Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Portable Poetry Workshop Project

Now more than ever, I wish I could talk to Jack.  I want his guidance, his wit, his poetry reading suggestions.  I've been reading and rereading his poetry collections.  This week, I turned to his The Portable Poetry Workshop because I need to be in class with him again.  The semester has begun.

What I always admired most about Jack was the way he could make the intangible accessible, like magic.  I'm still in awe even as I read through the introduction pages: "The nature of poetry itself, beyond language and the art's elaborate history of conventions, is all about process, shaping whatever we are trying to sculpt from inchoate fog that allows us to feel what it is to be human."  Jack talks about specific things he feels are most important to making writing a habit, more a "sacred" practice:  sacred space, reading, imitation, feeling, free-writing, and journal writing.  I'm working my way down this checklist now.

One thing Jack always reminded his students was the importance of writing everyday.  It was one of the points he chose to emphasize in his last email to me when I told him I had begun writing again: "Scratch that itch even if it means doodling; it'll pour out poems eventually."  I'm scratching that itch, Jack, and following along with you in this new workshop.

Apt for the first day of class, Jack Myers' poem, "On Sitting" -

Happy reading, Andrea

Monday, June 20, 2011

From the Photo Shoot to the Photo Lab

This bull is my Diana Mini experience thus far, but I'm still smiling!

The first photo shoot went great.  Not really a planned photo shoot, but just a place I wanted to go back to because of all the photo opportunity.  I guilted my mom into joining me, but who would've thought we would've had so much fun being silly with a camera lens?

I forgot to advance my film a couple of times, fidgeted with the focus a little too often, and kept finding myself wanting to "check" my photo to make sure my shot came out now that my convenient little digital camera has programmed me to do so.  Those digital cameras sure spoil us.  I was afraid I was too close, too far away, not enough light...aaaahhhh!  The perfectionist in me was a little disappointed, but I had to roll with it.  I can't be uptight about taking photos.  What then is the point?

On way way to the photo lab, I was plain giddy.  I think I called a handful of people to tell them what I was doing in hopes they would share in my excitement.  Nostalgia set in.  I felt like I was fifteen again, disposable camera in hand with film loaded with pictures of my high school crush who was completely unaware of my sneaky photo-snapping talents.  I couldn't wait for the 1-hour processing time to pass.  Finally, photo folder in hand, I started thumbing through to see what I had captured.

The photos are a little grainy.  Some of the shots I was looking forward to didn't come out because there was not enough light.  Either that or I forgot to take off the lens...(I somewhat recall having forgotten to do that!  Thank goodness for Mom!)  But, I did get some great shots.  Some I don't even remember.  Now, what do I do with them?  Do Diana Mini photographers digitally enhance their images?  Is that cheating?  I still have a lot to learn!  I feel like I'm sitting in my first college poetry class, and even though I've written tons of poems up until now, I am now realizing I know a lot (and I mean A LOT) less than I think I did.  I need a teacher/coach/mentor!

Below are some shots I thought I would share.  I welcome any and all lomography tips and advice!

I have no idea how this happened, but I love it!

Mariachi Strings

Lifting La Virgen

Thursday, June 16, 2011

E-books for Borrow

I have to admit I haven't been a lover of e-books in the past.  There is just something about the real thing I can't part with.  Maybe it's the sound of the pages as I turn them with my right hand, the way I like to dog-ear my favorite passages and make notes in the margins, maybe it's just the way the paper smells.  I can't explain it.  But earlier this year, my husband confronted me with an issue he thought I needed to come to terms with:  I am a book junkie.  I have too many of them.  Can one really have too many books? I buy books one day and abandon them halfway though as I head out the door for my next "bookstore browse" session.  I have a problem.  I admit it.

So, I gave in on the whole e-book thing.  So many people already had a Kindle and cradled it daily, even took loving pictures of it, like it was their new baby.  The Kindle-envy took long to catch on.  Actually, I don't think I really ever caught the Kindle-envy, but I did decide to commit to spend less money on books (e-books cost less than those in print) and be a lot more disciplined when it came to the reading and buying of them.  I downloaded the Kindle application for my iPad and made my first e-book purchase, Paper House, a touching collection of poetry by Jessie Carty.  I was sold.  I was in the mood to Kindle.

Now, I still love my paperback books, but I am a bit of a fan of instant gratification.  When I am looking for a book, I want to read it right then, not leave the bookstore disappointed at not finding it on their shelves and then head home to order it online and wait for days to receive it.  Thank goodness for e-books in this sense.  Thank goodness I can rent e-books through my local library, although their selection is limited and poetry books are impossible to find.  And now, thank goodness for, where you can swap Kindle and Nook e-books for a nominal fee ($2 per book.)  You can also earn credits by sharing your purchases with others.  I just had to share the good news with you today!  I'm off to explore more on this site.

Happy reading!  Andrea

Monday, June 13, 2011

What is #poetry?

Everyone has their own definition.  You prefer some styles over another.  This or that, depending on your mood.  I liken it to wine:  your taste buds evolve over the years, but you always have that certain sweet spot.

What is poetry to you?

For me, each poem is a life song.  Everyone can sing along, no matter their voice.  Or, they can choose not to sing at all.  Maybe, they'll come back to the song with a greater appreciation and understanding years later.  No matter, you can compose your own song, sing your own lyrics, develop your own melody.  Sometimes, your heart and mouth get ahead of your mind.  Sing it out and share with the world.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

First Load: Through This Lens is Wonderland

Finally, a morning to explore the putting together of my Diana Mini!

The first film loaded is AgfaPhoto Vista 100.  I'm working on memorizing Lomography's "10 Golden Rules" and think I'm probably going to struggle most with #6: "Don't think."  Ha!  I won't have a problem with the first rule though.

Now, what to shoot?  Wonderland awaits...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Poem published in flashquake!

Proud to have a poem published in this issue! My poem "16th Street Baptist Church, 1963" is on page 16...Please click on the following link to go to their site and read their Summer 2011 issue: Current Issue.

I'm running down this dream one poem at a time. ;) Andrea