Author Archives: Katharine Whitcomb

French sentences return to France!

exclamation-mark

Today during our hike to Cubservies, I thought it would be fun to stop and write a short impression here in this place, having these experiences.

When I was in France last fall I wrote a series of what I called "french sentences," which were merely a riff on Allen Ginsberg's American sentences—a seventeen syllable sentence with the qualities of a haiku. I was writing about what it felt like to be in this part of France.

But this time around seventeen syllables felt way too short&mdashand I set the parameters at 17 words, still with a concentration toward the qualities of a haiku.

Here's the one from yesterday:

L'eglise Saint-Sernin

We find the chapel after hiking steep miles, old stories pieced into walls, layer upon rocky layer.

Lucky Me!

la-muse suzanne

I'm back at La Muse in beautiful Labastide Esparbairenque, France with photography professor Alex Emmons and our class of eight students enrolled in "Creative Writing and Digital Photography in Medieval France."

Today was our first chance to get out into the sunshine and explore the area. Suzanne Blons and Brandy Dohrman (right) relax on the overlook before our extraordinarily long hike.

Respite in the Catskills

I've come to the end of my nearly week-long visit with my friends Mark and James. They live in an 18th century farmhouse in the Hudson Valley with chickens, bees and cats. I was so relaxed I don't even remember what we did during my stay.

I finished my sock project for February, and I made James a weird little bird to go with Mark's.

soxjames-bird

Here are the two cats: Ursula (left) and Gretchen (right).

ursula-catgretchen-cat

Poets on the Beach Conference, September 9-11, 2011

Hey fellow poets! Are you longing to spend some inspiring days by the ocean? In a literary-themed hotel on the coast of Oregon? Here's your chance.

"Dwell in Possibility” ~ Emily Dickinson

Join Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich for the first Poets on the Coast Weekend Writing Retreat September 9-11th, 2011 at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon on historic Nye Beach.

This retreat has been designed for women writers of all levels, from beginning poets to well published. Sessions on creativity, generating work, publication and one-on-one mentoring are included. 
 There are only have a limited number of spaces available and they will be filled on a first-come basis.

With the Sylvia Beach Hotel, designed to inspire writers with its literary-themed rooms, this retreat will offer you a unique experience to explore your writing and creativity. Come spend a weekend with other women poets. Be ready to be nurtured, inspired and creative. For all the nitty-gritty info, see the official link: Poets on the Beach Writing Conference

KaNoPoMo!!!

Well,though the novelists have grabbed November (National Novel Writing Month--NaNoWriMo) as their own, in the spirit of prolificacy, I am taking on November as KaNoPoMo (Kathy's November Poetry Month).

In April I wrote a poem every day for NaPoWri Mo; and I had 30 poem drafts as a result. I had as added incentive an agrreement I made online with the cool website ReadWritePoem to post a link to each new poem draft. About six of those new poems have been published already in journals, like Sweet and Pif. Some of those poems have ended up in my second full-length collection, Summer, Posthumous.

I was telling a poet friend the other day that the process of writing a poem every day took away the pressure that I would have "writer's block" or that my best poems were behind me. I kept surprising myself with my new poems--and it delighted me to have some much new material to revise, explore, work on. The experience of writing daily, in the middle of a very busy quarter, also showed me that there is no end in an artist's life---the intimate world of writing a poem is there for me as long as I am alive and as long as I am willing to enter it.

birds-medium

While I won't be posting new poem drafts in their entirety, I will post related material and some fragments/ideas. I have 15 drafts for November so far—I hope you will keep checking in! I'm also knitting lots of stripey birds in November (I'm on sabbatical)!!