Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Workshop come down

I have been slack on this.

Had my first full workshop yesterday. I was really interested to hear the different things people focussed on. I don't think there was anything too surprising there. The issues I was expecting kind of came up. Not that I know how to solve them or anything:
  • Ambiguity/elusiveness. Still don't know what to do about this, in some ways I like the reader to bring their own experiences and wants to the poem, but I don't want that to completely fail, so I am reluctant to put in stuff that waves a flag saying 'this is what this poem is about', although the 'long' poem, Making nice things out of straw, which for me is just as elusive as the others seemed to be better received. Maybe this is to do with if you read something longer the meaning kind of soaks out of it a bit more. Rather than ending in a kind of abrupt way, leaving the reader hanging. Maybe long poems might be the answer. The other day someone was telling me how Amy Brown is doing her PhD in Melbourne and trying to create one epic poem in 3 years. Go the Cantos! But I don't think I want to go there. That seems a bit too much like a selfish challenge to me. The whole 'can I pull it off' thing, but a few that are 5 pages or so long would be nice I think. Concrete details are always good too I guess.
  • Tics. Like the repetition of sentences twisted around or negated to achieve an effect. Damien mentioned that too and I think I've started to hold back on that a bit with my later stuff. Well at least I hope I have.
And there was heaps of useful editing things and suggestions for confusing sentences and words etc. So that will all make it's way in there. Overall it was a great workshop and incredibly valuable.

Lindsay lent me Why poetry matters, by Jay Parini (2008, Yale University Pr.) which I think I had read one of the essays before, but I'm not sure where. So I look forward to reading the whole book, if I haven't done already - my memory is atrocious. Other than that though I haven't read too much other stuff. Everything seemed to be on hold while I waited for this workshop thing (and Queens Birthday weekend too). But over the holidays, damn, try and stop me!

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