draft at AWP Seattle 2014

seattle

We know AWP Seattle is still months away, but we’re gearing up for a swanky off-site event with the wonderful folks at Dock Street Press and Big Fiction Magazine, both based in Seattle, along with the uber-stellar Midwestern Gothic. We’ll be somewhere in the Ballard area and hope you keep us in mind during the busy weekend.

draft will also be at the bookfair at table M23, so please look us up and come say hi.

sonnet-header

sonnet

This sonnet came about in a workshop I attended in September at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. The guest lecturer was the lovely, awe-inspiring Poet Molly Peacock who led about twelve of us on a two-day quest to create, polish, and perfect a sonnet. My sonnet got away from me, taking me down one wrong path, watching as I broke end-rhymes and grappled with syllabics. But I spun and wove the metaphorical fabric until I was basically happy with what I had by the end of the conference. I don’t typically write in form, so completing a sonnet in a couple of days was pretty unexpected.

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Virginity and Potential

This post originally appeared on the author’s personal website, www.melaniebishopwriter.wordpress.com. We’re sharing it here because it dovetails so nicely with the work we do at draft. And, of course, before we re-posted it, Melanie insisted on revising it one more time…

virgin

I should confess that I have never been a fan of revision. Yes, I preach to my students about its importance, but I am loath to embark on it myself. This resistance in me is pure laziness; I want what I write to be right the first time. I want writing to be easy. A creative writing professor in college once suggested I’d finally written a pretty decent short story, but he thought it needed a few more drafts. I told him I didn’t like to revise. I said, in defense of my stance: “I like first drafts; there’s a virginal quality to them.” I actually used that word virginal. I was that dumb. Continue reading

Books With Letters Missing

The posts below are puerile odes to the fragility of language. Steal one letter, just one little letter from a thing, and that thing becomes a different thing. And hopefully it becomes a funnier or weirder or sexier thing. All the titles below were written by two friends on the wrapper of a spinach and cheese croissant from Au Bon Pain. They are the offspring of spinach, cheese, and coffee. The descriptions that accompany the titles were written by one friend, and are the offspring of bourbon and Doritos.

Faulkner

The Sound and The Fur
Faulkner’s field guide for identifying southern mammals using a variety of senses. Continue reading

poser

podium

The night before my first public reading, I stood in the middle of my living room and discussed with my fiancé the best manner in which to inflect the word “douche.”  Afterward, I assembled my most writerly outfit:  jeans, gray flats, a striped button-down shirt that I usually wear to work and is close to becoming unwearable due to pit stains, and a blazer, for the double purpose of hiding aforementioned pit stains, both old and fresh.

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just because it’s beautiful

Those Of Us Who Think We Know

Those of us who think we know
the same secrets
are silent together most of the time,
for us there is eloquence
in desire, and for a while
when in love and exhausted
it’s enough to nod like shy horses
and come together
in a quiet ceremony of tongues

it’s in disappointment we look for words
to convince us
the spaces between stars are nothing
to worry about,
it’s when those secrets burst
in that emptiness between our hearts
and the lumps in our throats.
And the words we find
are always insufficient, like love,
though they are often lovely
and all we have

– Stephen Dunn

Books With Letters Missing

The posts below are puerile odes to the fragility of language. Steal one letter, just one little letter from a thing, and that thing becomes a different thing. And hopefully it becomes a funnier or weirder or sexier thing. All the titles below were written by two friends on the wrapper of a spinach and cheese croissant from Au Bon Pain. They are the offspring of spinach, cheese, and coffee. The descriptions that accompany the titles were written by one friend, and are the offspring of bourbon and Doritos.

The DaVinci Cod

The Da Vinci Cod
In which Dan Brown discovers the secret history behind one our greatest minds, (and one of our greatest fish). Continue reading

some elements for making a poem

poem ingredients

Everything depends upon the correct choice of elements for a prescription, the proper tools for a mechanic, the proper measurements for a recipe, finely tooled gears for mobiles and appliances. If this is true, then a poem may require the same type of deliberations in the choice of devices, form, metaphors, place, time, narrator, speaker or voice, tone and rhythm. Each one of these requirements depends as much upon intuition as it does upon inspiration. The poet’s job is to breathe life into the event or experience so that when a reader encounters a poem he or she is encountering the event for the very first time. Whatever the circumstances, the writer may be called upon to rely upon trial and error, which for the sake of this exercise is called: revision. Continue reading

The Instinct to Discard

“The instinct to discard is finally a kind of faith. It tells me there’s a better way to do this page even though the evidence is not accessible at the present time.”

-Don DeLillo, via The Paris Review

paying-it-backward

 

letter writing

On a clear twilight in 1990, having been married for three months and recently graduated from high school, I began to drive home from work, pulling out of the parking lot just as the sun was setting, when my car was broadsided by a San Diego city bus. No one thought I would survive my head injury then, and no one who knew my injury thought I would survive the coma let alone recover. After I got out of the hospital, I could only begin to overcome such a poor prognosis by reading the Bible, writing, and being in a continual learning mode in regard to the world in general. The hardest part of overcoming my prognosis was everyone’s belief that I wouldn’t. People thought of me as incapable given how bad my injury was. The doctors said I wouldn’t recover. Writing became my savior, and I think it’s important to know writing has such healing properties.

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