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1000 Black Lines

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Is Asheville the wrong place to try to make it as a poet?

A call from an acquaintance in NYC prompted me to ask the question: Is Asheville the wrong place to try to make it as a poet? The Check out the D.C. scene and the Baltimore scene.

  1. Anonymous UnknownCity | 11:34 AM, May 24, 2007 |  

    Yes. Yes it is.

  2. Blogger 1000 black lines | 4:22 PM, May 24, 2007 |  

    Aw, crud. I guess I had better move.

  3. Blogger Britt Kaufmann | 12:15 AM, May 28, 2007 |  

    you need a city with a scene to be a good poet?


  4. Blogger 1000 black lines | 9:09 AM, May 28, 2007 |  

    Hi Britt,

    Regarding a need for a city fostering better poetry--no, not really. Maybe it is not a city/region but rather the community of like-minded poets/writers that is essential.

    Consider Pound, Joyce and Eliot's literary relationship, or Ginsberg and Kerouac, or the New York School's poets John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, Barbara Guest and others or the Black Mountain poets including Denise Levertov and Robert Creeley.

    Comparing Asheville to the D.C. and Baltimore may not be fair. Also, my question have a weak supposition to begin--"to make it" as a poet is weak. One pursues the reading, writing and publishing of poetry as an avocation--not a vocation.

  5. Blogger Wanna B (Ann Barrett) | 7:01 AM, June 01, 2007 |  

    I wonder . . . what does it mean to "make it as a poet"?

    And "like-minded"? Whoa!

  6. Blogger Wanna B (Ann Barrett) | 11:53 AM, June 02, 2007 |  

    I am not sure it is a weak supposition. It is at the very least provocative. How does environment affect the making of a poem? Maybe this can be addressed by considering what goes into the writing process (which of course varies depending on who you are). But there are some basics, I think—things that are often at-play during the composition of a poem that might be influenced by environment. I’ll list a few that immediately come to mind.

    1. Observation
    2. Point of view
    3. Audience

    Any other ideas?

  7. Blogger 1000 black lines | 10:27 AM, June 04, 2007 |  

    Hi wanna b (ann barrett) [Is this the same Ann who read at the Flood Fine Art Center with Rick Chess?],

    The post was intentionally provocative. To "make it" is used as a colloquial expression meaning to accomplish, acquire or procure success. Poets and writers may agree that a published manuscript is success. And multiple published works are a greater success. Like it or not, I realize that much of published poetry is due in part to networking. Asheville doesn't have the same connections as NYC or DC.

    Regarding the environment within which a poem is composed; observation and point of view are key. I'm glad you mention audience. I think too many young poets compose their verse without thought of the audience.

    Community is essential too--a fellowship of ink-slinging, keyboard-crunching souls.

    And a good library of books by great poets and writers.

    Even books of badly written lyrics is good--so as not to commit the same errors.

  8. Blogger Wanna B (Ann Barrett) | 6:54 AM, July 18, 2007 |  

    Hello 1000 Black Lines.

    Yes, I read at the Flood gallery with Rick. Were you there?

    Definitely, too many poets/writers disregard (are apparently oblivious to) audience, but not just the young ones. For the sake of simplicity, we can call this phenomena "narcissism," an illness that seems to pervade our culture nowadays. But this is another topic altogether, isn't it?

    At any rate, audience and how it relates to a work of art is also a provocative subject. Some contend that an artist's intentions are completely irrelevent, while others believe that any reaction to a particular artist's work is meaningless minus at least some biographical understanding. I tend toward the former. You?

  9. Blogger 1000 black lines | 10:24 PM, July 18, 2007 |  

    Yes, I was there that night. You, Rick and Chall did a great job.

    How an audience relates to an art object (whether visual or literary) is a topic that fills tomes. A few years ago I pondered this subject (here): "Should the artist be separated from his/her creations?" The question was a reaction to whether or not it is important for an artist's personal beliefs to be absent or present in the art object. Further, is the artist's personal beliefs relevant to the audiences experiencing of an art object?

    Rarely do I approach an art object and ponder what does this mean. Questions regarding form, content and craft are more in order for me: what is the subject matter? what is the theme? And in prose and poetry, who is the speaker? to whom is the speaker addressing? what is the form?

    Craftsmanship, regarding poetry, is what I am trying to focus on currently.

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