Tag: poetry


interview: david wright

28th October

{ in this interview, poet david wright discusses craft, inspiration, and revision }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

Two things come to mind. First, how the hell do I know? I mean, I hope that a person who reads the poems comes to them with a generous spirit and that the poem rewards that generosity in such a way that she’ll want to return to the poem (or another one) again. But you can’t (and shouldn’t) control that. It’s a reader’s freedom to come to a poem with whatever needs and hopes he carries around all the time. If the poem meets the reader there, … Read More »



interview: aaron belz

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, vocation, writing. 1 Comment

24th July

{an interview with poet and essayist aaron belz, who recently released his third collection of poetry, GLITTER BOMB}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I don’t picture anyone reading my poetry. I have no basis for what happens in that mental picture other than seeing people reading things and, hopefully, enjoying them. Whom I write for is the discouraged person. I just want them to know I’m here for them if they need me. I also write to make myself laugh. It’s the old “you crack yourself up” thing. If I’m my own worst critic, am I not also my own best audience? Live readings are a … Read More »



interview: shane mccrae

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, vocation, writing. No Comments

11th July

{an interview with poet shane mccrae, whose newest collection, FORGIVENESS FORGIVENESS, will be published by factory hollow press next month. pre-order it here}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I don’t know that I have an ideal reader—which, I know, isn’t an answer to the question, but is maybe parallel to an answer, maybe a way into answering. I’ve always felt a little disingenuous saying that I write for myself, although I do—the problem, I think, is in the word for. It suggests the giving of a gift. I write because I can’t not write, because I wouldn’t know how to be if I didn’t write, and … Read More »



a collaboration of grace and work

Posted by Sarah Schock in poetry, poets, review, rumination, writing. No Comments

26th June

In his extended essay Living the Sabbath, philosopher Norman Wirzba writes, “Though God’s resurrection power has been unleashed in the person of Jesus Christ, we still await the time when God’s ‘new creation’ is fully realized.” That time of full realization the church fathers Basil and Augustine referred to as the “eighth day,” the day in Wirzba’s words that “stands beyond creation as its final summation or conclusion.” William Carlos Williams is not often thought of as an eschatological poet, and I’ve no doubt it would be wrong to make a claim that he is, yet his little poem “The Red Wheelbarrow,” when approached with an eschatological imagination, is surprisingly supple and giving.

Unlike much poetry, the pattern of Williams’s poem is visual, not rhythmic.

Read out loud, the single sentence is starkly prosaic. But its appearance on the page—four … Read More »



interview: renee emerson

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, writing. No Comments

12th June

{an interview with pushcart prize-nominated poet renee emerson, whose first book, KEEPING ME STILL, is now available for purchase}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I picture my great-great-great granddaughter coming upon my dusty, well-worn poetry book in a box in the attic. Taking it down and thumbing through it while the babies are napping. Smudging it with greasy fingers because she’s reading while cooking dinner. Reading it as she would a diary or a long letter. I know it is a little romantic for this to be my ideal reader, her hair in a loose ponytail and wearing yesterday’s T-shirt, but she’s there behind every poem … Read More »



making a joyful noise: the poetry of hymns

2nd May

This May I had the opportunity to teach a class of my own design at church, one that had never been taught there before. All I had to go on were a few observations I made during our Easter Vigil service. I had noticed that one of the hymns sung during the Easter Vigil was written in perfect iambic pentameter. No sonnet, this hymn’s text was written over 1,200 years before William Shakespeare was even born. I was also struck by the sometimes vast differences in the year a hymn’s text was written and the year it was paired with the music to which it was set in our Lutheran hymnal.

Having recently graduated with my MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, I had learned that it takes something poetic in nature for a text to stay relevant for several … Read More »



crow delivers the goods

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, poetry, poets, writing. No Comments

10th April

Just as meaning in a conversation rises out of an exchange of ideas originating in shared experience, meaning in a poem rises out of collaboration between a poet and a reader. Each brings a history to the occasion of the poem: the poet to its composition, the reader to its text.

One implication of this is that every reading of a poem is subtly different from every other reading of it. This is true for a reader returning to a favorite poem or for two readers discussing the same poem. Another implication is that no reading of a poem can be definitive. The meaning of a poem evolving through multiple readings by multiple readers escapes the control of the poet. Nevertheless, the poet sets the limits of that meaning.

I suspect Robert Frost had something like this idea in mind when, in … Read More »



interview: matthew lippman

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, writing. No Comments

3rd April

{an interview with poet matthew lippman upon the release of his third collection of poetry, AMERICAN CHEW, which won the burnside review book prize in 2013}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I want my poems to be generous creatures, and so the audience in my mind is everyone—high school students, teachers, attorneys, other poets, bus drivers, mechanics. If my mechanic, Tony, picks up my book, gets into one of my poems, and is entertained and moved by it, I’m doing my job. It’s not so much a case of nourishment as it is a case of having fun. By fun I mean this, being moved, in any way, … Read More »



writing my way in

13th March

Recently I was asked to visit a senior English class at the school where I teach World Religions.  I was excited to be entering into conversation with students not just as their familiar teacher but as  a ‘real poet.’  But as I was telling students about the writing life, when I was singing the usual song about how hard it is to write, and how I have to drag myself to do it sometimes, a student I knew quite well looked at me half in annoyance and half in genuine curiosity.  He asked, “Then why do you do it?”

My brain sputtered.  No one had asked me that, that directly, in a long time.  I could have gotten dramatic and said because I have no other choice!  It must come from my soul or surely I will perish! Instead I said … Read More »



tracking the walking poets

18th November

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance—
and changes us, even if we do not reach it…

—Rilke, “A Walk”

 

 I cannot be the only child who was first exposed to “devotional poetry” through the ever-famous work “Footprints in the Sand”. I saw it mostly on the walls of friends or neighbors—in embroidered prints with sand and water and sky sewn in around the verses to set the scene of a dreamed of beach.

While I was never as enamored of it as everyone else seemed to be, I did accept its sentiment of spiritual comfort, then. The allegory of a walk made sense to a child raised on Bible stories and fairy tales of adventurous wanderings and who had walked barefoot by the water on many summer holidays. And there … Read More »




resources for faithful practitioners of creativity and creative practitioners of faith...

interview: amber nelson

{ in this interview, poet amber nelson brings the heat discussing vision, revision, and attentiveness }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do...

interview: michael martin

{ in this interview, poet michael martin discusses approaches to creating poems. }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them?...

interview: sheldon lee compton

{ in this interview, sheldon lee compton ruminates on fiction, revision, and writing as a life discipline }

when you picture someone reading your fiction,...

interview: karen swallow prior

{ in this interview, karen swallow prior discuss her process and the challenges of writing toward truth }

you’re primarily known as—I think—a lover and...

interview: david wright

{ in this interview, poet david wright discusses craft, inspiration, and revision }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them?...

“walking with kindness” by mark liebenow

What is required of us is to do justice, love kindness,

 and walk humbly with our God. Micah 6:8

 

I imagine Micah...

“a made thing” by heather caliri

For a long time, I simply felt helpless.

My youth pastor in high school was spiritually abusive to many of us, and he sexually abused...

“the devil you know: rough drafts” by elizabeth jarrett andrew

Poor revision, unfairly maligned due to a quirk of human nature! We beasts prefer prowling on familiar territory, rooting up the same soil with...

interview: aaron belz

{an interview with poet and essayist aaron belz, who recently released his third collection of poetry, GLITTER BOMB}

when you picture someone reading your poetry,...

a worker’s prayer: van gogh on sight

When it’s warm outside and the food processing plant doesn’t smell, I sit on the call center steps and drink tea in the sun....

interview: shane mccrae

{an interview with poet shane mccrae, whose newest collection, FORGIVENESS FORGIVENESS, will be published by factory hollow press next month. pre-order it here}

when you picture...

creative luxury: beyond maslow

A few months ago my husband, our two kids, and I returned from seven years in China, where we served with Food for the...