Do you listen to music while you write? Has a specific song or music artist ever influenced one of your stories, poems, etc.? This has happened with a number of my published poems. Thus, Poetry & Song is a limited-run series where I share one of my published poems and the song that “helped me write” it. I also offer insights into why I chose that particular piece of music, as well as any other inspirations for the poem.
Some of you might know that I’m a published poet, with several poems accepted for print and online publication between 2012 and 2014. While I’m focusing on novels now, from time to time I’ve entertained ideas about how to discuss poetry (either my own or the poets I admire) here at the blog. Then, during last month’s Iceland Writers Retreat, I took Nadifa Mohamed’s “Music and Literature” workshop, which explored how the music we listen to can influence our writing. It turned out to be my favorite workshop of the event – and it also sparked the idea for this series.
Today I’d like to kick off the Poetry & Song series with “Elegy,” which was published in Soul-Lit’s Summer 2013 issue. And had it not been for a certain piano ballad by one of the most incredibly voices and songwriters in current pop music, I’m not sure “Elegy” would be what it is today. That’s why it’s impossible to talk about the poem without the song, or how that poem changed my feelings toward the song forever.
I may be done with literary conferences for the year, but not with literary events in general. Two are on my radar for this fall, and I thought I’d spread the word in case anyone lives near or is planning to be in the Boston area soon. Plus, both events are free! So there’s no need to worry about the cost of admission. 🙂 Continue reading
Many of you may have read or heard about the bombings at the Boston Marathon this past Monday. As a writer who lives in the area (about 30 miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts) and visits the city several times each year, I’ve been struggling to collect my thoughts – mostly because they’ve been a swirling eddy of emotions. This was a signal from my soul that I needed to write to express what I was feeling. And I did. I drafted the original version of this blog entry on Wednesday and Thursday, and originally intended to post it on Friday afternoon.
That all changed Friday morning, however, with the manhunt in Greater Boston and the related events that transpired. Some parts of yesterday hit much too close to home for me. So I re-wrote the blog entry to what it is today.
So I braved the wind and the rain on Saturday to go to the first annual Boston Book Festival. It was an all-day event held at and around Copley Square, with exhibits, lectures, readings, free food, and interactive events for people who write or enjoy poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Oh, and there were plenty for kids to do, too.
So below is a report of my “field trip,” complete with photos. Pardon my photography – I’m not the best, but I try!