Blackout Canto #8

I’m embarking on a long-term project, in which I’m making blackout poems out of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. I’ll post images of the poems here as I finish them. I’ll be cross-posting these images to my Instagram account (@avocadoallyson) if you prefer to follow them there.

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Blackout Canto #7

I’m embarking on a long-term project, in which I’m making blackout poems out of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. I’ll post images of the poems here as I finish them. I’ll be cross-posting these images to my Instagram account (@avocadoallyson) if you prefer to follow them there.

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Register for Poetry March Madness 2015

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March Madness is all about elimination. The competition winnows out teams one by one until only the best of the best remains. The games are thrilling and sometimes heartbreaking, but it’s the quick elimination of the weaker teams that ratchets up the competitive drama.

Many poets struggle with revising their poems, especially when they have to cut lines or stanzas. Although we know a poem could benefit from pruning, our attachments to our work interfere with our ability to lose the words that weigh a poem down.

In this online workshop, you’ll spend two weeks trimming the excess from your poems. You’ll eliminate bulky lines and unnecessary words. You’ll learn to let go of attachments to the phrases and stanzas that don’t really belong. And you’ll get practical advice for decluttering your space (whether it be hard drive or desk), as well as how and when to let go of the poems that just aren’t taking off.

In April, when it’s National Poetry Month, many of you will try to write a poem every day. Let’s spend the weeks leading up to that shaping, polishing, and revising our old material.

What you’ll get:

  1. Prompts to help you revise and condense your poems.
  2. Advice on how to declutter your hard drive and writing space, organize your work, and let go of drafts that aren’t working.
  3. Intensive one-on-one critique of two poems throughout the beginning, middle, and end of the workshop, guiding you through multiple stages of deep revision. Critiques available via email, phone, or Skype/Google Hangout.

Cost: $20 (Note: Nobody will be turned away for inability to pay. Please contact me at literaryaustin@gmail.com if you need to make alternate arrangements.)

To register:

  1. Fill out the online form: http://goo.gl/forms/LVtGBnW1PA
  2. Submit payment via Paypal to literaryaustin@gmail.com (If unable to use Paypal, please contact me to set something else up.)

January Retrospective

2015 started off with some great opportunities for writing, reading, and sharing work.

AWR January 2015
The Austin Writers Roulette group

First, I again had the honor of being a featured poet at the monthly Austin Writers Roulette show. The January theme was “Redemption,” and host Teresa Roberson once again rocked a thematic outfit. I performed three short, silly poems about feeling guilty for irrational things. We had a wide range of poems and stories, some honest and haunting. There were so many brave authors sharing vulnerable but inspiring work.

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Having fun in Waco

Despite living only about 90 minutes from Waco, the only time I’ve spent there has been driving through it. But Waco poet Jenuine Poetess, founder of In The Words of Womyn, invited me up for ITWOW’s birthday celebration/daylong writing retreat. I arrived in time for the afternoon potluck where there was amazing food. After two workshops that brought forth some incredible work from all participants, I got to hang out, eat delicious Vietnamese food, and then participate in a reading/open mic, as well as a silent auction. I made some excellent new friends, and found out that Waco has its charms.

Art and Words Audio

In September, I had the honor of being included in Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s Art & Words Show in Fort Worth. The Art & Words Show is a series in which poets and visual artists get to create ekphrastic pieces from each other’s work. My poem “Bearing the Coast” actually got two paintings (lucky me!) and I wrote a poem based on a piece by Stacy Tompkins.

My poem next to Stacy's paining.
My poem next to Stacy’s paining.

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My friend Wade and I drove up to Fort Worth for the opening reception and reading. I had a wonderful time meeting all the other artists and writers involved with the project. It was also my first time in Fort Worth, and I admit I’m more than a little smitten.

I didn’t get video, but Bonnie was kind enough to provide the writers with audio from the opening reception/reading. I’ve shared links to sound files below!

To listen to “Bearing the Coast,” click here.

To listen to “Syncopated Rhythm,” click here.