If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Why I Write Poetry

Today's Salad Bowl Saturdays guest blogger contacted me when we at WWK first solicited guest bloggers. John Brantingham's blog offers a different perspective from most of our bloggers: besides writing fiction, he writes poetry. Not only that, but in my research about John for this paragraph I discovered that last month he became a bone marrow transplant donor. In addition to any questions you might have about his current book, Mann of War, you might ask about his donor experience.

~ Jim
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I started out my professional life as a fiction writer, and that’s how I’ve always thought of myself. This statement always surprises people. I am much more well-known as a poet.

Why am I more well-known as a poet? Publishing poetry is easier than publishing fiction. I don’t think my poet friends like to hear that, but it’s true. With open mics all over the country and feature readings as well, it’s also a lot easier to get your name out there as a poet.

That’s a nice fringe benefit, but it’s not why I write poetry.

I write poetry because I love to write poetry. That’s truly the only reason anyone should do it for a long time, and I’ve been doing it now for more than twenty years. I think, though, that every fiction writer should learn how to write poetry and should practice it at least a little for the same reason that all writers should learn the rules of grammar. Learning to write poetry gives a writer control over sentence and style, and I’d go farther. Writers should learn to write formal poetry.

I had the same problem a lot of writers have when they begin. My sentences rambled with interesting sounding but empty phrases. Sadly, I often still have that problem, but I’ve gotten much better because I write formal poetry.

I can’t ramble when I write a sonnet. Every syllable counts. Connotation matters. Denotation matters. Sound matters. Syllable intensity matters. Word history matters. The habits I foster to write poetry don’t disappear when I turn to prose. Those habits are a part of me now, and I don’t forget them any more than a baseball player forgets muscle memory.

I’m a great believer in formal education. I’m a community college professor and have seen the way that education changes people’s lives, but I am a completely self-taught poet. Learning to write poetry taught me more about fiction than several degrees and years studying fiction ever did.

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John Brantingham is the author of Mann of War (Oak Tree Press) among others. He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, and his blog can be found at johnbrantingham.blogspot.com.

6 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

John,

Thanks for joining us on Salad Bowl Saturday. It's been years since I wrote poetry, but I found Flash Fiction had a similar salubrious effect for me. It forced me to consider the importance of each and every word -- sometime difficult to keep in mind with a novel of 90,000 words.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I agree with Jim. Testing your ability to use the fewest words is a good exercise for any writer.

So--did donating bone marrow hurt? Can't imagine it didn't. I hope the outcome for the recipient was positive.

Thanks for blogging with us.

Paula Gail Benson said...

John,
Thank you for your insight. I appreciate your words about supporting formal education and using structure to enhance your writing capabilities. Like E.B., I would like to hear about your donor experience. Again, thanks,
Paula

Gloria Alden said...

John, I also write poetry. In fact, I started writing it before I turned to books and short stories. I still write poetry, and agree it is easier to get a poem published than a book or short story. I've never tried sonnets, although I enjoy sonnets by Shakespeare and other poets. Maybe I should try my hand at writing one. It would be a good challenge.

John Brantingham said...

Hi Everyone,

The bone marrow thing wasn't too bad at all. Everyone should do it! I was a little sick for a week and that was about it. I still did my work everyday except for the actual donation day.

Thank you so much for including me on such a wonderful site!

John Brantingham said...

The sonnet thing isn't difficult at all. You just have to approach it with a different set of expectations. Rather than starting off knowing what you're going to say, you have to allow the form to draw the ideas out of you.