The Most Beautiful Book in the World

When I'm on vacation, I like to visit independent bookstores. As I stepped inside Paragraphs at South Padre Island (SPI), I was determined to purchase something that I couldn't find elsewhere or wouldn't think to look for or had never heard … [Read more]

“Our Town”

Last night I went to see "Our Town" for the second time at the Fredericksburg Theater Company. This time, my husband went with me. He'd never seen the play, although he'd seen part of the ending from an episode of the old TV show "The Wonder Years." … [Read more]

What “Hamilton” Can Teach Us About Poetry

"Drake rhymes, Mom. So does Lil Wayne." That was my son's response when I told him most of my poetry doesn't rhyme. My kids---who both listen to hip-hop---have played enough of it for me that I can appreciate its complicated rhymes. I can't play … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapters 8 & 9

I've spent the last few weeks blogging through Tania Runyan's new book titled "How to Write a Poem." I've written and revised. Now it's your turn. Chapter 8 is about sharing your poetry, getting it out there in the world. Like this entire book, … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapter 7

"A Change for the Better: Revision." I like revision. Oh, sure, there's always a slough of despair when I realize what I'm writing is not yet what it needs to be and I have no idea how to get it there. But when I have that spark of an idea, I … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapter 6

Tania Runyan titles this chapter "Let it Go: Mystery." "But most readers want to live with a poem, not be lectured by it. They want the author to get out of the boat so they can spend some time on the poetic waves themselves." Today I don't … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapter 5

This chapter of Tania Runyan's book is about the ah-ha moment in a poem. Or, as Billy Collins puts it in "introduction to poetry" or walk inside the poem's room and feel the walls for a light switch Runyan calls that moment "magic." She also … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapter 4

It's time for that most mysterious aspect of poetry: line breaks. This chapter is titled "Lay a Path: Path Attention to Line." Fittingly, the line from Billy Collins' "introduction to poetry" Runyan uses here is this: I say drop a mouse into a … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapter 3

Chapter 3 is called "Stir the Bees: Sound." Runyan begins the chapter with another line from Billy Collins' "introduction to poetry": or press an ear against its hive Think about that word, "hive." I can't read it it without hearing the buzzing … [Read more]

“How to Write a Poem,” chapter 2

The second chapter of Tania Runyan's book "How to Write a Poem," titled "Color It In: Imagery," opens with the beginning lines from Billy Collins' poem "introduction to poetry": I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a … [Read more]