Monday, August 29, 2016

Anna to Chrysogonus (from FB Messenger)

I just posted another poem that connects to your recent ones. That theme of home and homecoming is a very rich theme I think. Home the place, home the nest, the belonging thing, the acceptance thing. It's kind of interesting to think about trying to mentor someone like you who is very accomplished. What could I possibly say that you wouldn't already know? But I'm plunging ahead anyway. You already have an individual style, your own unique footprint. It has a sparseness and ordinariness that I like. It avoids being laden with all those obvious poetic tropes, so avoids cliché too. From the Western viewpoint though, because your ordinariness includes things that are unfamiliar to people living in different countries, it is intriguing. But I like lists of ordinary things anyway.

Do you write from ideas, from sensations, from feelings, within themes, trying out specific forms, any of those? If you're moving forward in your poetry writing, what is the impetus? Kit is writing villanelles at the moment. It's a kind of endless form that can just keep going over time and across place, that suits him. I see his work as like one continuous poem. 

What is the relationship between your translation work and your own writing? 

I sometimes set myself a task that can generate a few poems, a sequence. I see other writers doing it too but when I do it I get bored pretty quickly, so I imagine a reader would as well. I wrote a sequence of 10 poems called Ideas for Novels over a period of a year or so. I then started rewriting each one as prose text, called that Novels from Ideas. They're only short, not novels! There are so many ways to move forward. I think that the way to improve is to keep doing it, keep trying out directions that appeal to you. I've enjoyed writing in various forms and that's something they often advise in creative writing courses. You've probably done that type of thing. 

Do you want me to comment on individual poems that you post on 366 every day? That one #28 is similar to a villanelle, that endless 3 line stanza. Do you see your audience as local or international? It seems to me that you're kind of explaining your own cultural customs to a Western reader, as most of the 366 writers/readers are. That's an observation, not a criticism. In that poem the final line jars with me a bit, is a bit obvious. Because of the endlessness of villanelle, you could continue that work some more. Sometimes you can find an ending naturally by continuing rather than by inserting an obvious closure. Being 'in' the process of the poem and valuing the process is really important I think.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kit Kelen - re project mentoring Chrys on 366

Dear all, 

                 I'm just writing to see if I can involve some of you in a time-limited more intensive practice on 366, as follows. Many of you have been translated into Indonesian by Chrys, and over the last month many of you will have been reading his original stuff as well. So he's got to know your work and you've got to know something about his writing – topics, style and so on. In fact the work Chrys is doing on 366 (both original and translation) contributes towards his PhD thesis, in the area of Creative Writing pedagogy. Chrys's thesis will be a portfolio consisting of original creative work (in English and Indonesian) and theoretical work about communities of practice (of which I think Project 366 is an impressive example).

Probably a lot of the draft work of Chrys's yv been reading so far will end up in the book of poems he'll produce as part of his thesis project. But he has more to do! And so, I was wondering if some of you would put your hands up to respond to Chrys, and advise him, on a daily basis towards the production of new poems, poems that will help him to complete the collection he's working on. It would be fine to even offer suggestions for possible poems, or to give instructions or procedures for the creation of particular works as you think appropriate. (Of course Chrys will be free to ignore any suggestions he doesn't like!) What I'm hoping to achieve here is something like a group-mentoring situation, and one that leaves definite traces for the record, and so would be open to discussion as a process later on.

I'd like to start this off on 1st of September if people are up for it. I will be a part of it myself. Let me stress, I don't want to hive this off from the rest of 366 in any way. I'd like this more intensive interaction to be seamlessly a part of the overall project. I know it might involve a little thematic narrowing for some to play a role in such a specific conversation. So it's not something everyone needs to do. And perhaps it's not something you'd do every day (although I would like some of us to try to do just that!) But please do let me know if you're interested.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lizz Murphy - Bungee Jumping: A response to Kit Kelen’s upside down meditation on daily practice

Bungee Jumping: A response to Kit Kelen’s upside down meditation on daily practice

Answers to Kit's questions:

So if you'll indulge me in turning the question upside down –

What does it mean to be an artist or poet and not do it every day/not show it to the world every day? 

a) not do it every day
To not write every day - or on some regular and reasonable basis - feels like a farce. To share with people that I am a writer/a poet, knowing I am not actually writing to speak of, makes me feel like a fraud. It undoes me. How can I stand before an audience reading all work from the past or stand before a workshop group talking about how they might write/how I write, when I am not writing. It undoes me. 

Sometimes not writing to speak of, is my life. (Though sometimes then I push a lot of existing poems out for publication and that is after all part of it.)

Writing is a risky business. It’s a lot like bungee jumping. I have always said I would never bungee jump. But I write. Not writing feels like being in the bungee jump queue but never getting the chance to jump.

b) not show it to the world every day? 
‘Showing to the world' sometimes feels like standing on the bungee jump platform shouting look at me - look at me even when you are afraid you will land flat on your face or break both ankles. In this daily practice public project where there is often the exposure of work in progress, drafts, scratchings etc it feels like being pushed off the bungee jump platform, ready or not. This doesn’t stop me writing. It’s a separate question for me.

Is there something extreme about what we're doing? 
Yes it feels like extreme sports. For example, bungee jumping.

Is there a politics of this? 
Yes I feel like a politician - saying bungee jumping is good for our health when I know it might break our ankles.

A psychology/sociology? 
Yes it generates a phobia about bungee jumping.
It also generates a sense of community and egalitarianism. (As another who is completely outside the university world.)

Were we just born this way? 
I’m an introvert by nature (it seems) and maybe circumstance too, who has learnt how to be an extrovert. When I started going to poetry readings and saw how much fun some of the poets had on stage, I thought I’d like a bit of that fun and worked hard for it. I’ve had great times thanks to poetry, but there are many days when I can’t bungee jump.

What are we about?
Bungee jumping.

I may come back with more serious answers for some questions - need to think more.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Our Audience

Just as a matter of interest, we aren't merely talking to ourselves on 366. Here is my screen shot of our viewing stats, taken this morning.

(Made it as big as I can without overlapping too much into our right-hand column, but you might have to zoom a bit too.)

We are regularly getting thousands of views, which maybe doesn't mean they all stop to read – but when you consider that many come via facebook, and that there are 50 in Ireland (fans of Lizz and/or Michele?) a lot will be actual readers.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rob Schackne () ()

My Dear Sister and Brother Poets,

I find that I must cut back on my commitment to the project so that I can spend more time on my other poetry work. Let me say for the record, for the chip and the byte, how much fun it has been to do this. It was / is / will be wonderful to read so many great poems every day, as it was to furl my brow and gnash my teeth to try and keep pace with both the days and the quality of your poetry. More a sprinter than a long-distance runner, my own writing practice is normally to wait until the precise moment and burst out of the blocks. Thank the gods, I am prolific with my poems and I write quite a bit of prose everyday, but writing the true daily poem wasn't quite possible for me. I write 'quite' because I found that on some days off, without classes to prepare and teach, I could actually sit down and write a poem I felt was cooked enough to send to table. In the month there were probably 5 or 6 of these. You know which ones they are. Mostly inspired by your poems in 365+1. For the rest, I decided to go back some 3 and 4 years, choose a bunch of old and mostly forgotten poems, and see whether each day I could read them with eyes fresh enough that I could improve them. A different kind of pressure perhaps and a different approach. Called cheating in some parts. Ah, the Zen-like focus the writers here can bring each day to a new piece of writing! I admire you. My approach sometimes made ​​a completely new poem, or a poem that was appreciably different. Although many of my attempts had me laughing at my own foolishness. Some cases are not meant to be rescued. But, what did I gain from being here with you? A great deal more I think than the reverse. But perhaps not. I have often faulted the competitive publishing racket, believing that its commercialism actually works against good writing. Why does it feel so good to have a book published? The poems written years ago, to be read by strangers we'll probably never meet? So for me, living and writing for so many years in China, the best thing about 365+1 is the connection with other like-minded souls, the intelligence of that, and the pure delight when you read something really good and you can tell the poet you thought it was really good, and when someone reads something you have written and almost forgotten, and they can tell you what they thought. Thanks. Simple, isn't it? Thank you. Finally, the wind is dropping, but I will post a poem from time to time, and I will continue reading. Earlier this year I wrote a poem for my Chinese brother and sister poets, and now for you:

"A good strong boat"

A good strong boat
and a good crew
is needed

for we are poets
and we will be
eaten by the fishes

the dock is faraway
and people fear
the other side

but never mind
there is a beautiful mist
upon the lake

and there are mountains
by the water
and birds play in the clouds

no boat
swim if we can

no swim
eat till we sink

when full
we will float ashore

Susan Hawthorne

Metablog 366 questions

Why were you interested in joining Project 366, and how did you see it relating to your art practice before you got involved?
I had done this once before and stuck to it for a year, but they were private poems and I wondered if I could do it daily in a public way. I was also feeling like I hadn't written much recently and I thought it would spur me to write, which it has and I am glad I joined.

2. How does working with other people affect your art practice/ process? Does it also affect / change your style of working? In what way?
Mostly I just write but sometimes themes emerge as they did in June and I wrote several poems responding to others. The other aspect is the responses you receive (or don't) and they can be an indicator of whether the poem is working or not. There are days when a small comment can make all the difference.

3. Has Project 366 been a good way for you to be with others in an art practice community? Does it feel like a community to you? Why?/Why not? How?/How not?
I have really enjoyed getting to know the work of other poets. Some I know already, some I don't and I read avidly every day what everyone is writing. I am far more intensely interested now than I was at the beginning. Curiosity as one's world expands.

4. Do you see 366 as a dialogue? If so, in what way? Can you see ways in which it could be more of a dialogue or a better dialogue?
Sometimes the dialogue is very strong. Yes it is a dialogue but some poets participate in the dialogue more strongly than others.

5. Has working on daily artmaking through Project 366 affected your work or the way you work? If so, how?
At the beginning I fretted about the work a lot. I feel more relaxed about the artmaking / writing than at the beginning and as a result I think more poems make it to my own personal standard than they did in the first month or two. But every month is filled with some duds and some I am very happy to have written and would not have without participating.

6. Do you think others in the project have influenced you / affected your ways of working or your subject matter?
Yes definitely, though not every day. Some days I am off on a planet of my own.

7. How have you found the cultural diversity in the project so far? Has this had any effect on you? Do you think things could be different / better in this regard?
I've enjoyed the range. I have challenged myself to read works in languages I don't know just to feel the sound of the words or in a language I know a little to experience the different rhythms and approaches. I like the range of very different concerns that emerge in other writers' work.

8. Do you think there's what you could call a learning process going on through the project? If so, could you describe that?
Definitely but I'm not sure I can define it.

9. How do you see your role in the group?
As an active participant in both writing and reading, and out of that commenting. I like the balance between those who are here for the year and those whose work enriches us for a month.

10. How has participation in Project 366 affected your sense of yourself as an art practitioner?
As I said above, I feel more relaxed and with each day of writing it opens new possibilities from within and from without (ie other poets' work).

11. How would you like to see Project 366 develop for the second half of the year?
I haven't thought of any way to change it. I like the way it is working now.

12. What do you imagine after Project 366? (Both in terms of group art practice with a comparable vehicle and in terms of your own personal practice.
Without the pressure to produce, I will probably slip back into writing the occasional poem when I have time. I know this is slack, but I do tend to binge in bouts of writing and then not writing. Often something occurs in those down times that shifts my work. It is always unpredictable.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lizz Murphy - Get over yerself: My response to questions

1. Why were you interested in joining Project 366, and how did you see it relating to your art practice before you got involved? 

It was a moment of madness. I hadn’t been able to write much at all for a couple of years (life challenges) so suddenly I thought – sure – I can produce something every single day! It’s not quite the outback here (far from it!) but I do feel isolated from the contemporary poetry scene much of the time and the opportunity to be a part of a group of poets and artists was compelling. I anticipated that the camaraderie and group challenge would help move me to a better place. It has. Thank you everyone.

2. How does working with other people affect your art practice/ process? Does it also affect / change your style of working? In what way?

I have on a small number of occasions responded to other works and have appreciated and enjoyed the inspiration but mostly I am following my own directions. I love the idea of a collaborative dialogue through poetry but I have a backlog of poems/projects of my own I am trying to make some headway on. There are a great many connections – Sarah and others talk about the synchronicities – so I think the blog works well as a body of work anyway. Overt dialogues when they happen add to that.

The project has forced me to get on with writing in spite of things – to find that (yet) again. In particular to just write regardless of whether it’s the kind of writing or the topics I was wanting to explore or research in-depth - or fallbacks like a fleeting image, an average haiku, yet another café poem … Some weeks it feels like throwing scraps to seagulls but on other occasions I hit the mark. There is more found poetry and there is a looser interplay of images/ideas/fragments. This has all happened before to some degree but with the commitment to daily posting it has happened more frequently than it has in a long time. The daily deadline (must post!) and the ‘permission’ to post draft work (can post - phew!) is freeing and facilitates some of this writing.

3. Has Project 366 been a good way for you to be with others in an art practice community? Does it feel like a community to you? Why?/Why not? How?/How not?

I feel buoyed and connected by the whole process/project. It certainly feels like a community – most of us seem to be reading one anothers work and a good number make time to comment. The quick positive quips are as welcome as those who take time to respond more eloquently. I enjoy reading the comments on other people’s work as much as anything.

It’s been wonderful being in regular contact with people I know and getting to know others. There is a strong sense of friendship with some.

4. Do you see 366 as a dialogue? If so, in what way? Can you see ways in which it could be more of a dialogue or a better dialogue?

I think Anna’s response – the analogy of conversations in a big room – is perfect. And there’s often a sense of ‘oh I was just thinking that’ or ‘we were only talking about that the other day.’ There are many cross-references between works – intentional, unintentional, coincidental – it’s like a self-compiling anthology with wonderful links and connections. I like it the way it is. (That doesn’t mean there isn’t scope for some participants to create conscious creative responses to one anothers work. I don’t think it’s for everyone though and it may involve more time than some have.)

A label gadget on the home page as already mentioned might reinforce a sense of dialogue. For example a visitor might really like the content of a given work and may be interested in who else has written on that topic or how else it has been treated by other participants.

5. Has working on daily artmaking through Project 366 affected your work or the way you work? If so, how?

See response to Q2. Plus: I’ve picked up on some interests like experimenting more with found poetry, fragments, ‘collaging’ text – also making mini-collages. I intend to make more collage. I’ve found that a small play in lieu of a big play will still get me a poem, that a quick bit of research in lieu of in-depth research will still get me a poem, that maybe there’s a fresh way to approach not-another-café-poem or not-another-hospital-poem, that I’m not yet over writing micropoetry. Methinks: ‘just get over yourself.’

Re-discovering the notion of going searching for a poem, a bit like a detective. Being mindful as I go about daily business that there may be a poem around a corner. Discovering the thrill of that expectancy on a prolonged basis.

6. Do you think others in the project have influenced you / affected your ways of working or your subject matter?

I’m inspired by the writing and images of the others. Often it’s thrilling looking at all the new posts. When it feels hard meeting the commitment of every day for a whole year (into our eighth month as we speak) and I see the others coming in with another piece through the evening – especially those I realize have major demands on them - it helps me keep going. Sometimes when I’m having to settle for writing scraps for the seagulls someone will come in with something outstanding and it will urge me on to try to lift my game again. There’s no rest in this regard though :) I’m thinking of a particular week when I’d posted a couple of punchy pieces I thought, and then Robert posted something with ten times the punch and upped the ante! (Not that it’s a competition, like.)

(Once I completely forgot! Wrote about it next morning and posted. This fortnight is a bit scatty for a few reasons – I will have to do penance.)

7. How have you found the cultural diversity in the project so far? Has this had any effect on you? Do you think things could be different / better in this regard?

There is scope for more but what we have is terrific. I think the translations and bilingual writing add a wonderful dimension. I love hearing and seeing other languages even though I don’t understand them. Having a poem translated into another language feels like such an honour - although I haven’t had that pleasure in this project yet
:(   :)

8. Do you think there's what you could call a learning process going on through the project? If so, could you describe that?

Learning that it’s okay to aim lower to suit what is practically possible in my life at this time. That it’s not always going to be too much of a compromise. Stalling for the higher aim is a bigger compromise. 

Re/finding a freeness.

Learning about participants’ personal and artistic lives through their work and comments, following their themes and directions, seeing work in progress. There is a great generosity of spirit.

9. How do you see your role in the group?

To post creative work every day like everyone else – to hold my artistic end up whatever it takes! To create half-decent work as much as possible – to hold my artistic end up whatever it takes!

To try to participate through commentary as much as possible. Some have said how much they need and appreciate it. I certainly appreciate it myself (need?) and I think reciprocation is just good manners, but also the least I can do having had the pleasure of sharing in someone’s beautiful work.

To draw in some of the Irish. To scour the streets for the YOUNG writers/artists Kit hopes to
involve (no luck so far - wrong streets). Must work the visual arts network soon (any age – get in touch).

I believe in taking a turn at the hard slog behind the scenes – my apologies for not being able to yet. Huge thanks to Kit and Anna for ongoing work, Sarah for her contribution, and others making new offers.

10. How has participation in Project 366 affected your sense of yourself as an art

It has provided the validation that I periodically need. Thanks all.

11. How would you like to see Project 366 develop for the second half of the year?
To continue on – hopefully with more inter/national monthly guests and cultural diversity as expressed by Kit and others.

12. What do you imagine after Project 366? (Both in terms of group art practice with a comparable vehicle and in terms of your own personal practice.)

Personal: Sifting through the year’s work for good pieces or those that could be developed into something, sorting the surfacing threads and developing as suites or manuscripts, catching up on submitting poems for publication (displaced by the project). More than anything, keeping up a daily practice of some sort.

Group: All the suggestions for ongoing online projects and publishing projects sound terrific. Not sure what I can manage myself yet.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Contributors' page – admin stuff

Dear Everybody

I've tidied up the 'Contributors' page at 366 to make it look better – or so I fondly believe.

Please check your entries to make sure that all the links are still correct and I haven't inadvertently omitted any vital information. Let me know if there are any changes I need to make.

And in future, if you have any glitches in your posts that you find yourselves unable to fix, please contact me at rosemary dot lifemagic at gmail dot com (of course with the dots and at not spelt out).

Dear Kit

Did you mean to put the link to the metablog in the list of Pages because you thought it fitted there better? Or would you like me to shift it to the links list?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Reflections on writing daily and writing in groups.


When the Poets Union began in Melbourne, I stopped being a solitary writer – except for the obvious fact that we all confront the page individually – and became a poet who flourishes in, and even seeks groups. It wasn't particularly thought out; in fact for such an introvert it's surprising - but I look back and see how the Union led to workshops, readings, conferences, collaborations in both writing and performance.... Eventually I found myself teaching in Professional Writing courses, and before I decamped to Northern NSW had formed a private support group with Jennie Fraine and Leah Kaminsky, which we managed to keep going for decades, even when we all lived in different countries for some years. It involved writing together, even when 'together' meant being in different locations and sharing the results by email.

Then came a 7-year stint facilitating a writers' group at a local Neighbourhood Centre. And contacts I made on a visit o/s saw me joining MySpace to listen to a friend's music and finding it full of poets from all over the world, who were delighted to find each other. Later we all ended up on Facebook. Someone taught me, long-distance, how to use Blogger, too. And I found online communities of blogging poets, three of which I now participate in regularly, and for one of which I'm now on staff. Online contacts led to collaborative anthologies – some published, some still in the pipeline – with other poets (some knowing each other personally, others online only but nevertheless forming strong connections). And most recently I was simultaneously invited into Project 366 and a private online workshop group with some women I have come to know well, albeit only online, delving into our psyches in depth via a study of archetypes, and expressing it all in poetry. 

And that's the condensed version!

The 366 experience

All that preamble was by way of indicating that writing frequently, and with others, is not new to me. I guess it also indicates that I have no objection to writing often, even daily. I don't always write daily, but it's usually several days a week at least; and there are some months of the year – such as this month – when I respond to invitations from various sources, to create a poem a day. My poems get posted to one of my blogs, and shared with the members of the groups they're written for, when that applies (and on Facebook, and tweeted). Most often, but not always, they are written to prompts, or as exercises. In the groups, reading and commenting on other people's work is expected. Encouragement is preferred to in-depth critiques, unless people specifically request that. (I do also belong to a small, secret fb group created for in-depth workshopping. Oh, and I'm in some other fb poetry groups too, but they are more easy-going.)

I enjoy all those activities, but have found Project 366 particularly delightful, and different from the others in some obvious ways, and some intangible ways I'm still trying to put my finger on. So for me the thing to reflect on is what makes this particular experience so valuable to me? 

The freedom to post drafts is part of it. Things I write and blog for other groups are clearly drafts too, theoretically anyway, when first posted. (And I do go back and tinker.) But they tend to be responded to as finished works. I guess that sort of happens at 366 too, but there is a higher awareness of the fact that these are first drafts. It takes the pressure off. I don't know if that's a good thing! It just is. (And – not a new thought, of course – there can be a freshness about first drafts which is lost in later revisions.) 

Someone mentioned, in the posts I read here earlier today, other groups where people take themselves very seriously. I love that Project 366 people don't, in that self-important way, though we do take the work seriously – perhaps more so than those others. And the work is terrific! Reading other people's contributions is at least half the fun. The threads that sometimes arise add to the pleasure. I think these things can happen more easily in a smallish group like this, posting to the same blog, than in wider online communities of dozens or even hundreds posting links to their own blogs.

It's time-consuming, for sure, and it's probably insanity for me to volunteer further involvement, particularly as I don't plan to drop anything else I'm doing – but life is short, and I live for these pleasures. I'd be cross-posting sometimes, of course, as I did in June, with things I write for other groups. But that didn't seem to be a problem. In fact, I was fascinated to note that writing more often had more unprompted poems arise, and more poems altogether (even more than one a day). Logically one might expect the opposite effect – but what's logical about art?

I suppose it's worth noting that I'm not greatly attached to print publication any more. It's lovely when I get invited to submit to something, and then I certainly do, but I'm not very actively seeking it these days. I usually give competitions a miss, too. I've embraced the online poetry world; and not bothering with all that other stuff is one kind of time-saving for me. In saying this, I'm thinking about the poets Kit mentioned, to whom the idea of 366 was anathema. Maybe they have a different attitude to airing their drafts publicly. I've become at least as interested in process as result. So I am thinking that is probably what the Project might have to offer the world – the chance to see our collective process at work. (Sorry if I'm stating the obvious. Just kinda thinking aloud onto the paper here – I mean screen.)

As a reader/viewer, I like the experimental nature of some 366 posts, too. And, as I've noted elsewhere, the way that some works unfold over time. And the translations, whether from one person or two. All of which have to do with process.

What would happen if it was weekly? Would we lose spontaneity? Would we get precious? Would we keep the same level of communication? Would we actually have more communication if there was more time for it? I suppose there's only one way to find out.

Inviting some people for a month only, theoretically only four poems (though more would be possible) seems a bit unsatisfactory in that context. A Project 52 would appear to be a lot easier time-wise (unless other things get built in, such as mentoring) but I wonder if I'd like it better. My time in 366 felt like play, and like dancing.

about daily practice

It wouldn't have occurred to me to do a poem a day if Kit hadn't initiated it. I wouldn't have thought it was possible but when you get into it, it becomes entirely doable, so long as other things don't interrupt too much. You need time and space to think and write, so sometimes that doesn't happen. For that to happen, it has to be possible in your lifestyle and with your loved ones. So that's where it might be unusual, not that it's not possible mentally and creatively, but getting it to fit into your life.

The funny thing about it though is that it does become a desirable thing to do. Also reading other poems on the blog is attractive. You can get impetus from other people when you might not have had a completely independent idea to start with.

Another thing that's unique about this process is the interaction with other writers and the way connections occur, the way you find parallels and stimuli in other people's work, the way you respond, the way they respond. That is pretty unusual. I have been part of writers' groups in the past and found that they had a similarly contextualising effect. It's really important to have an audience of some kind and a small audience of sympathetic people is really helpful. If you don't have access to an audience, your work remains personal. That's how we were thinking in 1978 when we set up the first women writers' workshop (No Regrets) associated with The Poets Union, NSW branch - women were not coming forward and calling themselves public writers as much as men. They didn't have the opportunity to externalise their works and that has a deep effect on your work and your production. That's why we set up the workshop, so people could come out as writers in a supportive atmosphere. I'd been to workshops or writer gatherings previously that were very harsh and judgemental, the kind of things that could turn you off writing or showing your writing. There are lots of people writing out there who are turned away by gatekeepers of various types. It's been good with this group that none of the 'expert' persons have been appraising or ranking anyone. That can be so off-putting, and I think it's immature as well. A decent writing community is accepting and fertile.

Kit Kelen proposes a meditation on daily practice

a meditation on daily practice

Dear all,
As per the poem I've just posted to the blog today, I'd like to suggest what one might call 'a group meditation' on the idea of daily practice (or, in our case, perhaps I should say daily public practice). What does it mean to show our working like this to the world? What does it mean to the world? And what does it mean to us? I know from my discussions with poets and artists who haven't wanted to join us, that something like 366 is anathema to many who consider themselves – and who take themselves seriously – as poets and/or artists. So if you'll indulge me in turning the question upside down – what does it mean to be an artist or poet and not do it every day/not show it to the world every day? Is there something extreme about what we're doing? Is there a politics of this? A psychology/sociology? Were we just born this way? What are we about?

Sarah St Vincent Welch - recording a recent experience in Project 366

I am unable to do the questions for a couple more weeks. My mind is in many places at the moment, and a crucial paid work time (small pay!) but hey it's something. I know I can't squeeze my mind into that answering question mode. I have to do it too many other places at the moment. (But I will). I am very interested in where the poems come from for want of a better way to say it. And the interaction between them and the creative processes behind them and what happens next with other people' work and reactions. And for me the already existing threads we have picked up, or lose, I felt it from day one, or even from the moment it was suggested to me, and I think it became more present because I was aware of them daily, and I wanted to record them like Marion Milner, (of 'A Life of One's Own') but that is a vast task in itself beyond my present circumstances. So I am just going to record what happened so far with a little poem (and there are many example like this for me and others) because I have become aware that earlier remarks (even if small supportive and casual) that contribute to the conversation disappear from the blog (the comments I mean) after a while. I had a look for some early ones in January tracing back the journey and realised the comments were gone or I can no longer see them.

'midnight near
biting at my shoulder
a whisper an angle a flutter
I could see that it might work, but
shouting shouting fists at my window
heart hot heart writhes the whisper stopped
a poem scared away a song swallowed in fear

Rob S Oh Sarah, that's a song. Beautiful

Janette H Biting at my shoulder... I feel the bite some nights too when I'm trying to force the poetry to not take time away from my children.

Susan H What an extraordinary piece of writing.

Efi H absolutely stunning

Myron L Good shape and sad phrases

Robbie V a poem about being unable to write a poem due to terror — a triumph
Anna C Reminds me of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights

Chelate mm... Cathy's wrist on the window pane

Anna C yes, getting cut on the glass

Sarah StVW Wow! Thanks everyone. A poem written in absolute desperation. Wuthering Heights and that scene at the beginning is one of the great passages in literature for me, I feel it part of me, but I didn't have it in mind when this emerged, so that is interesting. I had the feeling of a poem emerging the threads the wanderings the voice emerging in my mind and then I had some very bad energy from the outside world come to me at about 11pm, (email communication) which is really becoming deadline time for this project, and it killed what was happening in my mind, my heart was racing I was scared about what was communicated, that it would also rob me of the post a day which I have so far achieved, and I just resorted to writing about that experience. Thanks! I am so glad you felt it worked. And I had taken that quirky picture in the Blue Mountains very recently on a walk with Jane Skelton and I was wondering if I could use it for anything.'

All of that I really valuable and interesting feedback for me. It give me some feel for possible responses.

So I won't do this often, probably not again, but it is a little record for me. I was way surprised people thought this poem ok. I am not into the 'intentional fallacy', but it is magical, where thing come from, how they are received, what happen next. Anna has written one picking up the 'Wuthering Heights' connection she made. 'Small arms'.

I look to your poems, images, how I am feeling, what I have noticed or been thinking about, to seek poems. And then they are something else again.