April 12, 2016

Monday, April 29, 2013

National Poetry Month 2013: Tweetspeaking with Ann Bracken

It's our final two days in the TechnoVerse -- that place where technology and poetry intersect. It's time for me to made a confession. I like technology. Like. Not love.

A full list of TechnoVerse posts is here.
I draft new work on my laptop. I have a smart phone. There are two of me on Facebook: Laura the poet and literary community activist, and Laura who posts pictures of the kids for friends and family. For me, technology is definitely more of a tool than a love affair.

My 13-year-old daughter has been trying to teach me a "new" social media platform, Google Plus. The layout doesn't feel compatible with my brain. Isn't having two Facebook accounts being social enough? Retreating from online socializing is probably the reason I have never tried Twitter.
"Listen to me, don't listen to me!"
(Twittery lyrics from David Bowie.)
Today, my dear friend Ann Bracken shares one of her favorite poetry blogs: Tweetspeak Poetry. I won't be scared off by the title. According to Ann, there is no tweeting required at the Tweetspeak blog. It's a friendly site with great poetry & technology resources.

Tweetspeak Poetry: the best in poetry and poetic things

Contributed by: Ann Bracken

Why would someone who doesn’t even have a Twitter account be drawn to a blog called Tweetspeak Poetry?  That’s the question I had to ask myself when a good friend of mine sent me a link to the site a few months ago. But I trust this friend who is an inspired poet—I knew she must be on to something, so I clicked on the link in the email and entered the serene poetic space called Tweetspeak. Unlike the hurried tweets I often hear on the radio, this site beckons you to slow down and tempts you to linger while you browse its array of resources.  Grab a cup of java, snuggle in your favorite chair, and I’ll take you on a tour of this week’s featured posts.

Poetry (by T.S. Eliot) from This Day in Quotes.

Where does poetry fit into your workday? Most people would shake their heads at the juxtaposition of poetry and work, but Tweetspeak has an entire feature section called Poetry at Work.  This week’s topic—The Poetry of an Organizational Chart—seemed to spring from the creativity game of finding two things that are unrelated and then  imagining all the possible connections they could share.  The author, Glynn Young, remembers when he worked for two large corporations that each employed over 30,000 people. He remembers the organizational charts that were part of every employee’s handbook because they held the secrets of the corporate hierarchy. Like a well-structured poem, “…organization charts followed rules, patterns and accepted practice. They had an interior rationale; they made sense for both themselves and the organization.” Although I only vaguely remember seeing an organizational chart at one of my early jobs, I resonate with the poetic concepts of internal structure, form, and order. Young goes on to compare the formal organizational structures of business in the late 20th century to the “free verse” that is the networked environment of the 21st century, both of which have esteemed places in the world of poetry.  As with any change, the challenge we face at work seems to be defined by how deftly we weave the best of the old with the best of the new.

After I explored poetry at work, I look a look at this month’s book club selection because it features one of my favorite books on poetry writing, Poemcrazy by Susan Wooldridge. 

Poem Crazy
Read about it at Goodreads.

I decided to read the post on following words—the daily practice that Wooldridge recommends—where you spend some time each day focusing on all the details of a particular activity or object. What is written on those slips of paper stuck in your journal? How do your fingertips look after you dig in the rich soil of early spring? What does the smoke from the fire smell like? She reminds us that the feelings in a poem come alive because of the poet’s focus on the details. Wooldridge urges us to play with words every day, to dive into the “wordpool,” collections of words borrowed from “poems, books, and conversations.”  When we play in the “wordpool,” we can make up words, juxtapose interesting combinations of words and free ourselves from the worry of making sense. Wooldridge concludes by confessing, “And I don’t worry about whether or not I’m writing “a poem.” Word pool. World pool, wild pool, whippoorwill, swing.”  I’m inspired to find my box of word tickets and play this weekend.
Besides the Poetry at Work and Book Club sections, Tweetspeak’s current features include The Top 10 Poetic Pics, The Poetry Classroom, 7 Fun Shakespeare Resources, and Carry a Shield: Ten Good Books About Dragons.  Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page for the very last drop of inspiration-The Video Pick of the Week, featuring a video montage tribute to Vincent Van Gogh with Jane Olive singing “Starry Night.”  

Dragon Shield- FRAMED - Cast Paper - Fantasy art - Celtic Dragon - Drake - Draco - Celtic Drake
Buy this Celtic dragon shield at Etsy.

Ann Bracken is a writer, poet, educator, and expressive arts consultant whose poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, Reckless Writing Anthology: Emerging Poets of the 21st Century, Little Patuxent Review, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems, Praxilla, The Museletter, and The Gunpowder Review. Her company, The Possibility Project, offers expressive arts programs for women of all ages. Ann was nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize and she is a lecturer in the Professional Writing Program at the University of Maryland.

I've got one last poetry website to share as we wrap up National Poetry Month 2013 in the TechnoVerse. We'll be checking out a site where teen poets can share their work in multiple platforms. Until then, happy writing.


Linda B said...

This site looks terrific, Laura and Ann. It is rich with all kinds of ways to look at poetry-something for everyone! Thank you!

L.L. Barkat said...

Just found this. Why, thank you, for such an encouraging post about Tweetspeak. We do have fun.

(Did you ever find the story behind our name? We started unexpectedly, as a result of a joke on Twitter. And the rest is history. Or, maybe, future :)