A Self-Imposed Ban

I am banning myself from submitting any poetry to lit journals until 2010. From now until the end of the year I will revise and refine work and read poetry. I have been careless in sending out work that was not ready or worthy. That is obvious to me. I’ve been sloppy. I’ve been hung up on status, without thinking of building a good reputation. I need to let myself mature and let my work mature. So that is what I plan to focus on…what I hope will happen.

4 thoughts on “A Self-Imposed Ban

  1. I am on a self-imposed ban against all the garbage and politics and self-abuse that poets are part of and perpetuate, and my ban starts now. For one year, I am going to focus on learning a new musical instrument and trying to develop a pedagogy for reading, writing, understanding and sharing poetry that parallels the way we learn to read, write, understand and share music.

    This means focusing on the components that go into poetry, not on “completed” poems. It means practicing aspects of poetry in very concerted ways that follow a strict progression, rather than feeling the pressure to finish, finish, finish and have products, products, products.

    I was just moaning to a friend about how much better company I feel musicians are as compared with poets, for a number of reasons. I brought up your name in a fairly short short list of poets whose personalities and approaches to writing and to life that I admire greatly.

    Everything I have seen you do, both in your personal life and your writing life, I have seen you do with integrity. I don’t think you have been pushing poems into the world that are not worthy, but heck if I don’t admire the shit out of you for seeing something you want to change — to ban — in your writing life and moving forward to implement that change.

    You, as always, rock.


  2. After reading what Dana had written about this elsewhere, and during an online conversation with her, then being invited to join her group dedicated to 2010 resolutions, I have to tell you that you inspired me to resolve for 2010: To believe in my poetry.

    To believe that my process works for me, for my poetry, for my voice. That my poetry reflects me honestly.

    Publication is nice, and I do submit (but not much), but getting better…that’s the main thing.

  3. Hi Mark!! Glad you found me. I like your resolution. It’s probably the number one thing we poets need to do to bring our poetry into the world.

    My best…

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