Telling Stories

TELLING STORIES – and the “Ideas” of March are full in bloom.  For the next 3 or 4 weeks, I am going to post about Poetry and Writing. 

I will provide options for writing – otherwise known as “Prompts.”  Feel free to use them as you like.  April is National Poetry Month – and I’m getting a jump start on poetry ideas and opportunities.

Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, “How Do I Get There From Here?”  He said: “It depends on where you want to get to.”  Here are some poetry resources that should be of interest:

Resources for Poetry

About.com: Poetry (http://poetry.about.com)

Academy of American Poets (http://www.poets.org)
An extensive site with poems, essays, audio recordings, and publishing FAQs.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs (http://www.awpwriter.org)
AWP is an organization that supports writers and academic creative writing programs. Info on M.F.A. programs, writers’ conferences, jobs for writers.

Bartleby.com (http://www.bartleby.com)
The preeminent Internet publisher of literature, reference, and verse.” Look for the classing poets here, as well as poetry by category: War Poetry, Irish Verse. You cab=n find a dictionary, a thesaurus, quotations, the King James Bible, Strunk and Whites Elements of Style, and more.

New Letters - On the Air (http://www.newletters.org/on-the-air/current-show) Wit writers, and weekly podcasts.

Poetry Daily (http://www.poems.com)
Verse Daily (
Each of these sites posts a poem a day by established and emerging writers. Poetry Daily offers links to prose features on poetry, as well as poetry news and reviews. Verse Daily offers monthly poetry-related features.

Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org).
An extensive site featuring Poetry magazine, poets,poems,podcasts,blogs,reading guides, and more.

Poetry Slam, Inc. (http://www.poetryslam.com)
Info on tournaments, slam poets, forums, and discussions.

Poetry Society of America (http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/)
PSA promotes poetry in America through various initiatives including Poetry in Motion, which places placards of poems on buses and subways. Events, awards, and resources including poetry journals, contests, colonies, conferences, and festivals, and poetry for children.

Poets and Writers (http://www.pw.org).
The only presence of what is essentially the “trade magazine” for writers. Listings of grants and awards available to writers, literary magazines, small presses, literary events calendars, articles on writing, nationwide directory of poets and writers.

Web del Sol (http://www.webdelsol.com)
Blogs, RSS feeds, “Top 50 Literary Journals,” writing, Lit-and-Talk Radio, reviews and more. 

A Favorite Writing Book


Peter Elbow said pat is “the wisest teacher of writing I know.”   I have had the pleasure of being a participant in a couple of Pat’s Writing Workshops in Amherst, MA.  See:



I have had the pleasure of participating in two of Pat’s workshops in Amherst, Ma – and writing with her in a summer retreat in Sligo, Ireland.  Negative Capability Press published Pat’s spiritual autobiography: WAKE UP LAUGHING. 

The following poem by Pat Schneider was published in THIRTY-THREE, an issue of the journal NEGATIVE CAPABILITY. 

Love Song for Sister Ag
Pat Schneider

After a long illness Walk slow
The nowhere that you have To go

There is a silence after pain That hurry fills –

A raucous intervention
Pain has taught the rhythm Of her dance
And when her music’s done
There is a silence won
That beatitude can fill

But will

Only if you listen and walk slow The nowhere that
you have
To go

PROMPT FOR MARCH 17 is one that Pat uses in her workshops. Since we are not in a workshop together, let me give you a variation. Pick a room in your house – and pick ten objects that are at hand. I am in my office – so here are my ten objects:

A picture of Carson McCullers on the wall above my computer.
A cellphone on the desk
A  three-ring hole punch
A coffee mug
A postcard from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. UK
A wall calendar 2015
A dictionary, WHISTLIN’ DIXIE
A black handbag
A pair of scissors
A telephone

Make your list and pick an object. Write about it. Pat Schneider says that everything has a story which can be a poem. We are talking about Narrative here – and just as fiction uses narrative, a poem can be a narrative poem and tell a story.   

(Sue Walker, Negative Capability Press)