“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor. … It is an idea which hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad.”
Dear Woman Who Writes,
The first thing you need to know is this—we’ve moved our monthly meeting from November 3 to November 10. Many of us, on November 3, will be busy, pacing our homes as election results dribble in. We’ll be rooting for our candidates the way airline passengers root for the pilot on a turbulent flight. Except for one difference. On an airplane, the pilot is in control. On solid ground we are in control, voting our values to choose the next pilot.
Your host is Alisa Childress. Please see the emailed newsletter for meeting link and meeting ID.
Poetry is the theme of our November 10 meeting!
Why should we write poetry? Because it improves our sentences. “Poetry is Pilates for your prose,” says a fiction writer friend. By writing poems, even bad ones, we become limber with words and create vigorous phrases.
For our meeting on Zoom—Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 PM— we will begin with a poetry icebreaker. We’ll share one or two lines from our efforts, to create a WWW masterpiece. Then you’ll be invited to share first drafts of poems written at home, from a writing prompt included below.
Watch this short video of former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins talking about poetry. Collins is accessible and witty. He takes the mystery out of the process (for those of us who are not poets).
What makes a poem? Sentences are broken into lines. Word choice and line length create rhythm. A stanza can be one sentence or many. Punctuation (or lack of punctuation) controls the flow. Rhyming unnecessary. Here is a famous William Carlos Williams poem— “The Red Wheelbarrow.”
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
Here is your writing prompt!
Use one of the first lines from famous poems to launch your own—
- The art of losing isn’t hard to master (Elizabeth Bishop)
- I thank you God for most this amazing (ee cummings)
- Let us go, then, you and I (TS Eliot)
- So much depends upon (William Carlos Williams)
- I have done it again. (Sylvia Plath)
- I, too, sing America (Langston Hughes)
- Success is counted sweetest (Emily Dickinson)
- Do not go gentle into that good night (Dylan Thomas)
We will discuss our processes and poems. We will invite, but not require, you to read aloud to our group. Even if you come up with one favorite line or sentence, read it.
Opportunities to submit your writing
- The Women Who Write website now features a blog— prose and poetry by WWW members. Craft essays and publishing pieces are always welcome. Members, please pitch a blog idea by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kimberly Crum and Bonnie Omer Johnson, members of WWW, have started a publication on Medium.com. Landslide Lit is inspired by the lyric from the Fleetwood Mac song, “Landslide.” We invite submissions of poetry and prose about growing up, growing older, looking forward and looking back. In addition, we have a monthly theme. In November, the theme is food, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. To inquire or submit essays, e-mail WWW members Kim and Bonnie at email@example.com.
- To learn about submission requests and contests, go to https://www.newpages.com. which enables you to find specific markets for your fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.
Become a member—
As a community, WWW strives to nurture your writing life. We hope you choose to join or renew as a member and participate in our monthly meetings, author talks, retreats, and workshops. Please do share your ideas for future programming!
We have planned meetings through the end of 2020. In December, we’ll listen to Christmas letters. You’ll write as yourself, as a favorite character in fiction, as a pet, a child. We will distribute writing prompts following our November 10 meeting.
Be safe. Stay strong. Vote in Peace.
The Leadership Team— Kimberly, Terri, Pam, Alisa, and Melony