Library Newsletter: Flags, Free Speech, and Conversation

I was surprised and relieved back in August, when I read a Front Porch Forum message expressing a neighbor’s feelings of being offended by two flags flown on private property in Vergennes. I, too, had noticed the flags a day or two earlier, been struck by a turmoil of offense, confusion, and wonder at why […]

Slippery “Not”

Check out Anne Michaels’s “Not.” As the title presages, the poem is structured around the word “not.” Michaels repeats the word throughout, creating a slippery elusiveness to the language. A sense of playfulness and foreboding simmers behind this repetition. But the insistence of the repetition also avoids any nihilistic sense you might expect from the negative. […]

Maps and Writing

Maps have a long history of inspiring. One of my favorite concepts comes from ancient maps. You know, the kind with sea monsters in the boarders. These undefined areas are where borders (the map-kind and the personal-kind) get blurred, and as a result, all those fascinating hybrid monsters are created. Half-snake, half-fish. Half-eagle, half-lion. Half-horse, […]

Obvious Fuel

David Weinstock suggests in Maps and Voyages, “Greet the obvious.” A writer highlights what is right in front of our collective noses and invigorates those details to which the rest of us have become numb. PROMPT Look around you and notice the what is there, the objects and colors we look past. Inhale and smell the […]

Get Your Fill of Writing Workshops

The month of September is filled with writing workshops at the Bixby Library. I’ve given up the reins of the Thursday workshop for a few weeks again to Kris Johannesson MFA to lead the writers through what she calls “Writing Horror.” Three one-off writing workshops are taking place, too. On September 6th, Joni B. Cole […]

Zine Results (8)

Our eight week session has come to an end, and on its final night we made zines, mini-books and pamphlets. RESULTS I neglected to capture a record of all the results of our group’s work last night, but here are a few of the blank templates I made, a journal of mine, and my finished […]

What do you need to make a zine? (7)

Our penultimate workshop session for the summer met last night! We discussed revision and preparations for making books next session. Zines, pamphlets, journals, whatever you want to call them, we will be making book objects next week, so that we can fill them with our own writing! TECHNICAL IMAGINATION David Madden’s Revising Fiction introduces the concept […]

What is Revising? (6)

Our writing workshop group at the Bixby Library embarked collectively on individual writing projects several weeks ago. Each writer has produced a respectable amount of work to this end, and each seems to feel as though they want to write more. No one has a complete draft yet, so we plan to continue to write […]

Writing Week (5)

Camp Nanowrimo month is almost over! So, we’re approaching the end of our “production” phase for this summer’s workshop. During Thursday’s session, we spent a lot of time listening to what people have written so far, giving a little feedback, and writing more! PERFECTIONISM For those writers who haven’t been as productive as they had […]

Unstick Your Project (4)

It’s easy to get stuck on a project. The morass of writer’s block is especially threatening in the midst of a sprint like Nanowrimo. There are a few strategies to prevent, heal, or steamroll this danger, though. So don’t worry. PREPARATION A lot of anxiety and unproductive hours can be circumvented with preparation. Banishing your […]