Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Fundraiser

If you know any procrastinating holiday decorator/gifters, here's a great suggestion: MisFit Journal's Holiday Fundraiser. We have a store at Etsy and we're selling handsewn rustic quilt ornaments for $4.00, and maybe some paintings as well. We're hoping to raise enough money for a year's worth of web hosting for our website!

Our goal is to post a new one each day! If you don't see one, we'll make one just for you, whatever colors you like :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Art We Like: Tea Pirates

Tea Pirates! (For purchase on Etsy)

What I like about it: it's whimsical; it appears random at first, like an illustration from a children's book removed from its context. The pen and ink drawing suggests a narrative that's both strange and playful. And the thought of it in the context of a journal, hugging short meditative lyrics and snuggling next to long biographical monographs is full of delightful contrast and ironic potential.

Blog Submissions

We welcome you to participate in MisFit Blog!

If you would like to profile a form, a book, or a writer who uses short or long forms, or if you are a writer who uses short and long forms and would like to be interviewed for the blog, email the editor at editor [dot] stringbeanpress [at] gmail [dot] com with your name, bio, and interests.

We're happy to read your mini-essays, or just your ideas!

MisFit Website Up and Running

Come check out our website, designed by the beautiful Aimee Baker!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You Can Write a Short Poem: Sevenling

Seven lines is a great length for poems! Proof: an exactly seven line poetry form.


Other blogs have taken up the SEVENLING before, with great links.

Check it out! I particularly like "Sevenling 3" by Yolanda Calderon-Horn.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You can write a short poem: Prose poem

Ok, those of you who say 7 lines is just not enough. What if they are really long lines? Try a seven line prose poem!

Check out the poem "Insect," by Ian Seed at Cafe Irreal. It reminds me in it's final movement of a James Tate poem!

To read a James Tate poem, and other prose poems, check out this site.

Good writing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You Can Write a Short Poem! Sijo

Most poets have encountered the haiku form before. Personally, I found that the short lines, combined with only three stanzas, made it hard for me to make a haiku that satisfied me.

The Korean alternative of Sijo offers a longer line, more natural in length to poets who, like me, have more syllables per line.

Check it out! MisFit would love to see some Sijo! Just consider that while the form might be interesting, don't feel compelled to stay within the traditional content.

Long Poems We Like: Rita Dove

Rita Dove's sonnet cycle, "Her Island," a crown of sonnets finishing the collection Mother Love that in 2005 she said in an essay in This Is My Best was her favorite work.

I don't think I can, in a blog post, tell you all the reasons why this is an amazing poem cycle. I'll hit on a few:

The form so perfectly fits the content. Dove talks in another essay about the allure of the sonnet, putting a white picket fence around disturbing emotions. The collection, a treatment of the Demeter and Persephone myth, explores confinement, rape, loss, the struggle between mother and daughter, generational cycles, and the different kinds of violence a sexual relationship can contain. The sonnet, and the specifically the crown of sonnets with it's repeating lines, is a perfect container for these themes--circling back around the literal lake where the myth places the kidnapping of Persephone and also circling through the cycle of loss, recovery, and change. It's a freaking amazing poem and when I read it in college it blew my mind.

Would you like to write a crown of sonnets? I tried a heroic sonnet one time and I've got to tell you, this is not easy. What I gleaned from Dove's essay linked to above, in This Is My Best, is that this kind of poem is best tackled after you've spent a significant amount of time with the subject, working it out through poems as Dove does throughout her entire Mother Love collection. By the time she gets to "Her Island," she has seen meaning accrete through the different poems she's written--she's seen patterns emerge, she's connected to it in increasingly personal ways as one must as she nears completion of a collection. And then the fabulous capstone coalesces!

If you're nearing the finish line of a collection, a sonnet crown might be a great exercise. It may have to come out of form, may only yield a title poem or a last poem. But the circling energy of the sequence forces the multiple angles of exploration that have an effect of a concluding paragraph in a persuasive essay.

Short Poem We Like: Margaret Atwood

You Fit Into Me

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

--Margaret Atwood

Ok, why we like it:

the original simile seems uninteresting, like the cliche hand in glove. But the second stanza turns the first on its head. The poems says so much in so few lines.