19 February 2011

A writer's week on twitter - poetry

Not all writers are poets but all poets are writers (discuss?).  This week I have been exploring poetry on twitter – and learning a lot. 

Haiku on twitter

It is strangely satisfying to share a complicated idea in less than 140 characters – and definitely good practice for writers used to 2000 words a day (more on a good day...). 

The ultimate in this has to be the clever use that some poets are making of the Japanese Haiku form.

It was looking out for these that I discovered Lori Franklin (@JaneBeNimble), who has written more than she can remember (and inspired me to re-discover the poet within me!).  I asked Lori for her favourite and she suggested: 

Carrying the pail ~ hand tightly grasping handle ~ petals drift away

My own favourite of Lori's is:

Rain carving ~ channels through rock ~ my love ~ on a journey
~ to your sea

Dreaming in Darkness

Another of my favourite poetry ‘discoveries’ is Jessica Kristie, (@JessKristie) from the California Bay area who after many years is launching her new poetry compilation Dreaming in Darkness in March (she started when she was ten.)  Jessica encourages everyone with an interest in poetry to pursue their dream of being published.

I asked if she had advice for others planning to publish poetry and she said “It’s not an easy road and requires determination and a thick skin.  Writing talent is subjective and, like all art, can be heavily criticized.  Know your skill level. Be honest with what you are good at, and what you can improve on.  You have to work at it and find your niche within that world.”

I have wondered if it is harder to get poetry published and Jessica told me “There is a lot of opportunity out there and people still do enjoy poetry.  There are plenty of book publishers, magazines and online writing venues that take poetry submissions.  Take your time to research and find the one that best suits your work - then submit submit submit!”

How twitter can help poets

I asked another of my favourite 'twitter poets', San Fransisco based Nikki Dreams (@NikkiDreams) if posting had helped her develop her poetry. Just asking the question inspired a heatfelt post on her blog. She says “Twitter is a hugely viral way to get instant feedback and provide expose for more people to your work. I use Twitter more and more as a tool to get that exposure.”  Nikki agrees that the art of writing micro-poetry on Twitter is great practice and allows you to break with accepted grammatical rules that actually work better in poetic formats.

Interestingly, Nikki told me that one of her ‘little bursts’ on Twitter evolved into a full screenplay that she is now writing (see How twitter can help poets on her blog Nikki Dreams and more of her amazing poetry on Translucidity).

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