Welcome to Jingle Poetry!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Sunday Rally Dispatch is a collection of news updates of interest to our poet-blogger community members.  Your contributions from your area of the world, your activities, or your interests are welcome. Please forward them to Jamie Dedes of Musing by Moonlight at jamiededes@rocketmail.com. Contributions are subject to editorial discretion and space constraints. Feedback welcome.

Los Angeles Review Issue No. 9 - Spring 2011INVITING SUBMISSIONS: The Los Angeles Review, established in 2003, is the voice of Los Angeles and the voice of the nation. With its multitude of cultures, Los Angeles roils at the center of the cauldron of divergent literature emerging from the West Coast of California U.S.A. Perhaps from this place something can emerge that speaks to the writer or singer or dancer or wild person in all of us, something disturbing, something alive, something of the possibility of what it could be to be human in the 21st century. We invite both published and emerging writers to submit their work.

WRITER’S DIGEST: Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer offers updates on contests and competitions and other information of interest to poets. Thanks to Victoria Ceretto-Slotto for this link.

INVITING INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIP: Second Light Network. The aim of the network is to promote women poets and to help them develop their work. It puts on a weekend of readings and workshops in London twice a year, a residential workshop/gathering in Worcestershire in the middle of England once year and occasional events elsewhere in the UK - this year, a workshop and reading in Bath. It has occasionally received funding from the English Arts Council.

The Network has a particular interest in helping women of forty-years and over but membership is open to all women poets. The organization is keen to have members from all over the world. There is an application form on the website which can be downloaded and applicants can pay online. Paypal will ask for payment in the currency of the country from which the applicant is applying. [Any problems with joining - please contact Anne Stewart, the administrator and web manager, by clicking on her name in the About Second Light section.]

The major poetry magazine for all women poets, ARTEMISpoetry, is produced by Second Light. Its main is editor is Dilys Wood, founder and organiser of the Network. The magazine includes poems, a comprehensive review section, serious articles, and interviews with major women poets and women playing an important part in the poetry world as publishers or editors.  Members of Second Light receive copies of the journal, which comes out twice a year.  Information on submitting poetry is detailed on the website.

THE WONDERS OF THE INTERNET FOR POETS: For sure, we can have our cake and eat it too. We are offered Smörgåsbord  of activities with which to involve our poetic muses. These provide support, encouragement, motivation, camaraderie, and critique … or some mix of the above. I’ve noted in reading our many blogs, that our community tend to be active in multiple activities and memes. By way of intro to an activity that might be new to you, today we bring you Luke Prater’s overview of his Facial Expression Poetry Circle (Facebook) – a learning exchange - for those interested in and comfortable with critical analysis of their poems. It is followed by Luke’s opinion piece, The Natural Laws of Poetry.

The Importance of Constructive Criticism and an Environment for It  by Luke Prater

In April 2010 I started a Facebook Group discussion-board platform, specifically so poets could post their work and read the work of others with an emphasis on giving and receiving constructive criticism, which might be less appropriate in other venues. Often we are afraid to offer honest feedback to our peers because we don’t want to cause offence or because we feel when positive feedback is given the poet is pleased and a warm response will be reciprocated. This is fine, but how does that help me learn?

How will I see that I have a tendency to, for instance, end my free-verse pieces on a single line in an effort to come full-circle and ‘wrap things up’ (I see this again and again and indeed do it myself sometimes), when it is redundant because I have said all that, and more, in the body of the poem? Constructive critique  - tactfully delivered - is the best gift a peer can give. Our poet friends may do us a disservice when they don’t point out issues like clichéd phrasing or lack of visual device such as metaphor (so the Narrative Voice 'tells' rather than 'shows', rendering the piece prosaic and lacking in power of expression. Please, tell me if my poem if flawed in some area. How else will I learn? Even professional level poets need honest feedback, or at least, others to bounce ideas off against. As authors we have been so close to the work that we are blind to its shortcomings. On Facial Expression Poetry Circle we have built a strong Group with several admins. We learn very fast in this fun, collaborative environment.

I have purposefully kept Facial Expression Poetry Circle small and intimate, though we take anyone who asks to join. Novice poets take the crit, work hard, and become decent poets quickly, or stop posting – simply because they aren’t yet able to handle critique. One has to be in a place where not too much of the ego is invested in the poem and the poet is open to learning. I love blogging. My blog showcases my polished pieces, but the Group is where I learn to write poetry. New members, as I said, are welcome. Are you ready to take the crit? Great. Let’s do it.

The Natural Laws of Poetry by Luke Prater

Poetry, like most other areas, has two sets of laws: one arbitrary, made up by someone once, or developed by a group over time. These laws have a lot to do with what's in fashion during a particular epoch. They can and do get broken constantly. The other set of laws are natural laws, like the laws of physics, which simply cannot be broken. Or at least, if they can, it has to be done in quite some style, and takes a very special kind of exponent in the field. A genius, probably. Novice poets who don't understand those rules may look like… well, novice poets. That's the very reason, in fact, they look like novice poets, and why when the majority of readers see their poetry, it doesn't interest them very much. 

The sonnet, for instance, is an arbitrary, made-up form, but its meter, iambic pentameter, isn't so arbitrary. The reason it was adopted and became so common is because a) it's lilting unstress-stress cadence is the closest to how the majority of us actually speak; and b) by using that meter (if you've decided to go with metered lines), makes absolutely sure that the line will flow smoothly, and that there will be no doubt whatsoever as to how many stresses/beats the line has, rhythmically.

Because we are all human beings with ears/eyes/a brain, the transmission of spoken/written language from page/mouth to brain has to observe physical laws. So it is, in fact, partially in the realm of physics. And neuroscience too. That's why there are natural laws to the craft of poetry that aren't 'made up' and easily disposable. The 'Art' of poetry is another matter, since Art is in the realm of aesthetics, like beauty, and almost entirely given to personal opinion or taste. Beauty, as the saying goes, "is in the eye of the beholder". 

 January 23rd, deadpoet88
January 26th, Teenage Poet

Please email news announcements to Jamie Dedes at jamiededes@rocketmail.com.
Please forward photograph or illustrations and include all necessary links. 
Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Another fine collection of News Jamie. Bravo, so informative and to learn from!

Happy birthday to the ones celebrating!

Luke's group is indeed something we all could learn from, I've joined the group and many of the comments there helped me. Of course I have a lot to learn and Facial Expression Poetry Circle is part of this process. I haven't been able to do much there lately, because of busy schedule, but still it's a great place, worth visiting!

Happy Sunday all!

Jingle said...

your news rocked, Jamie Dedes...

the black cat keeps jumping out of the screen which makes me laugh instantly...

Keep up the excellence...

Glad to learn WordSalad's view on poetry...

a delicious treat before potluck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us so well-informed, Jamie. The article on Luke's group--so well done. I participate when I can and have found it enormously helpful. There's a lot of knowledge and insight out there to be gained and, as always, the poet has the last word on what he or she wants to do. And there are a lot of incredible poets to read in the group. Victoria

JamieDedes said...

I haven't joined Luke's Group yet, but I am sure there are many benefits. I agree, the two pieces here are well written.

Thanks all for your appreciation. Keep the info coming in. Much valued.

ds said...

Wow. What an incredible amount of information and learning in such a small amount of space! Thank you so much for pulling this together.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Thanks for the info! Maybe I'll consider submitting to the Los Angeles Review... but first, perhaps I should get some honest criticism from the Facial Expression Poetry Circle. :o)

JamieDedes said...

@Rachel - LOL! :-) Me too!
@ds - Thanks!

Luke Prater said...

Some interesting info here (no, not talking about my own, the other stuff :D

It is an interesting discussion though. Not just whether to critique honestly or just to encourage will nothing but supportive, kind words (you know my stance on this!), but the natural laws of lit/poetry/language that I have only really began to understand more deeply over the last couple of years, even though my College degrees etc were over ten years ago now. Break the rules? Sure. But which ones and how? Am I just a pedant?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the interview and tidbits as usual. Luke some questions if I may:

1-can one truly learn all there is to learn about poetry via an online forum?

2-Are composition sessions necessary to be a published "poet" especially one whose work can bear the test of time?

Thanks JD

JamieDedes said...

@ Luke, no you're not "just a pandantic" ... and the questions you explore in the second piece are import and quite legit. Thank you! I appreciate the education and I think we all do.

As far as "just encouraging" ... I think not everyone is on pro-track ... It's kind of like the difference between a professional chef and a home cook. For some folks this is a fun, creative outlet (nothing wrong with this), no pressure wanted or given, and I don't think they want or expect poetry to be anything else but an outlet. For others, this is who they are, intrinsic to their being. For such, your position aptly and wisely applies. When time frees up, I do plan to join in your forum.

JamieDedes said...

@ Luke... sorry for the typos. :-) On the run. Time to read the poems of our friends here! :-)

M.L. Gallagher said...

I have had a couple of busy weeks and not had much time to visit -- I'm so glad I took the time to drop in this morning.

Great information -- well presented.

Thanks so much!

JamieDedes said...

@M.L.Gallagher: Glad you found it worth the time. Thanks for saying so.


Luke Prater said...

@Jamie - believe it or not, I too am engaging with poetry for personal catharsis (therapy), and fun/socialising... despite how it may appear, I am actively avoiding publishing my work at the moment. Direct offers have arisen and I have had to turn them down (with gritted teeth). I like to promote my blog, run the group and get publicity in small ways (FB, Twitter, blogs etc) that are stress-free and fun, but I am not submitting to journals etc even, though opportunities keep arising and I have editors/magazines/publishers etc on my Facebook and Twitter friend lists. ppl keep asking why. It's to do with where I am in my life personally, and the role poetry must play.Things will change, suffice to say. But, being who I am, I still have high standards for myself and always look to improve.

@Lynn - 1. "poetry" is a universe and I doubt anyone could learn all there is to be learnt about it solely from one online forum, at least not quickly. Perhaps, yes, if it was a good forum, and you were very present taking it all in for a long while, asking questions and taking the crit, working hard, and you'd actually be coming to many of the realisations yourself. On our group I have seen novice poets become infinitely better within just a few weeks when they have the right attitude, take the crit well, work hard, and also important, read the work of others (including famous poets, but peers I'm mainly talking about... we learn as much this was as through writing/posting our own).

2 - don't quite understand your second question - do you mean are some lessons needed, help getting a portfolio together etc (or do you mean help composing poetry itself?), in order to get to publishable standard? Well whatever you meant by the question, the answer is must certainly: it depends entirely on the poet's natural abilities and how much of the craft they have managed to glean and develop. Raw potential is great but craft must be learnt. With some it is learnt v quickly, other need longer and help from others. I hope this answers your questions?