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Occupation: Poet

'Not for ambition or bread,' said Dylan Thomas about writing poetry, in the sonnet, In My Craft or Sullen Art.

That's about right, for most poets. Yet we regard it as our work, our vocation, that thing we can't not do.

I'll be truthful: I don't write that occupation on forms any more, though I did when younger. I put 'retired' or 'age pensioner'; it's simpler. But I still occupy myself in making poems, and in related activities. As they say, 'It's what I do.'

But what exactly?

Related activities are:
  • Columns for the international online community, Poets United. I alternate fortnightly (on Fridays) between I Wish I'd Written This and The Living Dead, discussing poems and poets I like. When there is a fifth Friday in the month, I write Moonlight Musings, exploring various matters of concern to poets – such as copyright, plagiarism, influences, form, payment/reward.... 
  • Administering various poetry groups on facebook, including haiku and tanka groups. 
  • Participating in several blogging groups including Poets United. 
  • Editing other people's poetry for pay. 
  • Workshopping other people's poetry as a favour, or reciprocally. 
  • Reading and commenting on other people's poems as participation in the facebook groups and blogging groups. 
  • Producing book manuscripts, either on my own or in collaboration with other poets. Publishing some, usually but not only as ebooks. (Hey, look in the right-hand side-column! Some of them are still available to buy.) 
  • Accepting invitations to contribute to poetry anthologies. (You'll find some of them in the side-column too.) 
  • Writing book reviews, such as these here

Memoir Plans

I'm not sure if I can count it as a related activity – at least not directly – but I am assembling material for a memoir that has long been asked for by many people. They are more interested in the fact that I'm a psychic, an energy healer and a witch than in my poetry.  

I find it difficult to write. But a number of people have described my poetry as a sort of diary in verse – I guess that's what you get for being largely 'confessional' – so I am thinking that part of the memoir could be in verse, or poems might punctuate it. Meanwhile I assemble material, in personal journals that don't get shared yet, and in a blog called Blowing My Own Trumpet. (I'm so not musical! It's a metaphor.)

Interviews

Sometimes I interview other poets. For example, my friend Helen Patrice when her first book, A Woman of Mars was published.

Sometimes I get interviewed, e.g. this on poetry and witchcraft, by Sherry at Poets United.

Spiritual Writings

I belong to a women's circle called The Goddesses of Shining Light. I am sometimes asked to present talks or lead meditations at our monthly meetings.


I have a blog called Cronewyze, where I write about witchy stuff, energy healing, etc. 

And above all –


Making Poems

'What a quiet, dull life!' – that's what I think people must think about my life. I do have a social life, quite an active one with my many good friends, but I also spend a lot of time alone at my desk. For me it isn't dull; the making of poems is endlessly absorbing. Crafting them, getting them as right as I can, is like solving a puzzle. (I like doing puzzles; it's one of my recreations.) 

Life presents no shortage of subject matter, and these days I also follow prompts from some of the poetry groups I belong to. I write nearly every day. I seldom submit to journals or anthologies now unless invited, though once upon a time (in my youth) I did. That was before the internet. Now I blog them, usually at my poetry blog, The Passionate Crone.

Although my real love is free verse, the older I get the more I like to experiment with form too. I try all sorts – haiku, sonnets, prose poems, sestinas, found poems, boomerang metaphors, tiluses – from the old and traditional to recent inventions.

Occasionally I write 'small stones' – small observations of life, polished to the best of my ability. They are usually in verse, but sometimes short prose, and I blog them at Stones for the River.

Coming Up:

The online launch of Delaina Miller's The Unique and Sundry, which I edited.

A collaboration with Helen Patrice and Jennie Fraine, Three Cycles of the Moon.

Writing a poem a day during the 'poetry month' of April. They'll be posted at The Passionate Crone.

Being a guest blogger during the month of June at Project 366, where various Australian poets post daily drafts, as a process and for (potential) discussion.



(Cross-posted to my SnakyPoet blog)

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