The fresh page of a notebook, the blankness of the screen—both paralyze me like a stunned tabby cat many times in my life. I'd wrestle with the introduction or the first line of a poem until I'm able to flow steadily through the piece. Where it will take and leave me I'd have no clue. Some writers are the Hemingway's who go by the saying "Write drunk, edit sober." In my case, I have the tendency to write and edit as I go, which I will admit oftentimes makes me much slower in progress and sick with symptoms of perfectionism. I've never actively tried to change this habit, and probably never will. With a Gavel on Hand Writing the first line or introduction is a process I'd liken to breaking glass. The untouched paper looks and feels . . .
Poetry has given so much to our culture and society that everyone should get up and read their favorite ode or sonnet aloud. At the height of my discovery, I saw an announcement on Poets.org about an online celebration called Poets-to-Poets, in which young students from grades 3-12 can write and submit poems "in response to those shared by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors." These are: Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Edward Hirsch NEA and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Hirshfield Lannan Foundation Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye Pulitzer Prize-nominee Ron Padgett Jackson Poetry Prize-winner Arthur Sze, and . . .