Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Robert Bly told me I had "a beautiful face."

This past weekend I was at the Ottawa International Writers Festival reading with Angela Rawlings and John MacDonald. I'm about to leave for Between the Lakes: an Interlochen Symposium for Readers and Writers. I'm doing a lecture/demonstration on my music and writing as well as two readings at a school in nearby Traverse City, Michigan.

I went to Grade 11 & 12 at Interlochen Arts Academy. I studied music & writing as well as all the usual high school stuff (American civics?) They have a dedicated Creative Writing building (that's the picture with this post) and a specific writing program.

When I went there, my room mate used to be able to quote from memory the entire The Wasteland. We also had visiting writing teachers like Mark Strand and Robert Bly. It was really incredible.

One really interesting little rule that they had in the Grade 11 writing classes was that you weren't allowed to use plurals or abstract nouns. This made you either ground your writing in concrete images (and avoid many of the vague, mushy pitfalls of high school writing) or have to argue for each abstraction or plural.

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And now, for your literary diversion (why bother going through all that soul searing, and brain searching) here's a cool link that will generate poems from your first line:

Here's mine:

my shoes are angry

thinking why oh why have I committed such a crime.

Reality is a staircase leading nowhere.

Still I warble in springtime.

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And one more thing, here's a fascinating site that regenders webpages. You give it a URL and it switches the genders of the content. Really an amazing little subversion.

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