Tuesday, November 08, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

As most of you know, this month is National Novel Writing Month (or Nanowrimo) and this year, I've decided to join in.  I know, I know.  I'm not a fiction writer.  I'm a poet.  But ever since I left Pennsylvania, I haven't been able to shake the story of the town of Pithole, an oil boom town from the late 1860s.  The history of the town and the characters who lived there have been under my skin for the past six months.  I've written endless poems about them (a whole book of them if you can believe) but still can't shake the characters.  So,  I'm trying to write myself out of Pithole with a novel.  Or, rather, something which will be more like a novella.  So far, I've written just under 5000 words and I'm still going strong. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

What Sappho and Online Learning Have in Common

Last week, I had the pleasure of teaching a f2f workshop on online learning in Clarion, PA.  The class was made up of about 20 professors who teach women's studies courses across Pennsylvania.  It was a great workshop!  One of the topics we spoke about what how when you teach online, you need to think like Sappho.  Don't be stifled by technology as it is.  Instead, reinvent it!  In one of Sappho's most famous fragments, fragment 31, she writes the following:
That man seems to me peer of gods, who sits in thy presence, and hears close to him thy sweet speech

In this poem, she compares the man who gets to sit next to the women she loves to a god.  Now, in Greek poetry before Sappho (most famously in Homer) the only people who were compared to Gods were war heroes.  But, Sappho wasn't talking about war, she was talking about love and she needed a way to embody the emotion she was writing about it.  So, she thought differently and reinvented an existing motif.

When we think about how to use technology to enhance our online classes, we have to think the same way. Not, what is the technology and how is it best used.  Rather, how can I reinvent this technology in order to best use it in my class.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

And the lucky winners are ...

Thanks to everyone who participated in my National Poetry Month free book give away.  I used the random number generator at random.org to choose a winner of the contest and the lucky winner is comment #5 O.P.W. FredericksCongratulations! 

I'm happy to report that I wrote a poem a day throughout April.  Yeah!  Below are links to two of my new poems published on Thin Air magazine's blog: The Ring and Interrupted Geographies. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful National Poetry Month!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011

This month, I will be participating in two wonderful events in honor of National Poetry Month -
  • NaPoWriMo - where I will write a poem a day, every day for 30 days (more about this soon...) and,
  • The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011 - where I will give a copy of my chapbook Inheritance AND a copy of Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein.  The Big Poetry Giveaway is organized by Kelli Russell Agodon (see http://ofkells.blogspot.com/2011/03/big-poetry-giveaway-2011.html for more information).

    If you would like me to send you a copy of both my book and Gertrude Stein's book (for free!) just post a comment on my blog with your name and contact information.  At the end of April, I will randomly choose one name and send off a copy of both books in the mail.  For more information about Gertrude Stein's book and my book, please see below. Good luck! 

Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms from 1914.  In this book Stein reinvigorates words. One of my all time favorite books of poetry

My book, Inheritance was published by Finishing Line Press in June 2010. It is a sonnet sequence of American sonnets.