Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer
1. It’s not every day that one of this blog’s readers alerts me to the fate of one of my own contest entries.
But that’s exactly what happened over the weekend, when Nancy Brewka-Clark left this comment on last week’s Midweek Notes post. As our exchange on the post reveals, it’s through Nancy that I discovered that one of my poems had been received honorable mention (free-verse category) in the latest Rhyme On Poetry Contest. (And one of Nancy’s was named runner-up for “funniest poem.”)
All of the winning, runner-up, and honorable mention poems have been assembled in an e-book that can be downloaded here. But here’s a snapshot of “When Your Niece Attends a Jewish Day School,” too.
2. The week also brought publication of another poem, “The O-Word,” which begins:
I see it here, I see it there;
some days, I seem to see it everywhere:
“Occupation!” so many cry,
never bothering to mention why
or how Israel came to control
certain land and the Western Wall.
Full text on the Jewish Journal website.
In publishing this poem, I’m thinking back to a comment I received from a friend after she read my story collection. This is a friend I met when we were first-year PhD students in the same history program. My friend has gone on to a full-fledged, highly successful career as an academic historian. After she read my book, she told me that I was still writing/teaching history, too—I was just doing it in fiction.
These days, I’m not writing fiction anymore. But I hope that I’m bringing the same historian’s skills and tendencies to some of my poems. Like this one.
3. And speaking of matters poetic and Judaic, as I’ve been doing in this post: I’ve just signed up for a summer adult-education course on prayer and Israeli poetry. I can’t wait to begin (even if I haven’t quite yet finished all of the reading for the first class).
What’s new in your writing practice?