The Typewriter Project of New York City

Inside a wooden shack installed at North 12th Street and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg’s McCarren Park, anyone can sit down at a typewriter and contribute to a collaborative poem unfolding over a 100-foot paper scroll. “The Typewriter Project: The Subconscious of the City,” presented by the Poetry Society of New York in partnership with the Parks Department, is a nomadic experiment in engaging the public with writing.

Source: A Roving Typewriter Records the Subconscious of New York City

Creepy Poems After Halloween

Writers don’t get to be very seasonal. It’s snowing outside your window while you write about which sunblock to use. Everyone is out Christmas shopping and you take the time to finish up that story about the Easter bunny. We live with our calendars in two different hemispheres. So, writing some creepy poetry just after Halloween shouldn’t be a big challenge. Bring along some Halloween candy (of course the dear little children won’t miss a chocolate bar, or two). Halloween chocolate is a great mode of inspiration!

What’s your poison… poem? Mine is going to be short and bittersweet.

Night fell with the unknown hands of a clock.

Traffic piles up, buses are packed and sidewalks are rushed.

The darkness brings things that move, slippery and dangerous between the cracks.

Masses of people but none are awake, living in dreams and nightmares of their own making.

In the dark there is freedom, without blindness from mobile technology.

In the dark there are no rules, there are no law makers and no one keeps paperwork.

One dreamer falls off the sidewalk, between the concrete jungles. 

One dreamer wakes up in the darkness and can’t phone home.

There are no calling plans and roaming signals here. It’s too dark.


Source for inspiration and the image: Creepy Poems for Halloween | Flavorwire

Pay with a Poem

What is a poem worth? As authors around the world despair of making a living, a company based in Vienna has finally come up with a definitive answer: one cup of coffee.

Julius Meinl, a coffee-roasting company founded in 1862, is marking Unesco’s World Poetry Day with a promotion in 1,100 cafes, bars and restaurants across 23 countries mostly in continental Europe but including the UK, the US and Australia, offering a dose of caffeine to any customer who hands over one of their own poems.

via Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry | Books | The Guardian.

World Poetry Day is today (March 21st).

London’s Transit Advice Poetry

transit poetry
via The crappy world of Transport for London’s advice poetry – Us Vs Th3m.

What would you write to turn ordinary transit etiquette into verse? Think of the last time you took a bus, street car, or whatever they call the public transportation where you live.

Don’t forget to thank the driver
of his safe driving you’re a survivor.

Just kidding. I actually enjoy taking the bus. Though it can be really, bitterly cold waiting between buses.

What Can Writers Offer as a Live Performance?

There are few options for writers, artists and musicians when it comes to protecting your work in the days of the computer and Internet. It seems there is not much to be done once you fire off the initial legal mouth piece paperwork. Then sit back and wish you could hire someone to really do something.

All that work and in the end it can’t pay the bills, created for art, not money.

I was thinking about that this afternoon. I came to the conclusion that musicians have the best chance at still making money from their art. Musicians have live performances which they can sell tickets to and collect a profit. They can use the event to sell music too. Not to mention the gadgets and accessories like T-shirts which they make something on from the work of others.

What can writers and artists do as a live performance? I can’t think of anything really useful or reliable as a way to make money from your art in the modern world. Yes, writers can read their poetry or fiction and hope to sell a few books. Live readings don’t make the money a live music performance can, no T-shirts either.

I’ve seen artists as street painters – temporary work which people watch and may chip in a dollar or other spare change while they stand around and watch the artist at work. No rent money on that plan.

So, what can writers and artists offer as a live performance with the plan of making money from their work without the problem of having their work ripped off and sold by someone else?

Slipstream Poetry

Slipstream poetry has been referred to as the, “fiction of strangeness”. Slipstream poetry crosses boundaries and leaves you feeling very odd, but in a good way. Most slipstream poetry contains some form of a science fiction or fantasy theme. The term ‘slipstream’ was coined by Bruce Sterling back in 1989, but it’s really starting to gain popularity now.

via What Is Slipstream Poetry.

The Slipstream Poetry Group (UK)

Measuring Time Without a Planet to Stand On

Imagine, if you will, a civilization of people who are born, live and die on a spaceship. Far, far, far back in their history there may have been a planet where their species originated but they have been on this spaceship so long, no one knows what day and night are. No one knows there are seasons or any kind of weather or climate at all. They don’t land on other planets, their culture has grown to fear any natural environment with their contagious diseases, dangerous and unpredictable plants and animals. The life they know is on the spaceship and the ship has everything they need.

How would these people measure time? Not so much the passing moments. They could measure time – the passing of seconds – in their heartbeats or the amount of breaths they take. How would they measure longer time periods without marking the time when one day turns into another? On a spaceship there would be an endless day. The best they could do would be marking days by taking shifts at work, and then the time they sleep. There would be no seasons. No way of accounting for years, as we measure them.

If time were all measured as just a quota, wouldn’t you miss measuring time by seasons, the sun and moon? Our measurements for time are almost poetry compared to the plain measurement of just counting how many shifts you had at work. Wouldn’t it be sad if they measured time by how many generations of their family had died, how many Grandmothers and Grandfathers they have? We think about ourselves by generations. Pagans think of it as the young woman, the Mother and the crone.

Linguistics and Semantics

From SuiteU. Saved before it disappears. More pages of links were included back to the course writer’s topic on Suite101 but all of those links were 404 so I have not tried to include them.

Linguistics & Semantics
By Antonella Sartor


Have you never asked yourself what is the real meaning of ‘language’? (linguistics) Why the words change? (the semantic change) Why one word is pronounced in this way? (phonetic/phonology) What differentiate the languages of world, for example, English from Italian or English from French etc? (phonological rules) Which rules are necessary for word formation or sentence formation? (morphology and syntax) What rules govern people’s behaviour? (pragmatics and speech acts) How can we analyse a poem, a critical essay, a piece of narrative passage?(textual analysis) Which rhetorical figures are the most important? (metaphor, metonymy, connotation, denotation, simile etc) Continue reading Linguistics and Semantics

Inspirational Writing

Originally part of the Suite101 University ecourses offered for free. This content is being removed by Suite101 and I wanted to preserve some of it so others could take the course and for myself to remember the information.

Inspirational Writing

By Sara Quest



Inspirational publications like “Chicken Soup for the Soul” reveal today’s demand for writers of everyday miracles. Yes, people like you who want to tug hearts are in demand! The original Chicken Soup book expanded to become a series of approximately sixty titles, including ones like “Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul” and “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul.” All titles combined sold over 75 million copies.

What you are not aware of is, the Chicken authors were once writers with unfathomable dreams. They wanted to share the numerous stories of everyday people like you who inspired them during their motivational speaking careers. And like you, they knew struggle: not one publisher of the one hundred twenty three they approached wanted that original “Chicken Soup” book! But their stories found the way to the right publisher.

The inspirational market is NOW awaiting YOUR contribution! Continue reading Inspirational Writing

Are Workshops Any Good?

Are Workshops Any Good? – Reprinted from the WordCraft newsletter on

If you can find the right Workshop group, it can be invaluable. These are people who care about you. They are people who want you to succeed. They are people who will honestly tell you what you have done well and what needs improvement. They will never attack you personally.

A writer’s group can provide you with the essential feedback that you need. For many years I made the trip from the Outback of Nevada to Carson City to attend Ash Canyon Poets weekly poetry workshop. There were a few rules:
1. Bring a copy of your poem for everyone in the group.
2. Read your poem aloud to the group as they follow along.
3. Comment on the poem.
4. If is your poem, listen to the comments.
5. There are no personal attacks.
6. You have the option to accept or reject the comments given.
7. Everyone has a right to be heard.

There were a few unspoken rules. Everyone is at a different stage of development, and we respect that. The youngest were in their teens and the oldest were in their 80’s. Some were published, and some were just beginning to write.

Ash Canyon Poets is a support group for poets. It is a group who encourages poetry in all venus. It respects all forms of poetry. And it does encourage writers to publish when they are ready. Ash Canyon saw me through the first years of writing. They were there and cheered for me when the first publication came. They are still there encouraging poets in Northern Nevada. That group is one of the few groups of people I sorely miss after having moved to the Midwest.

Today I quit two online groups. One group was supposedly a support group for writers. I never saw one critique but I did see a lot of publishing to the list. The other was a list I had belonged to for a number of years, but recently comments had degenerated to “it sucks” and “the poetry here is monumentally underwhelming.” Neither group was supportive. One was a ego group and the other became a group where, if you posted something that was a “work in progress” you were personally slammed and/or received nothing but negative criticism, if any.

Do I still believe in the value of workshops? Of course I do. The lessons learned at Ash Canyon Poets serve me well even today. And they are a model against which I will judge all other groups.

Will I continue to search for a group? Yes. I value the support and interaction between writers who have a common goal: becoming better writers and helping others do the same.