Writing Archive

Broken Plank & Immortal Veil

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Guest post by Peter B. Hyland In book five of The Odyssey, the sea goddess Ino comes to the aid of a storm-tossed Odysseus. She emerges from the waves and loans him her veil, a talisman that ensures he will arrive in one piece on the island of Scheria,

Real Risk: Writing as a Performance Art

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Guest post by Alicia Jo Rabins A palace must have passages….a poem must have transitions. –Samuel Johnson (via Barbara Guest) In making poems, we cross from the known to the unknown. We destroy the drywall of the consciousness-room we’ve been living in, look at the sky beyond, and then

You Talk Funny: Some Notes on Accessibility and Poetry

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Guest post by Peter B. Hyland At a dinner event last week, I met an engaging lawyer who was very interested in the fact that I write poetry. He had an enthusiasm for wanting to read poems, but admitted that he rarely does. His explanation was familiar–poetry can be

The Bottom of the Mere

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Guest post by James Arthur I’d like to think that although poetic styles change, as they should, the themes of poetry are more durable: that poets will keep writing love poems, for example, as long as romantic love exists, and writing elegies as long as there is death, because

Cleveland and the Art of Living

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“The Full Cleveland and the Salon of the Refused”: Part II Guest post by Alicia Jo Rabins Read Part I here. III. Julie Patton, an artist, writer, visionary and teacher with roots in Cleveland, asked this question (about Cleveland the place, not Cleveland the suit from last week) in

“I Pledge My Death-Wattle to the Cause of Poetry”

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Guest post by Peter B. Hyland One of the finest readings I can remember attending took place a few years ago. It was held at the Museum of Printing History in Houston, a serene little building displaying so many typographical wonders that each time I leave I feel compelled

The Dead Poets Society

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Three for three: James starts today as our final Get Behind the Plough blogger for the Winter 2009-10 issue! What better way to kick back on a Friday afternoon? As always, read. Savor. Leave comments. “The Dead Poets Society” Guest post by James Arthur I sometimes feel self-conscious when

The Full Cleveland and the Salon of the Refused

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Today we welcome back Alicia Jo Rabins, our second guest blogger from the Winter 2009-10 Ploughshares. Thanks to all who read and commented on our first Get Behind the Plough with Peter B. Hyland. We encourage you to use this space to ask questions and continue conversations. “The Full

Death, Abundance, and Table Settings

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Welcome to our inaugural week of Get Behind the Plough! For each issue of Ploughshares, you can read weekly posts from three authors we’ve published: their thoughts about poetry and prose, art and artifice, life and death. Pretty much anything that gets their creative juices going. For the next

Two Ways of Sailing with Words, by Alicia Jo Rabins

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As both a poet and a songwriter, I’m constantly journeying between two distinct ways of making art out of words. Working simultaneously in multiple disciplines has its challenges, but for me, poetry and songwriting are inextricably linked, and they feed each other. I work on poems backstage, and write