No Prize is Modest to a Poet

A little poem of mine is published this quarter in Boston Literary Magazine. (yay!)

I’m only bragging a little, because it’s funny to go prancing about saying “Oh look at me! I got a poem published,” … because I hardly ever update my Facebook status with the more common haiku news of my life:

Rejection again.
This email signed “Sincerely!”
Must send her flowers.

I do some of my best writing after I’ve gone walking, listening to the voice of Garrison Keillor on the brief and potent podcast: “The Writer’s Almanac.” Keillor is a performer, but his work is supremely generous… it reaches out continually with humor and graciousness and depth of emotion. It’s what makes his work so singular.

But his work is also worth reading too, and I enjoyed this old Atlantic Monthly piece he wrote in ’96: “The Poetry Judge.” I suddenly felt the weight of the poor sap who had to sift through all the writing — good, bad and (worst of all), somewhere in between —  for each, every, and any poetry issue.

“It was hard to read those poems and imagine how possibly to judge them as writing, or how the writers wished to be judged. After you have read ten Vietnam poems by ten men so haunted by the war that twenty-five years later their poems are breathless with horror, do you say, “Thank you for sharing your horror, and I choose horror No. 5 because the imagery is more vivid and it is better structured and more original”? — Garrison Keillor, from “The Poetry Judge”

What effect does Garrison Keillor (voice, cadence, writing style) have on you?

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

  1 comment for “No Prize is Modest to a Poet

  1. October 5, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Congratulations! No mean feat…I would go around singing a little happy song to myself for days on end in your shoes!

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