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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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December Blogging Meme Topics #11 & #12 (missed yesterday)
All thorns & no grace
My head exploded last night, hence the need to play catch-up.

What, for you, is the purpose of poetry? Why do you read it? Why do you write it? Why do you publish it, and how do you choose where to publish?

When I first started writing at the age of thirteen (late bloomer, by most standards; nearly all my friends who write say they were composing stories or verse as early as kindergarten), it was all verse and no prose except when I was writing essays for school.  Poetry was, to my perception, writing at its pinnacle of expression: concise, cutting, and spectacular given how much it could convey in such limited space on the page.  To me, poetry is necessarythe written distillation of our most immediate, urgent, and visceral experiences.  At its best, poetry should function like music (specific enough to grab our attention, yet universal enough for anyone to read into it what they wish).  I don't self-publish poetry except when I post locked drafts to this blog, so I can't answer that part of your question until such time as I become a publisher; however, what determines where I submit my work is a combination of factors.  Like so many people who find themselves classed as speculative, I seem to be one of those writers whose work rarely fares well when submitted to "mainstream" venues, but who has fared exceedingly well in the past decade when submitted to SF/F/Spec markets (to the point, of course, where I eventually ended up on staff at Strange Horizons).  Ultimately, what determines whether I'll send my work somewhere is whether I enjoy the publication or not.

Your favorite foreign-language phrases and why you like them so much?

Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy (Polish: Not my circus, not my monkeys).  I love that phrase to death, not least because it's extremely snarky.  As a longtime francophile, I'm extremely fond of Qu'est-ce que c'est? as an interrogative.  It trips pleasingly off the tongue.

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At its best, poetry should function like music (specific enough to grab our attention, yet universal enough for anyone to read into it what they wish). <-- I agree!

Qu'est-ce que c'est? is the best interrogative. When I started learning French as a child, I was especially fond of the even longer Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça. :D I like how the expression looks really long written down, but when spoken is fast as lightning.

YES. Yes, that too: these phrases look so unwieldy on paper, but on the tongue, they're anything but!

Speaking of poetry, do you have a rec list of poets to read? (besides yourself ;-)

I am interested in modern women poets (our contemporaries) in particular.

ETA: I prefer to read poetry in book form, rather than on a screen. I find it easier to engage, and to contemplate (poetry needs a lot of contemplations) on page.

Thank you!

Edited at 2014-12-19 05:28 pm (UTC)

As I am one of the editorial team at Strange Horizons, if you start reading the poets listed here as our collective departmental favorites, many of them are mine (in particular Jo Walton, Louise Glück, Margaret Atwood, Patience Agbabi, Qwo-Li Driskill, Sharon Olds, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Marilyn Chin; this list is by no means exhaustive or complete, and I should note that Driskill is a Cherokee Queer/Two-Spirit writer, so not strictly adhering to your request for just women-poet recs, as I feel nonbinary writers are overdue for the reccing they deserve).

Oh yeah, non-binary tot works, thanks!

Am huge fan of LeGuin's stories; haven't come across her poetry. Have also read many of Atwood's novels (Cat's Eye, so good) but again not the poetry.

Thanks for the list! Will see who I can track down.

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