Posts Tagged 'Langston Hughes'

The Poet’s Notebook

      Since the early 1900s, February has been known as Black History month and although today there is some controversy surrounding such a celebration, in view of our new President, I believe it is a nice gesture.

        In honor of this month, I would like to mention the latest issue of Alehouse which features the work and lives of African-American poets. And just as an  FYI, I have an essay in the volume entitled, ‘The Poet’s Notebook,’ which focuses on African-American poets, both past and present who use notebooks to craft their poetry.

       Before discussing this article, I must say that Jay Rubin, the editor of Alehouse has been absolutely fabulous to work with. The publication is released only once a year, and surely he needs that much time to get such a perfect collection together. He needs to be applauded.

       I encourage you to pick up this publication. In the meantime, just to whet your appetite, here are some salient points from my particular essay:

       1)    As poets, we cannot always trust our memories, which is a good reason to carry a notebook.

      2)    Yusef Komunyakaa considers notebooks as “scrapbooks—pieced together with fragments, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, long and short passages.”

      3)    Rita Dove says she cannot live without notebooks where her poems “evolve slowly, in spurts and splutters, on these college-ruled pages.”

      4)    Dorothy Randall Gray says that without a notebook she feels “naked.”

      5)    Keeping a notebook is a powerful tool for coping with difficult times. Langston Hughes often wrote in his journal when feeling bad, “in order to keep from feeling worse.”

      6)    Al Young, California’s Poet Laureate began keeping a journal in his early teens as a place to chronicle daily impressions. Major Jackson did the same.

 

 

 


Quote of the Week


"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me


I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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