Monday, 24 November 2008

reading about writing

When I was teaching Language Arts to my gr. 8 students, I scoured the book shelves to find sources of inspiration. I toyed with writing a book about teaching! An acquaintance, who writes fiction, rather than my non-fiction, suggested I read Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (1986). Natalie Goldberg. This marvellous book opened up my mind and let my pen fly.

I ended up writing some poems, and joined a poetry group in Ottawa. The Canadian Poetry Association has chapters all over the country. It is a great place to go and listen to other, better poets read their works. There are some who publish their own chap books, and this is a great way to share in an inexpensive way.

There isn't much of a market for poetry, unless you are an established author. If you have a poem to publish, you can enter your name and poem into various contests. The League of Canadian Poets provides links for contests. Putting a poem into an anthology is an inexpensive way to publish, and to embed your poem with other's works.

Top of My Lungs is a book of paintings and poems. It is a beautiful book.

Ms. Goldberg's latest: Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir, looks to be a good one, too.

But the best is Wild Mind. It really helped me to teach writing in a better manner than before. Much of our writing as adults consists of reports and business-related writing. I found that it is much easier to teach kids to write about what they know, rather than fiction. Some bright lights will choose to go the fiction route, but most found it easier to write 'how tos' about building a campfire, or making a peanut butter sandwich.

Goldberg, N. (1986).Writing down the bones: Freeing the writer within, Boston: Shambhala.
Goldberg, N. (1990). Wildmind: Living the writer’s life. New York: Bantam Books.
Goldberg, N. (1993). Long quiet highway. New York: Bantam Books.
Jilks, J. (1998). Ice storm ’98. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
Jilks, J. (2004). Reading buddies: 2003/4. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
Jilks, J. (2005). Literacy and technology infusion: Multimedia projects for teachers and students. Retrieved December 8, 2007 .
Jilks, J. (2006). Literacy strategies. Retrieved December 8, 2007.

1 comment:

L.L. Barkat said...

Ah yes.

Now, if you want to publish poetry, here is a good blog network to join...

High Calling Blogs

They publish poetry on a weekly basis.