their houses much, poets who like to write on beaches. There are poets who try for quantity, who seem to have simply reams of work stacked about them taking up the house and shelf space and even sitting in the kitchen... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Writing good poetry is like falling through air. Not water. Because water stops you. Water slows you down. Water makes you think about whether you really want to keep going down. Water is all free fall; water lets you go down deeply. Deeply into words, language and ideas. Tess Gallagher eloquently wrote, “I Stop Writing the Poem” to fold the clothes. No matter who lives or who dies, I'm still a woman. I'll always have plenty to do. I bring the arms of his shirt together. Nothing can stop our tenderness. I'll get back to the poem. I'll get back... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Writing poetry well should be like training yourself for the Olympics. The poetry Olympics. Even there are no gold medals, no silver or bronze, even though there are no endorsements, (I keep writing to Nike, “I run, I write poetry, give me shoes! But no luck.) even though the rewards of poetry are being able to go around saying, “I’m a poet,” which, if you throw in a couple dollars will get you coffee, in spite of that, you should take it seriously. For me, that means doing what they do in the Olympics, going through training. When I meet... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
They talk about po-biz which means to run with the stars, attend AWP, rub hoodies with the clerks who sort the poetry at Paris Review. You could do all that. And still not get any attention. Or you could be like Emily Dickinson and write in your little house dressed in white, completely missing the Civil War, you could miss all that and yet become famous. But you have to die first. You have to die with seven poems published. You have to die and then you can be read. Which might be okay with you. But probably isn’t. Because... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Oct 19, 2012