Remembering and Reading C. D. Wright

I am heartbroken by the news that poet C. D. Wright has died. I don’t think I realized until tonight just how much her work has shaped my sense of what poetry can/could/should do.

Just this month, Copper Canyon Press published a brand-new collection of her essays, “The Poet, The Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, A Wedding in St. Roch, The Big Box Store, The Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All,” and believe me, I want that book in my hands right now.

In the coming days, I’m sure there will be many tributes to C. D. Wright, by people who know her work far better than I do. (See this tribute in The New York Times, and this one on NPR.)

But tonight, I’m thinking about  One With Others: [a little book of her days], Wright’s 2010 book-length poem. Several years ago, I taught it as part of a class called “Writers Read.”

Continue reading “Remembering and Reading C. D. Wright”

Poetry for All: Prompt 2

Here’s the second in my series of video poetry prompts. This one includes a poem by Peter Pereira, from his collection What’s Written on the Body. These are intended for the poetry-curious, beginning writers, and anyone who’d like company at the desk. Please feel free to share this, and I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know how it goes, OK?

Prompt 2: A Visitation

This prompt features Peter Pereira’s poem “Twenty Years after His Passing, My Father Appears to Us in Chicago, at Bobby Chinn’s Crab & Oyster House, in the Guise of Our Waiter, Ramon” from What’s Written on the Body (Copper Canyon Press).

See other prompts.

Poem credits:

Peter Pereira, “Twenty Years after His Passing, My Father Appears to Us in Chicago, at Bobby Chinn’s Crab & Oyster House, in the Guise of Our Waiter, Ramon” from What’s Written on the Body. Copyright © 2007 by Peter Pereira. Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

My thanks to the featured poets for permission to use their poems, and to Sheila Farr and John Helde for essential technical help.

National Poetry Month: Poetry for All

Just in time for National Poetry Month, I’m launching a short series of online poetry prompts. These videos are mini versions of the free poetry writing workshops I’m giving all around Washington state. Each combines a model poem with a writing activity, and is intended to be useful to the poetry-curious and beginning writers alike. Here’s the first one.

Prompt 1: A Memorable Meal

Prompt 1 features Li-Young Lee’s “Eating Together,” from Rose (BOA Editions), and was inspired by the indispensable The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World by Brenda Miller and Holly J. Hughes.

This series is a bit of an experiment, so I hope you’ll post comments about how this works for you.

Poem credits:

Li-Young Lee, “Eating Together” from Rose. Copyright © 1986 by Li-Young Lee. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

HUGE thanks to the featured poets for permission to use their poems, and to Sheila Farr and John Helde for essential technical help.