“Many people are now trying to become less helpless, both personally and politically, trying to claim more control over their own lives. One of the ways people most lack control of their own lives is through lacking control over words. Especially written words.” – Peter Elbow
So how do we gain control over our written words? I think it requires work, but it’s rewarding when the result is good. So many problems in the world incapacitate us: the pandemic, pollution, poverty. But learning to use writing as an empowerment tool can be liberating.
I have a new book of poems coming out with Finishing Line Press. Check it out:
I’ve canoed and hiked in beautiful places all over the Northeast this fall. The nature sustains me. Writing sustains me. I have a new book, Touch My Head Softly, which will be out from Finishing Line Press in early 2021.
“I believe the world is beautiful and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone, and that my veins don’t end in me but in the unanimous struggle for life, love, little things, landscape and bread.”
-Graffiti on a wall in the Mission District of San Francisco
I believe poetry is for everyone. Although many people who read serious print matter and quality fiction do not read poetry, I think that this is their loss. The poetry coming out today is accessible, relevant and enjoyable in concept and sound. Take look at Billy Collins, Natasha Trethaway or even Louise Glück, the 2020 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Patricia Lee Lewis, Writer Extraordinaire, is writing 30 Poems in 30 Days for the Center for New Americans for their Family Literacy Project. Patricia is the author of High Lonesome and a Kind of Yellow, which was awarded first place by Writers Digest International. She is the former director of the Patchwork Farm Retreat and has been the beloved mentor of many writers.
Check out Patricia’s donations page and give a contribution to this important cause:
When I have writer’s block, I sometimes freewrite.
What is freewriting? A writing exercise in which you write quickly and continuously, with a free association of ideas.
Freewriting is a good technique to shut down your “inner censor” and let your writing flow. The idea is to put down your thoughts as they arise, without judging them, or the way in which they get expressed.
“If you want readers to breathe life into your writing so that they get a powerful experience from it, then you must breathe experience into your words as you write. I don’t know why it should be the case that if you experience what you are writing about–if you go to the bamboo–it increases the chances of the reader’s experiencing the bamboo. But that’s the way it seems to work.”
The basic technique is to simply write without stopping for a set amount of time, say 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t correct what you write. See what happens.
My latest collection of poetry is coming out soon. Check it out: