Saturday, December 20, 2008

Advice to Beginning Writers

At Facebook, I joined a group called Poetry Factions Are Stupid. Within that group, Joanne Limburg began a discussion. From London, Ms. Limburg wrote (on Oct 20, 2007)

In a month or so, I'll be delivering a talk to an audience mostly of secondary school pupils and their parents, on the subjects of poetry, doing poetry, being a poet, how I became a poet etc. etc. What would you say to a young would-be poet, apart from 'Try accountancy.'? All contributions welcome. Thanks.

Another Facebook user, Marc Zegans, had also joined the Poetry Factions Are Stupid group. He saw Joanne's question and answered with what I regard as alacrity. From Boston, Mr. Zegans wrote (on Nov 5, 2007)

Hi Joanne, there's much advice one could offer to young poets, but here are three pieces riffing on [W.H.] Auden:

  • write from a place of "imaginative awe";
  • allow yourself to be a young poet, and don't try to be otherwise--hence, write from encounter with what you have known;
  • you're only a poet when you're writing a poem, so there's plenty of time left over for other things that fuel your social self and pay the rent.
Best of luck, Marc

For more about Joanne Limburg, go to the Poetry Magazines website.

For more about Marc Zegans, visit his MySpace page.

You may be able to interact with Joanne and Marc if you join Facebook and send them a Friend Request.


Michelle said...

Joanne is a fantastic poet. She's also currently writing a memoir called The Woman Who Thought Too Much.

Andrew Christ said...

Yes, I believe she's won an award or two for her poetry.