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 announcement for July 24 to Jamie Dedes of Musing by Moonlight at email@example.com. Contributions are subject to editorial discretion and space constraints. Feedback welcome.
ON THIS DAY in 1878 the Italian poet, Aleardo Aleardi, was born. He died in 1878. A poet of the “Neo-romanticists,” Aleardi is largely known for poetic themes addressing history and Italy. To sample one of his poems (Monte Circello) in translation, link HERE.
LAST WEEK WE WELCOMED the charming Aynsley Fuller (Life in Verse) as an official here to cover Jingle Poetry community news. Aynsely will be back to post on July 31. Meanwhile, we have the pleasure of an in-depth interview with her.
JAMIE: We are delighted to welcome you to the JP team and would love to know what inspired your desire to participate at the "official" level.
AYNSLEY: In my first weeks of blogging, Jingle poetry found me and invited me to join Poets Rally, which I began to love. I felt honored to become part of such an awesome community that was filled with people that had passions so like my own. I started to get into Potluck and read a few of the posts on the other pages. I fell in love with everything that was done there. I've always felt welcome and loved by this community and when the positions opened up on JP, I really thought that I could help spread the love. I love being part of this. I hope that maybe I can show love to others the way love was shown to me thorough this awesome movement. Another thing that drew me to want this was that I like poetry and I like what JP does and it is something that I really want to involve myself in because it is so different from the rest of my life every day and it's kind of like an escape for me.
JAMIE: How long have you been involved with JP and what have you gotten out of the experience? How long have you been blogging?
AYNSLEY: I've been blogging since… December 2010…? I think…? And I think I've been part of JP since January 2011… probably. What I've gleaned from the experience is a real sense of community and motivation for writing more. My sister (Gwyneth… you can find her on Poets Rally sometimes) was the one who sort of forced me to start blogging. I was reluctant at first because computers and I have a mutual hate for each other and I'm not good at following through with things like blogging and journaling. She told me it would be good for me and relaxing and blah blah blah. I started a blog that was mostly devoted to my poetry. When JP found me, I thought "wow, somebody actually likes and looked at what I wrote!" and it really shocked me that anybody cared. I was absolutely thrilled, and it gave me the motivation to keep blogging and writing. Another thing that I have gained from being part of JP is that every week I find new poets and new poems to read and fall in love with. My view was so narrow before and it forces me to step just outside my comfort zone and read new forms of inspiration and all different kinds of wonderful poetry that come from beautiful brains, so unlike my own, that, otherwise, I wouldn't know existed. I really appreciate that about JP.
JAMIE: What fires your desire to write poetry and what is your favorite subject for your poetry?
AYNSLEY: This one is hard: I think that poetry is an outlet for me. There are lots of things that go on inside every life, and I really get to vent through poetry. It's a lot easier for me to really think and express myself through poetry. It's relaxing to have a place where my poems can fit and benefit people other than myself. I talk a lot, but the only time I ever really say anything is when I have time to construct it into a poem. That's why I poem, that's why I blog.
My favorite subject to write on is probably people I know. Or writing things for people I know, because it is then that I can really tell people what I mean to say to them. I also love to write about silly stuff, like, I've written about Twitter before. That one was FUN because I challenged myself to write it in exactly 140 characters, you know, cutesy stuff like that, because I like fun! But it's easiest for me to write about things that are a little more serious, which should say nothing of my character because I love to have fun! My poetry just doesn't always.
JAMIE: How long have you been writing and what made you start?
AYNSLEY: I've think I've been really writing since the second grade when we did a unit in class on poetry. It was then that I decided to become a poet, although my career choices have changed many times since then. My mom really supported me. She worked at a bookstore at the time. I still have a notebook that she bought for me to write all my poems in. She wrote in the front cover, "For my poet, Aynsley" and I've always treasured that and kept it near.
My granddaddy was also hugely supportive (and a nature freak) and he would tell me "Write a poem about my favorite chipmunk" or things like that. He was the one that would read me Alfred Lloyd Tennyson and e. e. Cummings. He got me into that. I remember specifically, when one of my poems got published in theCelebration of Young Poets from North and South Carolina when I was in 3rd grade (it's like a competition, and kids from grades 1-8 submit poems they've written, and the best ones are published in this book), he said "Well, Aynsley, it's about time they recognize you and you become a published artist!" And that has always kept me going. He bought two of the books.
JAMIE: Who are your favorite poets and why?
AYNSLEY: Well, Jamie, I have to say, I love you and your poems. They seem to capture life, and they're playful! You have a way of making words dance! I also love K. Shawn Edgar, another JP participant. He seems to be able to make words bend to his will, and they take shape of the world. He makes the most ordinary things beautiful.
My favorite poet of all time is Edgar Allen Poe. I'm not morbid or weird or in love with my cousin or anything, but his poetry is as close as I think anyone can come to true perfection. Everything he writes sings itself off of the page and there is true passion radiating from each carefully placed letter. Poe wrote true soul music and wrote life into his words.
JAMIE: What are your plans for your poetry and your JP activities for the next year?
AYNSELY: Well, providing that a bus or anything doesn’t hit me any time soon, I hope like crazy that I will keep writing! My new self-project is to experiment more with form and different kinds of poetry. I'm good at free verse, but I want to add a little variety into my writing. Maybe throw a cinquain or a haiku or a sonnet in there once in a while. I hope to keep joining Rally and Potluck. I hope to participate in a few other activities as well and to start reading more of the posts. I'm really excited about doing the Dispatch, but nervous too, and I hope that I'll be able to write things that people will like. That's rally I had in mind. I know other things will pop up over the year that I will have to adapt to and grow to love.
Thank you, Aynsely, for your kind appreciation and the time for this interview. We all enjoyed your news post and look forward to the next. As far as we are concerned, you are doing just fine.
PETRINA LESKO (Reflections of ….) is a talented photograph and creative nonfiction writer as well as a poet. One thing you will immediately notice when you visit her blog is that she is a definite dog-lover. I know you will find her work as engaging as I do.
JAMIE: You've been blogging just over a year now. What motivated you to start and why poetry and photography?
PETRINA: I’ve been doing creative writing since I was a child; however, for many years it became a once in a while thing, kind of back burner project that was rarely gotten to. Though I was encouraged to write as a child, I was discouraged from becoming a 'writer' because of the 'starving artist' concept. I also encountered some truly frustrating situations such as while in junior high. I had been writing a mystery novel in one of my classes, but the eagerness of my classmates, literally pulling the pages from beneath my pen as I wrote on the last lines of each page, became very frustrating for me. I ended up throwing away the project, one I wish to this day that I would have simply set aside. Likewise, many of my first writings and poems have drifted away, leaving only memories of them in my possession.
Over the past ten years or so, I've had friends encourage me to submit some of my older poems that have been written for specific people for publication or contests and they were accepted for anthologies both here in the US and in the UK. This seemed to re-spark the old embers, reminding me of what a great release the creativity had brought to my soul.
When I discovered blogging, I thought it could be a way to hold myself more accountable and maybe it would fire my commitment a bit. Poetry and photography have always been a way for me to be creative even when my time was limited. My work schedule can be rather overwhelming at times. I work for a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults. Thus, my blog is filled with those things that I can fit into my routines, yet still spend some time on my commitment to this creative energy that I find so refreshing.
JAMIE: What are you getting out of blogging?
PATRINA: When I discovered blogging, it seemed a great way for me to get back into my creative writing and a way to hold myself more accountable with it. I really was not sure if it would become an area of sharing poetry, writing stories, posting artwork or photographs. As I wandered through, I found a few sites that offered weekly prompts, which allowed me to connect with other writers, artists and poets in a manner that was new to me. I became very excited by and about the camaraderie that I found here in blog-land. I have found the community to be very supportive! I also enjoy reading the work of others and find myself challenged to improve upon my own abilities. It has also offered the opportunity to learn more about forms of poetry that are new to me.
JAMIE: Your poems are finely structured and very detailed. Tell us how you came to write in this style?
PETRINA: When I was young, my mother often read and edited my works (whether I wanted her to or not), having been an English major in college. She always pointed out the need for details and correct grammar whenever we wrote anything as children. She drilled that it was the little details, often overlooked, that could make or break what the reader received from what was written. Also, in the field that I work in, there is a need to document things in a factual manner, not writing from the heart, not expressing opinions, but simply stating the facts as they happen. With all of the 'red notes' from my mother in my beginning writing, and with the documentation that I do in my work, I find the need to find details and use of structure often times carries over into my creative writing. Yet it is also the place where I can bring in an emotional aspect to my writing as well. Most of my poetry prior to blogging was poems written for people that I felt close to, yet I often had difficulty expressing those feelings to them. Poetry has given me a way to do that.
I think those two factors have had a tremendous impact on my style of writing. To this day, I wonder what edit marks my mother would make on anything that I write. I find myself hearing her questions, which challenge my way of processing what is being created.
JAMIE: Who are your favorite poets, the ones that have most influence you and why?
PETRINA: Emily Dickinson for the sentimental yet conventional nature to her pieces. Even though my writing is often detailed, there are layers of emotional expression that rarely come across in other aspects of my life. It is in the creation of the atmosphere that the reader can truly share the experience the writer is trying to express. I find when I read her works, I feel as though I am experiencing the darkness that she felt throughout so much of her life. As I have weathered many losses in my short life, there is also a connectivity for me to the pain that she endured through her many losses.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, probably due to her pull from Greek history and mythology (I have always been fascinated with Greek mythology) as well as her visionary words of helping those who would be considered the underdog. One of my favorite pieces is her poem called, The Cry of the Children published in 1842 in Blackwoods. In this poem, she condemned child labor, which helped bring about support for child-labor reforms. Both in my work and throughout my life, I have always considered myself an advocate in protecting and fighting for the rights of those who cannot do so for themselves. From my experience, it is in our ability to enable them, that the greatest success is achieved.
JAMIE: What fires your imagination most?
PETRINA: Most anything can and often will fire my imagination, yet it is when I am out in nature in a solitary manner that my creative juices flow with ease. To see the beauty of a single blossom, to hear the music of the birds, to see the grace of a dolphin as is glides across the ocean... It is almost as if a floodgate is opened, allowing the spectrum of things that I have experienced and witnessed, then they are able to splash forth over the barriers of my everyday routines. The vivid images replay in my mind and the pen streams forth those moments, those details onto the blank pages, as do the waters of the river caressing the boulders just before the waterfall.
JAMIE: You've been participating for a short while in Jingle Poetry. What are you getting out of the connection?
PETRINA: I have actually been reading/following along with Jingle Poetry since I first began checking into blogging, some time before I started my blog. I found myself fascinated with the caliber of writing, the variety of expression... and so perused for some time before I felt that I could complete the feedback required of this community. I found that when I read the poetry of others, especially that written in styles unfamiliar to me, I was having difficulty formulating a response.
Several years ago, a friend had read through a selection of my poems and responded that she liked best one particular poem that I did not feel was very well expressed. I had written it in a free-verse style that seemed foreign to me. When I asked her to explain her response, she took the time to respond line for line how she had connected with my words. I found this experience, this feedback to be very enlightening for me as a writer. From that experience, I took away the feeling that if I am reading someone else's work that they were willing to share with me, I should be willing to give them some feedback, whether it be extensive or only a few lines indicating how it struck me.
Because of the feedback I have found offered within the Jingle community, I felt that I needed to be able to offer the same before I could submit any of my poetry. It has become a priority for me, as well as a learning experience, with each and every piece that I respond to. It is my hope, that just as I hope that my writing will somehow touch one person, that my responses to other writers will give some insight for them as to what the reader is experiencing.
Just as it is in our ability to enable others to speak for themselves, to do for themselves... It is within the writer's ability to enable the reader to experience what we choose to share with them versus them simply reading words from the page.
Thank you to all of the officials of the Jingle community, each and every person who submits here and to you, Jamie, for offering and encouraging this writer in my endeavors of re-sparking my creative energies. It has been a wonderful journey and I hope to continue the process for a long time to come. I am honored to be connecting with such a wonderful community of talented writers.
… and we are honored to have you join with us. Thank you, Petrina, for taking the time to interview and for your willingness to share. Poem on …
SEASONS’ FAVORITE CHALLENGE, a challenge for Blaga Todorova (BrokenSparkles) is still in process. If you’d like to join in for Autumn Favorites (part 3 of the challenge), there is still time to do so. You can link HERE for details. Blaga reports that Spring and Summer were each met with enthusiasm by her readers. Still to come Winter and All Time Favorites.
a part of the Jingle community of blogging partnerships
welcomes new officials:
PLEASE JOIN IN
JINGLE POETRY POTLUCK, WEEK 44
STARTS TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. CENTRAL
EVERYONE IS INVITED…
INLINKZ WILL STAY OPEN FOR 72 HOURS.