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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Inkpop.com is a website run by Harper Collins Publishers for those interested in writing for young adults. It offers a blog, author interviews, a forum, live chats on publishing-related topics, and book reviews. Members have the opportunity to post their own novels, short stories, and poetry for critique by fellow writers. They can give input on the works posted via a ranking system, and the top 5 in each category are reviewed by Harper Collins editors at the end of each month. This doesn’t guarantee any of the projects will be accepted for publication, but it is a possibility.

Though I haven’t joined the site, I like many of its features.

  • It’s easy to navigate, colorful, and looks as though it’s designed by professionals.
  • The forums are active, and the threads I read show members interacting and trying to help each other.
  • The blog provides helpful information, including writing tips, interviews, and book reviews.
  • Live chats with authors, marketers, and other publishing professionals give members a chance to ask questions and receive answers from people with more expertise than themselves.
  • The instructions for uploading writing projects were clear and simple.

The site’s primary target is writers of young adult fiction, and many of the members appear to be young writers. Though I don’t fit into either category, I thought the site looked interesting and ended up reading several of the projects that were posted, as well as a few of the book reviews. Over all, I would feel comfortable using this site if I wanted to get feedback from other writers on a young adult project, or wanted to learn more about that genre.

Have you used Inkpop or a similar site? If so, was it a good experience? What advantages or disadvantages do you see to posting work on a site like that for feedback?

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I’ve been looking forward to this day all week. It’s National Punctuation Day, which gives all us grammarians a reason to chat about little things like commas, periods, colons, and exclamation marks, without feeling like nerds.

Last year I celebrated by discussing commas. You can read that post by clicking here.

This year, I did a little research for tidbits of information on punctuation that you might find interesting. Here are my favorites: Did you know that the exclamation mark was originally the letter I placed above the letter O, representing the Latin word io, meaning exclamation of joy? Do you know how many punctuation marks are used in the English language? (14)

For those of you who write poetry, there’s a Haiku contest over at http://nationalpunctuationday.com/ to celebrate this year’s Punctuation Day. Entries must be submitted by September 30, 2010, so check it out today!

 See full size image

 

What’s your favorite punctuation mark—or least favorite?  Are you celebrating anything today? 

 

 

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Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own. — Salvatore Quasimodo

 

 

In honor of April being Poetry Month, I decided to give poetry a try. I studied the pantoum, which is a simple, structured poem style based on ancient Malaysian folk poetry. A pantoum can be rhymed in abab pattern, or left unrhymed. Each stanza is made up of 4 lines, and there can be as many stanzas as you want.

There is a pattern of line repetition that gives this type of poem a lovely, flowing quality when done right. The pattern is that the second and fourth lines of a stanza are used as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The final stanza uses the first and third lines of the very first stanza as its second and fourth lines. That brings everything full circle by the ending line matching the beginning one.

Are you confused yet? Someone please correct me if I have this wrong, but my understanding is that it goes like this (with the change in the last one being the pattern for your final stanza):

1 2 3 4,   2 5 4 6,   5 7 6 8,   7 3 8 1

 

This has been a fun project, but my poems really stink. Here’s one of my best:

 

 The Drought

 

The land lies cracked and barren

Beneath the scorching sun

Not a drop of rain has fallen

Since the summer first begun

 

Beneath the scorching sun

Crops have felt the strain

Since the summer first begun

Now desert instead of plain

 

Crops have felt the strain

Not a drop of rain has fallen

Now desert instead of plain

The land lies cracked and barren

 

 

My challenge to you is to write a pantoum. Post it in the comments here, or put it on your own blog and post a link in my comments section so I can read it. It can be any length, and doesn’t have to rhyme; just don’t make it vulgar, please.

On May 1, I will mention each person, if any, who joined me in writing a pantoum, and will include a brief comment highlighting their blog or website. Yeah, I know it’s a cheap prize, but it’s the best I can do.

Here’s a link to the site that got me interested in pantoums, which has better examples to go by for writing one of your own:

http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/2401/chapbook/pantoums.htm

There’s one about the desert that’s worth reading even if you don’t plan to write one:

http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/2401/chapbook/dawning.htm

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating what’s left of National Poetry Month.

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