How Confessional Poets Influenced My Poetry (and a Special Literary Announcement)

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

– John Keating, Dead Poets Society

from “Cuttings” by Theodore Roethke

I recently found an old copy of Eight American Poets, an anthology edited by Joel Conarroe, at a yard sale, amongst a smattering of poetry and writing books that all wanted to come home with me. I was immediately reeled back to college–specifically, to a Modern American Poetry paper in which I explored confessional poetry through the works of Lowell, Berryman, Sexton, and Plath. It was my favorite academic paper I ever wrote. Not only because I got to read all the Plath poems, but because I was introduced to more poets who stirred up the dark, honest truths inside of me the way Plath’s poetry did. Because I found a home for my own poetry to curl up in. Because I could put a name to what I was doing when I vulnerably put pen to paper. Continue reading How Confessional Poets Influenced My Poetry (and a Special Literary Announcement)

Small Human, Big Goal: Journey to Book Editor

I’m not good at breaking down big goals.

I can write a poem every day for 30 days. I can stick to a three-month workout plan. I can do yoga every day for 30 days. I can meditate every day for 10 da—nope, still working on that one.

The point is: I’m good at doing a specific task for “x” amount of days. Or following someone else’s step-by-step plan.

But breaking down big goals? It’s one thing to roll out a yoga mat for 30 days straight. It’s another to reach a bigger goal, like starting a business or writing a book or getting a job as a book editor.

When I set a big goal like that, all I see is the blank space between me and it. I don’t know where to start. I’m overwhelmed. I’m backing out before I even begin. Continue reading Small Human, Big Goal: Journey to Book Editor