This evening, my friends at A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue (https://anovelideaphilly.com/) will hold a poetry reading at the Lucky 13 Pub, 1830 South 13th street in South Philadelphia (https://anovelideaphilly.com/ ) Please come and watch fine area poets-like me-read their material.
Over my writing career, I’ve picked up advice for my writing work, through classes and my reading. I want to share them with you:
Keep a pen and notepad on you at ALL times. You never know where and when an idea for an article, poem, or story could come to you. Don’t trust your memory to work for you to retain the idea, you might not remember the idea later.
Watch your environment-the diner you eat at, your neighborhood, your favorite spots, you place of worship, etc.-and take down on paper the scene, the furniture, the sounds, the aromas from the kitchen, the conversation going on. Pick up on what people say, what they wear, their gestures, etc. Give a physical description of what you see, don’t put down what your mind says, don’t editorialize.
Go to places where writers are-conferences, conventions, groups, classes, cafes, bars, etc. Talk to writers and network with them, and learn from them, pick up ideas. Editors and publishers would be in the room where they meet, and they might hire you. Also, subscribe to writers’ media-websites, magazines, manuals, etc. All of that has inspired me to write out drafts of poems and stories.
Practice the art of writing. Write a diary, write letters, take notes of what goes on around you, what you attain with your senses, maintain a blog. Just write anything, when your mind will trigger, and the words will flow freely, and you can find a story or poem in those scribblings.
Read! That tops them all. Read the classics of fiction and poetry, of journalism, newspapers, magazines, blogs-from the classics to the crappiest pulp stuff. Again in my experience, reading triggers in me the urge to do my own writing, right then and there.
Here are a couple of fine writing guidebooks in my life:
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and EB White. This little book is a classic for learning to write with clarity, taking a less-is-more attitude.
Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg is an advocate of free-writing, just putting down whatever you must, just let the pen run free on the paper.
every first Monday of the Month, the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (http://freelibrary.org) holds its Monday Poets Reading Series; last night I took part in an open reading, along with other fine regional poets. The next reading, on May 6, will be on the theme “Whitman@200: Art and Democracy,” featuring Leonard Gontarek and poets from the Poetry in Common Workshop. Please look into this, and please support your local libraries and other educational venues.
On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, I attended the poetry reading at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom street in Philadelphia (https://www.fergies.com/), sponsored by the Moonstone Arts Center (http://moonstoneartscenter.org/) , one of the great promoters on poetry and poets in Philadelphia.
Next Wednesday, January 16, the next Moonstone poetry reading will feature Jennifer Anolik and Amy Barone. Jennifer Hook and Anila MacNeal will host the open mic.This will again take place at Fergie’s.
On Sunday, January 27, Moonsoone will host a tribute to poet JC Todd, featuring her new book, Damages of Morning. The event will take place at 2:00 PM at Fergie’s.
On Wednesday, January 30, Moonstone will host Hive Night, Apiary magazine’s celebrate of local poets, which will include an open mic. This will also take place at Fergie’s.
I will take part in the swap-meet tomorrow, starting at 3:00 PM, taking place at my favorite bar, Dirty Frank’s, on 13th and Pine streets in Philadelphia. There I will sell my books of poetry and my anthology.
I will also be at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street in Philadelphia, for the Wednesday evening poetry reading of the Moonstone Arts Center, http://moonstoneartscenter.org/ . On Wednesday, November 21, the featured readers will be Hanoch Guy and Lisa Grunberger, with warren Longmire as host; on Wednesday, November 28, the featured readers will be Lynn Levin and Joan Roberta Ryan, with Alina MacNeal and Jennifer Hook as hosts. Following the featured readers will be the open mic, where I and other fine Philadelphia poets will read their material.
I will attend the reading of the Moonstone Arts Center, to be held at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street in Philadelphia, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (http://www.fergies.com/) The featured readers will be Clinton Smith, poet, prose writer, and musician; and poet Elijah Pryor. There will be an open mic reading, which I shall take part in. (http://www.moonstoneartscenter.org/).
I will hold office hours for my Notary work, and to sell my books, at 1500 Walnut Street, suite 700, from 12:00-3:00 PM, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. I look forward to seeing you and working with you.
I have participated in the poetry readings of the Moonstone Arts Center, held at Fergie’s Pub, 13th and Sansom streets, in Philadelphia, joining hundreds of fine Philadelphia area poets.