My 2021 Writing

A set of links to my poems published in 2021.

A diet consisting of fruits can aid in weight loss
Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

I had a good year getting my poetry published both online and in print, and I wanted to have a full list up summarizing what is out there for anyone interested. For those interested, I will start out by sharing a little bit of my experience producing poetry and having people read it.

I was going to say that I don’t have any training in this, but in fact I did take one course in college from a young instructor where we learned about English poetic forms and turned in assignments based on what we found out. I was a senior then and didn’t need this course to satisfy my requirements, wary of anything that might adversely affect my grade point average, so I was taking this course “Pass/No-Pass” just out of interest. We started with blank verse reading Milton, then heroic couplets with Dryden, and by the time I handed in my quatrain assignment the instructor spoke to me in confidence saying that I really ought to switch my registration to take the course for a grade. That was my first editorial interaction and might be the most important one for me, because I think it this is the main payoff when I hear back about poems I’ve sent off. The money up till now is meager, the fame is mostly self-deception, but the bits of praise from people who I never expected to make that kind of connection with is like a drug.

This first group of pieces are the very short micropoems which are supposed to punch above their weight class. There are publications which specialize in the short form with varying degrees of adherence to the Japanese model, there are publications which will not take any submissions of this kind of poem, and there are those which will accept a mix. Where possible I like to inject my own personal preoccupations, swapping out some of the traditional requirements for haiku with other elements of my own. I’m marking the ones which I consider to fall under the “speculative” umbrella (science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the like) with a little star for those who might be interested in nominating them for SFPA awards.

Next come a group of collaborative poems I wrote years back with the Irish poet Jown W Sexton. These mash up science fiction and fantasy references with a considerable amount of surreal wordplay in the form of linked one-line sequences which we call “scifabulenga.” We have gradually been releasing these into the wild and hold on to hope that we can assemble a collection of scifabulenga into a book sometime soon.

I had a couple more adventurous works go to publication in 2021. One is a prose poem online where I use a variety of techniques to shape the words in a poetic fashion, but line breaks is not one of them. I liked how this one turned out and am working on a number of others. The other is a visual poem where I chopped a piece of text into short phrases and single words, then photographed them scattered on a sheet of paper mostly at random, an idea suggested by the topic of the original prose. I have a couple of other vispo ideas I’m tossing around so maybe I can take another of them to completion.

And here are all the rest. I had been experimenting with all sorts of forms and techniques over the last few years and was able to place some of the reults with journals. There is some meter, rhyme, repetition, and ambiguity here, with topics ranging from mainstream subjects to fantasy, horror, and science fiction with some which are in between. Some other similarly constructed pieces I want to put out there. I have been doing a fair amount of reading by other poets and playing with what they have to offer so this is bound to continue influencing my output. Other poems which I came up with were pretty much out of my own head, starting with a phrase or an image (whether observed or imaginary) which I captured into my big storehouse of miscellaneous material. Quite a few were knit together from other works where I would feel some kind of kindred spark between things I had written, or were split off of a larger draft to stand on their own. I find this kind of activity to be fun in itself, which is a good thing considering how big a part of the process it turns out to be.

For the pieces which are not available online, I am willing to provide a copy to interested readers upon request. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram and we can work out how to get that to you.

I am planning to come up with some statistics on my publishing activity for people who are interested in how this all comes about. That will be another blog post, however.

comments powered by Disqus