Information and Inspiration for your poetic journey
April 2011
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In This Issue
Minding Words
The Write Direction
Motherhood as Muse
Featured Poem
Creating Space for Writing
The Cook, The Writer, The Gardener, The Business Woman
Discover New Poetry Markets and Get Published
The Poetics of Community
The Writing Life
Writing the Life Poetic Zine

Publisher & Editor:
Sage Cohen


Brittany Baldwin

Kristin Berger

Dale Favier

Christopher Luna


Toni Partington

Shawn Sorensen

Steve Williams

For your  bookshelf

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The Path of Possibility
in Writing and in Life

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Join Sage as she contemplates both what's possible in the writing life and how writing can make our lives more possible.


Happy National Poetry Month!

There's no better time than April to wet your poetic whistle. Around the world and the web, there are endless events, communities and opportunities where you can connect, write, and steep in poetic possibilities. I'd like to tell you about a few.

To jump-start your poetic process, consider participating in a poem-a-day challenge. Get a daily poetry prompt and join a community of poets facilitated by these amazing people:
Want to read poetry books and discuss them online throughout the month? Check out Dave Bonta's Poetry Month Book Club.

The Academy of American poets has all kinds of fun happening throughout April. If you want more ideas about how to infuse your month with poetry, check out their recommended 30 ways to celebrate poetry.

Experiencing poetry in a poet's own voice is such a powerful way to receive the gifts a poem has to offer. Following are three great resources for listening to poetry online:

And if you're not doing so already, why not consider signing up to receive a daily poem by e-mail from The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor? It's free, it's easy, and it sure is delightful to have poems chosen for you and delivered like a little gift to your inbox every day.


While it's always a good time to write poetry, the month of April is an especially good time to cultivate your connection to the family of words, images and poets that are holding us all as we sculpt together the life poetic.   


The word is the way,


Sage Cohen

Publisher & Editor


Minding Words
By Dale Favier

April is National Poetry Month. I discovered this a couple years ago when a number of my blogging friends began participating in NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month, during which some hardy and/or foolish souls commit to writing and posting a new poem every day in April.


At first I hated this. For one thing, I hated the name, that ungodly string of capital and small letters -- not even original, but filched from its big brother, the November novel writing thing, NaNoWriMo. Was that any way for poets to treat their language?


Second, all my poetry-writing and -reading instincts revolted. Poetry on the assembly line? The whole point of poetry is that it's lovingly crafted, not slapped together. Oh, everyone has luck sometimes, a poem that comes out, first time, exactly right, but most good poems are worked, over days or weeks or years. What's the good of churning out a whole slew of raw, or at best half-cooked, poems?


And finally, it upset my blog-reading habits. I follow dozens of bloggers. Most of them post a couple times a week. Those who write poetry -- a minority -- might post three or four poems a month. I can keep up with that, but just barely. I'm a slow reader of poetry. I often have to read through a poem a couple times before I have any confidence that I know what's going on in it. I can read ten prose posts in the time I devote to a poetry post.


When NaPoWriMo first forced itself on my attention, it wrecked my reading routine. Suddenly I had a dozen or more poems to read every day -- poems by my friends, poems I felt I really ought to respond to. For the first week of the first April I tried. I hoped it was a flash in the pan. Surely people would stumble and give up? But mostly they didn't. They soldiered on. I started falling behind. And eventually, I just took to skipping. Some days I saw a poem, and I just went on by. I was grateful for May, when it finally came.


But everyone who did it seemed pretty pumped by it, and the interesting thing was that the poems were not bad. There were a few bad ones, but then there always are. There were more awkward and clumsy bits, transitions that didn't quite work, a few more obviously lame lines, but the overall quality was surprisingly good. A lot of the best bits, apparently, do come straight out of the first firing that way. And the really interesting thing was that people were writing differently. The were writing poems of sorts they'd never tried before -- out of sheer desperation, I guess.


So I'm grudgingly reconciled with NaPoWriMo. I've already steeled myself to skip some of my friends' poems, when they're coming too thick and fast. And I even am tempted to participate myself. Who knows what might happen, if I knocked that many poems out of my head that fast?


* * * * *

Dale Favier has taught poetry, chopped vegetables, and written software for a living. Currently he works half-time as a massage therapist and half-time running a database for a non-profit in Portland, Oregon. He is a Buddhist, in the Tibetan tradition. He writes about meditation and poetry, and whatever ever else he may be interested in at the moment, at Mole.

He has an M.Phil. in English Literature from Yale, but he never wrote much poetry until he began blogging, a few years ago, and fell in with bad companions. With them he eventually brought out an anthology, Brilliant Coroners. His poems have also appeared in Qarrtsiluni and The Ouroborus Review. His first chapbook, Opening the World, will be coming out next year from Pindrop Press.
The Write Direction
April Poetry Prompt
By M and Steve Williams

Once you reach a certain age, it's inevitable that you will come down with a serious bout of nostalgia now and then. Nostalgia

is defined by our ten-year-old, hardback Encarta Dictionary as a "sentimental recollection, a mixed feeling of happiness, sadness, and longing when recalling a person, place, or event from the past, or the past in general."  


Many of us feel nostalgia, particularly when we realize that an ordinary object from our past, one that was commonly found or commonly used by many people, even whole populations, no longer exists in that particular form.

Following is a poem (which we found in Rattle #31, Summer 2009) that addresses nostalgia for an item that most young people today, chatting and texting on their cell phones, have only heard about from their parents, read about in books or seen in movies:

Don't You Miss The Phone Booth
by Kate Peper

-- a place where once you closed that hinged door
you could still look out, but now the outside world
was hushed and you were in a capsule of privacy?
The etchings of phone numbers, names and expletives
cheering you while you listened to that dial tone,
thinking, grandly, how connected you were
to those who came before you in this one booth.
And wasn't it comforting, too, to feel the heft and solidity

of the phone book or rub the cigarette burns on that little corner    table?

In old movies, people excused themselves in restaurants
to make a call and you, yourself, remember finding
the quiet corner near the restrooms, the pay phone
inside the cubicle just big enough for you to lean in.
How good you were at not speaking loudly. How nice it was
for folks to stand back, waiting for the caller to finish and step away
before walking up and putting in the dime.
Oh, sure, back then it meant people couldn't reach you 24/7,
photos snapped from your cell at a dinner party couldn't be sent
to your loved ones in Zurich, or your pre-teen's thumbs
couldn't get the workout from texting, but hey -
wasn't it swell to walk down a city street and the only
people you heard talking to themselves were crazy?
And driving away from the city, no pop song sound bites
rang in your pocket? And in the pouring rain, when you miss
your turn to So-and-So's Cabins, the wipers going like mad,
you see a closed gas station and with relief - a sudden feeling of joy -
spot the shape of the booth with its panels lit,
the unmistakable sign of the phone on top, haloed in light,
offering you shelter and connection.  


[Note: The editor apologizes for the formatting limitations that do not allow for indentation of long lines.] 


This poem works so well because Ms. Peper places the phone booth in the context of its time, and because she details the settings so well, you can place yourself within that phone booth, and feel the speaker's longings not only for the item itself, but for the simpler places and times in which this booth was a common feature of the landscape.  


Many of us are old enough to remember the phone booth, to identify with all the details and feelings Peper describes, but even those who are too young to remember would most likely understand her nostalgia for this once very common feature of the American landscape. Her nostalgia also allows her to make statements about the current state of our culture, and about how our relationships and ways of interacting with each other have changed.

Write a poem in which the speaker becomes nostalgic for an item that no longer exists or is no longer used in its prior form or incarnation. Title that poem, "Don't You Miss The _________," filling in the blank with your selected item. Like Peper, make the reader aware of the context of this item, how it was used, and in what types of settings.  


Try your best to recreate the world or time period in which this item existed so the reader can feel the longing, not only for the object itself, but for the people, places, and situations in which it was commonly found. Also consider and address how the larger culture has changed because of the loss of this item.  


Our objects say a lot about us as people, and when they're gone, a whole way of life and being in the world and with our fellow humans can disappear as well. Personally, we really miss vinyl record albums, although we must admit those iPods are pretty darn convenient.


* * * * *
M has served as Associate Poetry Editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection for the past one hundred years or so. More than a few editors have found her poems acceptable, and included them in their journals. She received her B.A. in literature so long ago, she's pretty certain her diploma has crumbled to dust. She also serves as an administrator of on online poetry workshop called Wild Poetry Forum. If you cannot find her (she never answers her cell phone), call Powell's Books. The employees there know exactly what room she's in. And most importantly, she is very grateful for the enormous amount of love in her life.

Steve Williams lives and works in Portland with a lovely woman who writes and edits much better than he but refuses to admit it.
Motherhood as Muse
One Man Band
By Kristin Berger

A blooming pink night light holds darkness at bay, crickets rubbing a convincing lullaby from the sound machine. Everyone is asleep, but he is writing a poem about Great Things: Rain. Puppy. Pond. Treats. Black ball-point letters appear, his 4-year old fingers forming whole words before they have been tested by his tongue, teeth and lips. Maps and sketches fill the margins.  He tells a story in one of the only ways he knows how.


At 30 months, my son, James, was assessed as having speech apraxia - in the areas of comprehension, he tested above average. But when trying to express the words flitting around his head like caged birds, his brain had trouble telling his mouth to open and let them fly out. We welcomed a speech therapist into our home, used sign language and games to supplement and augment his need to communicate, easing his daily frustrations. He knew exactly what he wanted - we simply didn't have all the keys to his secret language, no matter that we were his translators out in the world. Our job was to be patient with the process, be playful and trusting.


James blended his own sound-words with a musicality and rhythm he was born with, was a one-man-band to experience. Every conversation became a game of Charades. Every new word was whispered once in our ears, then out loud with gusto. When he began putting two and three words together, wonders began spilling forth - "high water tool" was bridge, "man pants" were overalls, "treat man treat" was coveted ice cream. His words were vivid composites, like Chinese characters, requiring you to see from his perspective and enter his awareness of how a thing works, its true purpose revealed. We fed him language, bowls of song, stories, poems and rhymes. He gifted us ideas sifted to their molecular level.


The week before James was born, I sent off my first poetry chapbook to a contest. Done with laboring over each poem, I was ready to let the collection live its life in the world, with all its incompleteness and imperfections - the poems would have to speak for themselves without a coach or interpreter. I spent the next 2 & ˝ years mothering two children, not getting much writing done. But by witnessing the daily birth of undiluted language, I became a devotee again of the Word - of free verse, toddler slam and lullabies, of every rhyming pair under the sun. Affected by the joy of sound slipping between lips, of words hitting air like steam, we lived within their cloudy habitats. Losing the urge to form, direct or capture words, I simply let them play in my life, like my children, like the birds at the feeder.


James leans into the page, the pen now shaping a tree-house, smoke curling from the chimney. His tongue concentrates. I have no doubt that he will one day be able to express everything igniting in his mopsy head. What the next word will be that bursts from his brain's snags is the night's next surprise. Like a bird finding a safe portal, it will slip quietly and surely, be the exact one in mind.

* * * * *

Kristin BergerKristin Berger lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, daughter, and son. She serves as Co-Editor of VoiceCatcher and is the author of a poetry chapbook, For the Willing (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Kristin's poetry and essays have appeared in CALYX, New Letters, Mothering Magazine and Passages North, and The Pedestal Magazine, among other publications, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Visit Kristin at

Featured Poem
Dear Scar,
By Sage Cohen

You new, kissless                 
lips the surgeon made

through which the slick
tongue of my son's life

took its first taste
of this world. Now empty

of coin or entrance, keeper
of the secret my body

never learned to confess,
your cold lips zipped against

the steel that made you.
It was the midwife who

spoke the sentence:
I was doing it wrong,

I'd never learn to let go.
I'd been rehearsing this

disappointment my entire life,
tracing fingers over

its pressed-in letters
now inscribed: the Shema

across this threshold.
Today, as I kiss my fingers

to you, this door that would not
be blessed, secret seam

where my son and I divided,
your silence is kind. Today I see

an indelible smile stitched
below my stretched-out belly,

the stigmata that says this body
did exactly what it was asked to do.

And when it could do no more,
it learned, by God, it learned, 

there may be endless
ways to open.

Creating Space for Writing 
Fuel, Part 2: Giving Means Getting, Sometimes
By Toni Partington

It takes fuel to run this mind and body.


Last issue I wrote about fueling ourselves and I've been thinking about how quickly that precious fuel slips away. As a nation we are sleep deprived, over scheduled, and in a hurry. Our mind-body energy is used up before we know it, and we aren't sure where it went.


When I'm coaching clients who feel frantic and exhausted, they chalk it up to lack of control over daily life. Hours are gobbled by commitments, last minute requests, and chaos. Even with a plan, the hours are fleeting.


I ask, who is deciding how you'll use your energy? They balk, "Really, I'm in charge of my mental and physical energy." Yes, I nod, but do you get sidetracked and end up wondering what happened? How about determining what to use it on, and what truly doesn't need all you give? Here's a good example.


My client Helen works in a local bookstore. Twice a week her sister calls about a book. The calls last 15 minutes or so and occur during Helen's lunch. Her sister lives 10 blocks away, but insists on calling. She asks Helen to read the book's description, look up the cost, and browse the pages. Helen suggests she go online. Her sister says, "I like my own librarian."


Helen's resentment builds, yet she takes the calls. I ask how much energy she's putting into this situation beyond the phone calls. Helen replies, "I constantly think about what I'll say to end this. Once at work, I wonder when she'll call. After the call I stew about it and get in a bad mood. During the drive home I practice what to say the next time. Once home I call a friend to vent; I guess that's all." Helen can't calculate this in hours, but says it's "a ridiculous amount."


Helen is reluctant to confront her sister for fear of family drama. What outcome is Helen seeking? She thinks her sister wants attention, but she's unsure how to achieve a win-win. I wonder how Helen feels as a personal librarian. She says it makes her feel valued. I suggest that Helen ask her sister why she wants a personal librarian. Helen leaves with a mission.


I saw Helen three weeks later. She said the calls had stopped. I asked, "How?' "Well, I asked my sister why she wanted a personal librarian. She said I had knowledge to select the right books and that made her believe she was smart enough to understand them." Her sister talked to friends who wished they had a personal librarian. Helen suggested her sister invite friends over once a month and she would become their personal librarian, too. She told me the first month was fantastic and that her sister beamed.


Helen made notes on each reader's interests and began matching interests with books. She emailed the titles and when each woman came to the store, she took them to the correct shelf. Over and over Helen credited the idea to her sister. Helen reports that the monthly "book" night and email messages have replaced the calls.


To me, this is a perfect example of giving means getting. Helen determined how much energy she was willing to put into her sister's needs, and found just the right way to do it. She used her energy in a more productive and positive way, bypassed what could have been disastrous to the relationship, and found herself less drained and remarkably less frustrated.Helen made the switch from being worn out by the situation to feeling invigorated.


A long time ago I heard a saying that has stayed with me- you can let life happen to you, or make life happen for you. Helen chose to make it happen.


 * * * * * 

Toni Partington

Toni Partington is a poet, editor, collage artist, and life/career coach living in Vancouver, WA. Her poetry has appeared in The Cascade Journal, VoiceCatcher (editions 3 & 4), Perceptions,, and others. She is the author of two books of poetry, Jesus Is A Gas (2009) and Wind Wing (2010). Toni serves as Co-Editor for VoiceCatcher, an anthology of women writers and artists,  She is a co-founder of Printed Matter Vancouver, a writing, editing and publishing service, 


Toni is a life/career coach who loves to work with writers, artists, and individuals in transition (career, relationships, enhancing creative goals, and retirement, to name a few). She assists her clients in exploring ways to integrate the various facets of their lives into a more satisfying lifestyle. Toni believes in a strength-based approach with a focus on quality of life using practical strategies. For more information about coaching sessions contact Toni at

The Cook, The Writer, The Gardener, The Business Woman
Solitude Still Burns
By Brittany Baldwin

Snow is falling this morning and it brings me back to my mornings writing in Colorado during my early twenties. Before the business I had one art to master that I had been working on furiously since childhood. Those mornings were just me, the cat, a cup of tea. I purposely holed up my junior and senior year in a studio apartment writing, listening to music, haunting the library and the ongoing foreign film festival. In my workshops at school I spoke little to avoid the arrogant and competitive back and forth that occurs in college workshops, it also kept the silence I was building between them and me.


To break the solitude and make money three to four nights a week I went to work on the line, working sauté. My chef used to introduce me to the new guys as the Sauté Chingona they would smirk and match my eyes but later nod as I danced between fire, plates and tickets -calling for mas cacerolas por favor. That was my family, that was the only place I opened up and after work we would crowd around a table in the dive bar across the alley. The college kids I had been sitting next too that morning in Lit Theory would stare across the room at the table of Zacatecan felons I was speaking so passionately with about life, love and family. Slurring in and out of Spanish, almost crying then minutes later laughing together, slapping the table. I would limp home in the snow, bundling up and holding my shoulders straight, trying to look like a man to make the drunken walk safer by myself in the middle of the night.


Cooking was something I did for money but I still didn't see it as an art. Writing was everything. And looking back now when I'm in charge of a house, my animals, a business, a relationship I'm so envious of the schedule I used to keep for writing. Woke up to the snow and sat with tea over my keyboard in front of the window. Everyday I read at least 100 pages of literature in the bathtub, between classes, on the bus. I would write all night, get home at 11 from work, have a beer and begin. Sleep a few hours then get up early to read the 100 pages I needed for school.


My output was astounding, especially to me now. Now I have a new art. I have cookbooks in every room, open and waiting for me to fumble through when passing by. Then I move onto hours of cooking shows, during which I read cookbooks and the never ending flow of farm and cooking magazines that come through the mail. But then, today, I wake up to four inches of snow and take the day off to tuck in and write the way I used to. A cup of tea, a nice view and the devotion still burning for an old friend.

* * * * *

Brittany BaldwinBrittany Baldwin runs a small catering and personal chef company that maintains its own organic garden. She has written poetry in Portland for eight years while starting her own business and self publishing her own poetry collection, Broken Knuckles Against Knives, Cutting The Food To Feed Me Through This (2005). In 2002 she received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado. Her poetry has appeared in the poetry collections Ephemeris and Broken Word: Alberta Street Anthology Volume 1 and 2. She has appeared on KBOO's Talking Earth,  won an honorable mention in the Oregon State Poetry Associations fall 06 contest and was featured in the 2006 and 2007 Silverton Poetry Festival.

Discover New Poetry Markets and Get Published

By Shawn Sorensen

I just finished the how-to classic A Poet's Companion by Dorianne Laux and Kim Addonizio (see my review on  One of the big messages in the book is the more feedback, the better.  It doesn't mean we always want, like or need feedback - you're the final decision-maker regarding your work - but being open to feedback increases the chance that you say what you want to say on the page. 

While it's frustrating to get rejected by a publication, I encourage you to see any response you get back from a journal or contest as helpful feedback, which can help you hone your authentic voice into more effective literature.And if you keep at it, you never know where your work will end up.As Laux and Addonizio say, "...with the wealth of journals geared to every taste, you have an excellent chance of getting published somewhere."   

So let's get started.

Contest:  Mississippi Review Prize

A relatively inexpensive contest ($15) that awards $1,000 each to the winners of a poetry and a fiction contest--all the other finalists compromise one entire issue of Mississippi Review. What's more, everyone who enters receives that issue in the mail. Not much to lose here, and a highly respected literary magazine to boot.  Postmark deadline period of April 1 - October 1.  See for more details.

Literary Journal:  The Spinning Jenny

I love honest poetry.Laux and Addonizio refer to it as "The Shadow", the deeper parts of ourselves that we need more effort in describing, conceptualizing or otherwise coming to grips with. Not that poetry needs to spend a lot of time addressing 'shadowy' topics, it's just one thing that poetry does well. Check out Spinning Jenny by buying a sample for $8 and visiting their quirky website, read submissions September 15 - May 15 and will get a response back to you within four months.

Online Option:  nthposition

A London-based website that publishes poetry on a monthly basis. These guys want good poetry with an innovative or unusual edge. I like the fact that they welcome political poetry. It's easy to see what they're about from their website - - which also features fiction, nonfiction and reviews. They publish roughly 10% of the 2,000 poems they receive every year.

Feel free to contact me with any sort of submission news or information - quality publications, cool contests, responsive editors and even what to avoid.  I'm at 

* * * * *

Jenn LalimeShawn Sorensen is a published, award-winning poet whose recent work can be viewed at Wild Goose Poetry Review (page 13) or In Our Own Words. His poem called "The Yard" won 1st Place in the Oregon State Poetry Association's spring 2009 contest, New Poets category. Shawn's poetry submission goal is to send something in at least every other week and get published/recognized a few times per year. He's written dozens of complete book reviews, many of them for poetry titles, on and braves a perilous river crossing to be the Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble in the hinterlands of Vancouver, WA. He plans and hosts a monthly Poetry Group that, starting Novemeber 2010, will be every last Tuesday at 7 pm and always feature the area's best poets and a great open mic.

The Poetics of Community
The Etiquette of the Featured Reading, Part 1
By Christopher Luna

Everything changes for a poet once she lands her first featured reading. Although the open mic is crucial to developing one's voice and performance acumen, being invited to read is an important milestone. The featured reader is acknowledged for having created a body of work that is cohesive and worthy of additional time. This extra time is, in fact, necessary for understanding the poet's thematic concerns and her relationship to the craft.

My advice to the first-time featured reader is to be prepared. Find out how much time you will be allowed, and practice. You don't need to know exactly how much time each poem will take; you are likely to read a bit faster or slower at the actual event. However, it is important to know approximately how many pieces you can reasonably expect to present.

There are some other decisions to be made. One can present a body of work that addresses a particular set of concerns, or choose pieces that give a sense of the variety of one's output. Spending some time thinking about how one piece flows into the next is also useful. This process is very similar to assembling a chapbook.

In some cases, a featured reading has been arranged to promote a new book. Bring copies of your books to sell, trade, or give away. If you don't have a book for sale, consider creating a short chapbook to commemorate the event. Some people like to purchase a limited edition keepsake of the evening of poetry they have just experienced. Make business cards, or a broadside of one of your poems. One relatively inexpensive way to do this is to create four mini broadsides on a single sheet of paper. Each postcard-sized quarter of the page can fit a short poem and your contact information.

Before the reading, send the host a bio and a few examples of your poetry to be included in an announcement. Then do everything you can to support their efforts by publicizing the event yourself. Post an announcement on your blog or a social networking site like Facebook. Strongly encourage your friends and family to attend. Helping to guarantee an audience is not just good form; it also demonstrates that there are people who want to hear your work, and may convince the venue or host to invite you to read again in the future.

After the reading, take the time to chat with everyone, especially those whom you have not met before. Remember that these people are potential readers, and if they enjoyed your performance, making a personal connection with you will ensure that they remember you fondly. Finally, remember to thank both the host and the venue. If possible, write a short note to everyone thanking them for their hospitality and support. 

It is very exciting to be in the spotlight. Conduct yourself professionally. Be gracious and appreciative. This will make a good impression and may just earn you another featured reading in the near future.


(Part Two, appearing in the June 2011 issue, will examine the featured reading from the host's perspective.)


* * * * *
Christopher LunaChristopher Luna is a poet, editor, artist, teacher, and graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Publications include Cadillac Cicatrix, eye-rhyme, Exquisite Corpse, and the @tached document. Chapbooks include tributes and ruminations, On the Beam (with David Madgalene), and Sketches for a Paranoid Picture Book on Memory. GHOST TOWN, USA, which features poems and observations of Vancouver, WA, is available through Cover to Cover Books and Angst Gallery, or from the author.

The Writing Life
When in Doubt, Write
By Sage Cohen

"What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to?" James Martin, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, asked readers in a recent interview.


When at Wharton School studying business, this Jesuit priest says he shared his desire to study poetry with his advisor, who responded, "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Martin disagreed, went on to study poetry, and says it's what he remembers best from his education.


Of course, there are dozens of "practical" reasons not to pursue poetry or a writing life of any kind. It's not likely to pay the rent or mortgage, at least for a while, and no one at your job may give a whit about your affinity for Whitman. The good news is this: No one needs to care about the writing you love other than you.


In my experience, when we let love lead, our lives and our work become far less confusing. We don't end up in business school (because we "should") when we are far better suited to teach composition, write articles, and author books. When we trust our passions to steer us where we are intended to go, we may find ourselves in a less prescribed career track. And it may take some exploring to determine exactly how and where we fit. Good thing creative people are good at exploring!


Inspiration may not immediately fill your bank account, but it is likely to fill your sails. Committing to a productive writing rhythm may not lead to your next big career move. But it just might make you happy. And there's no better compass than happiness.


Who knows, doing exactly what makes us happiest may have an even greater untapped earning potential than that predictable paycheck. With passion as productivity engine, we're far more likely to throw our shoulders into the work and stay with it, simply because it feels better to do so than to stop.


What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to? When in doubt, write.


* * * * *
Sage Cohen The Productive WriterSage Cohen is the author of The Productive Writer: Tips & Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less & Create Success, Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry, and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. She has been awarded first prize in the Ghost Road Press poetry contest and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Visit Sage at her blog and learning laboratory

Columnist News & Celebrations



Dave Jarecki will be planning youth writing workshops for students grades 7-9 this summer. Details are forthcoming. Keep an eye on to learn more.

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M & Steve Williams


Figures of Speech Reading Series will be held at 7 p.m. on April 19th, featuring Susan Wooldridge and Barbara LaMorticella.

Where: In Other Words Bookstore at 14 N. Killingsworth St., PDX

What:  Two featured readers each month plus open mic. time (two page max for open mic. readers).  Also, a new writing prompt each month to take home and create new work.


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Check out past issues of the WTLP zine in our archive.

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Top 10 things you can do to help spread the word about Writing the Life Poetic.

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Want to receive a Valentine's Day poem in the mail?
Send your mailing address to sage(at)sagesaidso(dot)com.