Alan Harnum

Personal Poetry Month

A roundup of poetry and more general writing stuff:

  • It’s National Poetry Month in Canada and the United States of America. I made some tweets listing good recent contemporary poetry books I’ve read.

  • I also write poetry these days with some publication success, but I read poetry for many years before starting to write it as well. I wish more people read contemporary poetry, which is a vast space of really diverse and exciting voices.

  • I recently took Kathryn Mockler’s online short fiction seminar course, which got me writing fiction again after about fifteen years away from it. I highly recommend her courses! One of the additional very valuable things was the discussion of writing as a business practice, how to think about the submission process, how to not take rejection personally, and how to be more methodical about submissions.

  • To that second point, because I am me, I built a custom submission tracker for myself in Airtable. I’ve had poems accepted at three different places in the last month (and rejected from several more); one set is published already, with two more venues to come later. I credit the submission tracker for some of this! (I will try and write a longer post about this at some point and share the template, as others may find it useful)

Finally, I broke my tradition (of the last two years, 2018 and 2017, so not a longstanding one) of posting found poetry I write using my Library Voices project, a web app that pipes the feed of Toronto Public Library’s live search dashboard to voice synthesis. So here are two recent ones, because it’s National Poetry Month, so it sort of continues the tradition:

Crossfit Woefield Poultry

Mimico: the
killer angels
get smarter;

the killer
angels' library
of souls reach
reader,

the untethered
soul answers for
Aristotle,

the contours of
American history
one brother shy,

virtual reality
save elementary
science education,

the entire
busy teacher
crossfit woefield
poultry,

the architecture
of happiness
change home branch.

Heart in the Heart of the Heart

Us weekly get out
buying a house,
    video game
    children legends;
      bad effects of
      video game real
      estate intermittent,
      fasting gourmet
      rhapsody disorder.

      Colour confident,
    the red hunter real,
            estate
            investing
        the tunnel;
    dark money heart,
    of the city overdrive,
    fasting the wonder,
    caught in the pivot
    neurosis, human growth
    map of my heart in the
        heart of the
        heart of the
        country.