It’s not too late!

Write Now! Find Your Creative Fire
6 sessions, ( only 4 spaces left ) Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 8, and May 15.  $75/per person, (Age 18+)
Need a boost to your creative life? Do you want to harness the power we all have as creative beings through the learned skill of creative writing? Think it’s impossible? Don’t doubt it. You have something to say and can say it beautifully with knowledge, experience, and practice.
Teaching Artist and Poet Clare Martin will lead a six-week course that offers inspiration and instruction, time to write, and professional guidance as a practiced poet and editor whose considered feedback is an integral part of this course.
Each week, Clare will present her own original “experiments” –prompts and challenges that lead to creative breakthroughs and deeper, more effective creative writing. Each week’s session will explore a different theme for focus and inspiration.
The course will culminate with a public reading by participants on the stage at Teche Center for the Arts.
THEMES
• April 3— A Blank Page is Freedom
• April 10— Memory as Muse
• April 17— What Dreams Can Inspire
• April 24— For the Love of Nature
• May 8—Visual Art as Inspiration (Ekphrastic Writing)
• May 15—6 p.m.  Open
Participants will build “writing muscles,” and emerge from the course sharper writers. Continued writing outside of the course is highly recommended.
While the focus may lean on poetry, prose writers are welcome to attend and will find this guidance and instruction valuable, as it pertains to any genre of writing.
It’s preferable that we not use laptops or computer tablets. Notebooks and pens will be provided.
Clare L. Martin’s third book of poetry, Crone, was published by Nixes Mate Books in 2018, and produced as a dramatic reading at Teche Center for the Arts in January 2019. Her second full-length collection of poetry, Seek the Holy Dark, was the 2017 selection for The Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry from Yellow Flag Press. Her widely-acclaimed debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, was published by Press 53.
Clare’s poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Melusine, Poets and Artists, and Louisiana Literature, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web, for Best New Poets and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net. In 2015, Clare founded the online poetry magazine, MockingHeart Review. She is a lifelong resident of Louisiana and works as the Executive Assistant to Executive Director Sandra Sarr at Teche Center for the Arts.
 
 
Clare L. Martin

Prompts for Poets and Writers

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Here is the workshop outline I offered yesterday to our local group of Renegade Writers. We meet every other Saturday to write new. We share the responsibility of leading the workshops on a voluntary basis. There is no requirement of attendance. We have an online presence on Facebook where we share ideas germane to writing and creative thought.  Renegade Writers

RENEGADE WRITERS
July 23, 2016
Workshop Presenter
Clare L. Martin

Music/Language


Listen to Ambient music (try Pandora’s Ambient station) without words. Let your eye zigzag around these words or your own wordlist of random words. Write down the words that resonate with you.

sin receive fabric cold heavy slice tender banal gift span taint dismal fountain bashful blend breath blue groan six fever bloom panic hallow veil frost become trill boast float grease tin capsule din air host seek whisper cannon lyrical walls toll patient aid oil hold pallor desperate temperament fecund virtual tantalize crease grind aspirate glean diamond dissonance heavens wicked stars oceans gallop crust obsidian curve rock mist colored tall river hope wood animal bell hunted believe final aspire delicious scare canopy  stairs burst kind liar shunt plastic cantor carrion shine ghost saint skin terrible flash grave fire rust fear rose brunt dire burden gloss perpetrate scandal viscerate denial vibe eat ball

Framework– Here are suggested prompts for you to get your writing started. You can go in your own direction, of course. 
Write the spell to undo a curse.

Write words of forgiveness to a person who wronged you.

Write the earliest memory of a childhood fear.

Write a dreamed nightmare.

Write details of a normal morning or evening, only imagined as extraordinary and not dull in any way.


MORE PROMPTS

Think of a gift you’ve received—It could be intangible; a propensity toward something, a talent, a sensibility. Would you give it away? Why or why not?

Choose an animal. Think of its form, its musculature, its skeleton, its hide, its eyes. Think of its habitat and its habits. Think of its place in mythology and literature. How can you incorporate this animal into a working piece of prose or poetry so that it becomes a metaphor?

Music and language are so intertwined. When we listened to music, did you have images in your mind? Visual images that popped in the visionary sight of your mind? Did you write them down? Try to remember things that you might have missed writing down. List them or check your notes and keep writing.

Discussion

What are your writing habits? How can you improve them by adapting others’ ideas as your own?    

Renegade Writers 10/03/2015

I am part of a group of trusted writers and newcomers who meet every other Saturday at various locations to write together. This past Saturday, I led the exercises. We take turns leading, so the responsibility of running the group is shared.  I am posting here my writing exercises. I only ask that if you use them in a class, that you credit me. Please feel free to use them to spark your own writing.  It would be interesting to see examples of your work generated by these prompts in the comments below.
~Clare

  1. LANDThe land has stories. Consider our natural environment, or a particular place that you have ties to, and tell its story. Start by listing the ideas you have associated with this land, and any memories. Use the items on your list as a source of inspiration and write a poem examining why this occupies your mind. As you write, continue to hunt for clarity and more to say. Does the land change you? Do you feel a particular way when you think of it or visit it? Does this place still exist? Is it threatened? Do you feel calm or fear when thinking of it or visiting it?

Weave your impressions and ideas into a poem or short piece of fiction.

  1. Thirteen ways of looking at a _____________________________

After reading the poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” pick an object and write several stanzas numbered 1-13. Strive not to be literal but to see beyond the thing.  Write the most imaginative narrative about the object you chose that you can conjure.

  1. Word Prompts

Circle 3 or more words that resonate with you from each group. Write sentences with each of those words. Push for clarity and interrogate the sentences to determine a narrative thread. Spend time shaping this into a poem of short piece of fiction.

We will repeat the process with another round using different words, or your own list.

Autumn
Passion
Blackberries
Muddled
Rain
Treatise
Forgotten
Solitary
Succumb
Devilish
Tryst
Sallow
Summer
Gaseous
Hunger
Egg
Hawk
Sunrise
Ice
Devoid
Succulent
Root
Balance
Seethe
Lover
Blight
Umbrella
Luck
Hurricane
Rocks

Binary
Ridges
Calculate
Benevolent
Deteriorate
Canoe
Peer
Violin
Wired
Scold
Panic
Retreat
Huddle
Scam
Wash

Skin
Engine
Calamity
Deteriorate
Road
Refuge
Memory
Pecan
Fire
Window
Scald
Toes
Menstrual
Cosmos

Legions
Exhaust
Wonder
Blast
Price
Sheer
Polish
Vulnerable
Flame
Dignity
Edge
Beguile
Bellow
Hunt
Disciple

©2015 Clare L. Martin

Feed your head!

MadHat Annual, Issue 15 “Eye On the World” features relevant, lucid, and provocative poetry*, fiction, drama, multimedia, audio, and visual art by artists from all over the planet.

To the brilliant artists whose contributions have made “Eye on the World” such an incredible offering, THANK YOU.

Be sure to view/experience the special video collaboration, “Refuge,” by our late founder, Carol Novack, and artist Jean Detheux.

 

*I’m particularly proud of the Poetry section, which was curated by Executive Editor, Marc Vincenz, Outgoing Managing Editor, Susan Lewis, and me–newbie Poetry Editor. Over 50 phenomenal poets are featured! (And I have a few poems in there as well).

~Clare

Shadow

I have a ring on every finger. The wind is blowing from the north.  I got this blanket at the truck stop.  I wrap it around me like a poncho. I drive through Colorado with the windows rolled down. My knuckles are ice.  Cold pain keeps me awake.  At every exit and entrance to the highway, night empties and refills with light. The U-Haul in front weaves two lanes into one.  My eye’s on white lines and snowy mountains shining in the blue descent of night.  You are always in memory. One thunder clap and then another.  I look to the clouds and the moon for a clue.  What key will unlock you? You in memory, in that black leather motorcycle jacket—you roughed it up good. What you did in it was death-defying, legendary. But you were a young man then. Moments were angel-grace upon you. You grew too thin for it when—it came on like a disease.  It moved up your spine, hooked your brain.  The pain in your mind was bad as cancer in the bone, in the marrow. Oh it was bad pain and it ate you. I’m driving through Colorado and you’re dead five years.  I’m driving like a son of a bitch, freezing my tits off, crying. Fuck you. You disappeared yourself. There were pills that could have fixed you. They sure fixed me. I had worse shit going down than you ever did and I am good. The last months you looked dead before you died. Fall-down-drunk, broke-boned, hacked-teeth—we could see your skeleton through your shirt. Your pants hung on somehow.  You had the haggard look that kept people away.  Didn’t you get tired of that–that running gag? Didn’t you get tired of that look? The look we, the living, gave you? We wished for you, but it is a lame effort to wish. All our wishing didn’t pull you up and out.  I’d like to remember your boy-smile, your waterfall eyes, before being drunk took you. Did you ever dare to believe an infinitesimal spark of your self could ignite new fire?  Maybe you hoped a little and lost that littlest bit, and that is what killed you.

VOICES IN WINTER—A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT

MATT

Matthew Hardin Hofferek reading at the Voices Seasonal Reading Series, Feb. 16th, 2013

[Photo courtesy of Tracy Board]

So many people have done extraordinary things for me all of my life that the only way I could ever pay them back is by giving back to others, in ways within my power and ability. It is my joyful duty. That is why we started the Voices Seasonal Reading Series.

The first ever featured writer for Voices was Patrice Melnick, a dynamic, loving and gifted woman who shares her many talents with the communities within Acadiana and beyond.  As a personal friend and colleague she has taught me well how to grow joy within myself and share it with others. She has taught me to be brave in so many ways.

Patrice was my inspiration for planning the first Voices in Winter event at Carpe Diem Gelato – Espresso Bar in Lafayette, LA at the beginning of 2012. It was a great success and we have had six very successful events since. We are already booked through 2013 and I am putting out feelers for 2014.

I met Matthew Hofferek at a Starbucks drive through window. His personable manner, humor and keen wit engaged me and we hit it off immediately. On our second meeting at the drive through, he told me he was a writer. I was so happy he was upfront about it.  I said I was too, and we exchanged information. When he shared a few short stories that he had written, I was immediately struck by the power of his voice, his unflinching honesty and the gracefulness of his language. We have become great friends, lifetime friends, I hope, with all my heart.

I offered to him to read at Voices and he did so last night. It was his first reading and he was nervous. My friend Jonathan and I took him to Pamplona and we each had a good, strong drink of our choosing and toasted THE WORD. By happenstance, we met two other writers who are moonlighting as bartenders. It was great synchronicity, a force that flowed through the entire evening.

Joining Matthew at the Voices in Winter event was internationally-acclaimed poet and collage artist, Camille Martin. We were very lucky and honored to have Camille read for the series and she was enlightening, brilliant and moved the audience with her stunning work. Camille is from Lafayette and has lived in Louisiana for many years but finds her home in Toronto now. She was in town visiting family. We were lucky to be found by her and hope for deepening connections with her in the future.

I was so proud of Matthew. My dear friend affected us, his audience, with a deeply moving story, “All Wars End Alone” that was written with great “honesty and a little invention.” This young man served our country and is home. His somber and difficult tale was so well-written, so well-crafted and affecting that it brought tears to my eyes to hear him read it, even though I had read it before last night.

Whatever burdens we carry, there are miracles that can lift them from our hearts. I was so honored to have Camille and Matthew read and both of them dedicated their readings to loved ones. The emotion was palpable and my prayer is that by sharing their words they were lifted up, as we all were.

Thank you, Matthew and Camille for trusting us.

Thank you to Carpe Diem, Silvia, Erik and their staff, and to all our guests. To Matthew and Camille, I sincerely say thank you for your bravery, dedication to your respective arts and for the honor to present you to the community of Acadiana.

Let me tell you a story

A wolf went blind, died and was fed on by scavengers. The gristle that remained decayed and maggots swirled. On a cold morning, after days of rain, these wolf bones crack under the footfall of a man. The man carries a shotgun and a flask as he walks in the wood. He is thin and holds one fractured belief. I will not tell you what it is.  He has a sweet side, or so they say, but that is not a necessary detail in the story. This man woke this morning with an erection that his wife would not satisfy. The man is looking for something to kill and a cure for his erection. The day heats up. Crows caw his coming into the sky. The man takes a swig from the flask and rubs his wet nose with a camouflage glove. The animals smell him and stay hidden. The man picks up a sheer bone from the carcass of the wolf and sniffs it.  He is all of fifty-eight and is no longer employable. The man puts the bone in the chest-pocket of his denim overalls. The man remembers something and forgets it almost as quickly. Then, he remembers his mother’s saying that “It must not be important.” But it was.  Why are we concerned with this man?  He is not the story.  The story is of starving wolves, bones, rotting viscera, the callous vultures that circle a small clearing in a wood after days and days of rain. This story is of the matter we are made of, return to; our shared transformation.

Hello. My Name is Clare.

Hello. My name is Clare.  Welcome (again) to my website.

I purchased the domain https://clarelmartin.com/ today and will be writing here with more frequency. I hope I can count you as a reader.

I will muse upon the writing life, real-life happenings, sleep revelations, waking prophecies, earth, wind, fire—things I am passionate about and the few things I hate with passion.  

Certainly, I will try to keep it interesting and valuable.

Stay tuned…

Peace.  

Clare

Haiti

My prayers and thoughts for healing the suffering of your people go out to you…I have and will continue to give what I can.

My prayers, too, are for all who are suffering in mind and body.

Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross. — Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 on behalf of The Yele Haiti Foundation.