February Is For Writing

July is for swimming and October is for leaf raking and February is for writing. Every month is equally good for writing, but there’s something about the slowed-down pace of life in winter, including snow days and weekends when the windchill keeps you in, that suits the reading and writing life.

Individual Poetry Apprenticeships kick off today, Feb 6th (and every First Friday of a given month).

They’re a humanely paced, mini-boot-camp experiences for writers who need some direction, accountability, and outside stimulation. You can do this from anywhere in the world and you don’t have to drive anywhere to do so (we work via email). You can also bring a writing buddy and do it in pairs or trios. 10% discount if you bring someone else with you this month (Just $135 per person for this four-week independent study). Just send me a note with your interest and we can get started this weekend! hollywren (at) gmail (dot) com.


And next week is the first day of the Winter session of Poetry Forge.

We meet in Easthampton at White Square Fine Books & Art. Join me for sparks-pleasure-poetry. This round will focus on poetry that has some relationship to what Dean Young, in The Art of Recklessness calls “the human pang,” and which I want to explore in terms of the varied, visceral, endlessly complex experience of being in our human lives.


Here’s a poem to inspire you:


by Donald Justice

It’s snowing this afternoon and there are no flowers.

There is only this sound of falling, quiet and remote,

Like the memory of scales descending the white keys

Of a childhood piano—outside the window, palms!

And the heavy head of the cereus, inclining,

Soon to let down its white or yellow-white.

Now, only these poor snow-flowers in a heap,

Like the memory of a white dress cast down . . .

So much has fallen.

                                    And I, who have listened for a step

All afternoon, hear it now, but already falling away,

Already in memory. And the terrible scales descending

On the silent piano; the snow; and the absent flowers


from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2006

Samuel Zeller for Unsplash






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