Category Archives: uncategorized

Yesterday’s workshop…

Yesterday’s Zoom workshop on “The Poetry Of Place” had twelve participants and was, I thought, pretty successful. I’ll likely do it again in the summer or fall, with some tweaks to timing of activities (and maybe some prework…) but overall I thought the conversion of a live session into a Webinar was OK.  

Next time I’ll include the use of a couple of interactive tools I use in my corporate work to gain some more immediacy in practice sessions. I wanted to keep things simple this time around.

Thanks to those who attended, and I’m certainly going to add more topics to the menu over time.  If you have any ideas you’d like to see, you can put them in the comments…

T


Last day to join is today, Jan 20, for Sunday…

“The Poetry Of Place” will be held via Zoom on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 at from 2 PM to 4PM EST.

In this workshop, we will look at how incorporating vivid, arresting sensory imagery can stimulate and energize your writing. We’ll look at examples of such poems and at some ideas about why this kind of effort is vital to The Work regardless of genre. (While we’ll be focused on poetry, you can use this information in long fiction, short fiction, etc., just as easily.)

Although the workshop will include some writing exercises and opportunities to share, it’s not primarily designed to be a generative session; I hope that instead you’ll leave with some ideas and a sense of what is possible when you “ground” your own Work in a strong sense of place.

For the record? I’ve got 30+ years of experience as a trainer and workshop facilitator for various corporations, non-profits, and government agencies, but this will be the first time I’ll use those skills for a personally developed topic. It likely won’t be the last…

The cost to the general public* is $35.00 for the session, payable through:

Venmo:
@Anthony-Brown-95
(if asked for a # after that, it’s 4124)

or

Paypal:
tony.w.brown@gmail.com

Last day to join up is Friday, January 20. **

I’d love to see you there. Drop me a line through here or at the above email address with any questions.

T

*Patrons of my Patreon site in the $10/month or higher tiers may attend for free.

** For security reasons and to help prevent Zoom bombing, I will send participants the Zoom link once payment is made or (for Patrons) once a confirmation message is sent to me on the site.


Once again…

“The Poetry Of Place” will be held via Zoom on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 at from 2 PM to 4PM EST.

In this workshop, we will look at how incorporating vivid, arresting sensory imagery can stimulate and energize your writing. We’ll look at examples of such poems and at some ideas about why this kind of effort is vital to The Work regardless of genre. (While we’ll be focused on poetry, you can use this information in long fiction, short fiction, etc., just as easily.)

Although the workshop will include some writing exercises and opportunities to share, it’s not primarily designed to be a generative session; I hope that instead you’ll leave with some ideas and a sense of what is possible when you “ground” your own Work in a strong sense of place.

 

For the record? I’ve got 30+ years of experience as a trainer and workshop facilitator for various corporations, non-profits, and government agencies, but this will be the first time I’ll use those skills for a personally developed topic. It likely won’t be the last…

The cost to the general public* is $35.00 for the session, payable through:

Venmo:
@Anthony-Brown-95
(if asked for a # after that, it’s 4124)

or

Paypal:
tony.w.brown@gmail.com

Last day to join up is Friday, January 20. **

I’d love to see you there. Drop me a line through here or at the above email address with any questions.

T

*Patrons of my Patreon site in the $10/month or higher tiers may attend for free.

** For security reasons and to help prevent Zoom bombing, I will send participants the Zoom link once payment is made or (for Patrons) once a confirmation message is sent to me on the site.


Yes, I’m posting it again…

“The Poetry Of Place” will be held via Zoom on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 at from 2 PM to 4PM EST.

In this workshop, we will look at how incorporating vivid, arresting sensory imagery can stimulate and energize your writing. We’ll look at examples of such poems and at some ideas about why this kind of effort is vital to The Work regardless of genre. (While we’ll be focused on poetry, you can use this information in long fiction, short fiction, etc., just as easily.)

Although the workshop will include some writing exercises and opportunities to share, it’s not primarily designed to be a generative session; I hope that instead you’ll leave with some ideas and a sense of what is possible when you “ground” your own Work in a strong sense of place.

 

For the record? I’ve got 30+ years of experience as a trainer and workshop facilitator for various corporations, non-profits, and government agencies, but this will be the first time I’ll use those skills for a personally developed topic. It likely won’t be the last…

The cost to the general public* is $35.00 for the session, payable through:

Venmo:
@Anthony-Brown-95
(if asked for a # after that, it’s 4124)

or

Paypal:
tony.w.brown@gmail.com

Last day to join up is Friday, January 20. **

I’d love to see you there. Drop me a line through here or at the above email address with any questions.  

T

*Patrons of my Patreon site in the $10/month or higher tiers may attend for free. 

** For security reasons and to help prevent Zoom bombing, I will send participants the Zoom link once payment is made or (for Patrons) once a confirmation message is sent to me on the site. 


Updated list of available eBooks, January 2023

I have eBooks/PDFs of my work available for sale to those who might be interested. All were previously offered as rewards to various tiers of my Patreon subscribers (a program I will be continuing there, btw). If you want access to the most recent collections as they come out, I’d go there. Just sayin’.

The titles include:
Annual “best of the year” collections. Currently available: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

“Then Play On,” a chapbook of poems about music

“Pushpins and Thumbtacks,” a volume about icons and cliches of American culture

“Noted In Passing,” a revised eBook of a chapbook from 2012 that was a limited edition written for a single feature

“White Pages,” my collection of poems related to race and its role in my life

“Decay Diary,” a collection of poems about aging

“In the Time Of Contagion,” a collection of poems about you-know-what

“The Wrong Flowers,” a prose/poetry meditation on the state of the USA in 2020

“Show Your Work,” an eBook version of an earlier, out of print chapbook.

“The Day,” a selection from 20 years of poems about 9/11/01.

“Ideation,” a short collection of poems old and new about living with depression and suicidal ideation.

“Long Winded,” a collection of longer poems.

“songs for reluctant warriors,” poems for the US political moment of early summer, 2022.

“3 Quarters” released in October 2022. Random and recent.

“Owner’s Manual” released in December of 2022. Poems in the form of directions.

Minimal # of repeats among the collections.

All are available as either PDF or ePUB formats.

If you are interested, let me know with a comment on this post. They are 1 for $5 through Paypal or Venmo, 3 for $12. We can talk about more if you want more.

Thanks.


The Poetry of Place: Formal announcement of the workshop

This will serve as the formal announcement of…my first virtual poetry workshop!

“The Poetry Of Place” will be held via Zoom on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 at from 2 PM to 4PM EST.

In this workshop, we will look at how incorporating vivid, arresting sensory imagery can stimulate and energize your writing. We’ll look at examples of such poems and at some ideas about why this kind of effort is vital to The Work regardless of genre. (While we’ll be focused on poetry, you can use this information in long fiction, short fiction, etc., just as easily.)

Although the workshop will include some writing exercises and opportunities to share, it’s not primarily designed to be a generative session; I hope that instead you’ll leave with some ideas and a sense of what is possible when you “ground” your own Work in a strong sense of place.

For the record? I’ve got 30+ years of experience as a trainer and workshop facilitator for various corporations, non-profits, and government agencies, but this will be the first time I’ll use those skills for a personally developed topic. It likely won’t be the last…

The cost to the general public* is $35.00 for the session, payable through:

Venmo:
@Anthony-Brown-95
(if asked for a # after that, it’s 4124)

or

Paypal:
tony.w.brown@gmail.com

Last day to join up is Friday, January 20. **

I’d love to see you there. Drop me a line through here or at the above email address with any questions.  

T

*Patrons of my Patreon site in the $10/month or higher tiers may attend for free. 

** For security reasons and to help prevent Zoom bombing, I will send participants the Zoom link once payment is made or (for Patrons) once a confirmation message is sent to me on the site. 





Workshops…

I recently ran a live workshop on “The Poetry Of Place.” I think it went well.

Converting it to an online workshop, probably broken into two Zoom sessions.

Questions:
— Would you take it?
— What is that worth to you?
— What’s a good day/time for that (in general)?
— If I were to develop another one or two of these types of workshops, what would you like to take online from me as the facilitator?

I’ve got 30+ years of experience as a trainer/instructional designer, 4+ years of experience doing online Webinars, and reasonable amount of time as a poet with some skill.

Help me out, folks. Trying to shift gears into more kinds of work…I’ve always kept my trainer skills separate from my poet skills, and I think I’ve done myself a disservice…

TIA


COVID

My girlfriend and I are currently dealing with COVID.  She’s sick but seems to be improving; I am just getting started with it. 

Not much energy to write right now. I’m sorry about that. Hope to be back soon. 

T


Couple of thoughts I need to pass on to all my readers

Taking a moment.

I’ve made no secret of my mental health issues over the years. I have bipolar disorder II, which in my particular case includes a healthy portion of suicidal ideation that is impulsive, rarely related to my current circumstances, and by now, after thirty some years since my diagnosis, pretty easy to counteract. 

When I’m writing about things like my mood and thoughts of death and suicide, it almost always means that I’m NOT CURRENTLY DEALING WITH THAT.  I write when I have my cycling and moods and impulses UNDER CONTROL. I write about those things in retrospect — for others to read and consider, and because the condition naturally leads me to insights on existential issues like life and death and pain and joy.

You should NOT feel a need to offer advice or encouragement based on reading one of my poems. I’ve been handling mental health crises since I was in my late teens in a wide variety of ways and had multiple meds, therapists, and psychiatrists to help. If the disease kills me (not likely as I’ve got other illnesses that are more immediately dangerous at this stage of life) it kills me.  Such is the way of the world. 

A corollary: my poems are not about “self-expression” — they are neither journalistic nor strictly autobiographical. Please don’t assume I’m reporting real events as they occurred.  I’m a creative writer. I create situations, sometimes based on real life, sometimes created out of thin air, and usually somewhere in between — and then I write.

I pursue truth which only rarely involves strictly capturing and reporting facts. 

It’s a complex balance but one I’ve managed for over fifty years or so. I’m sorry if this troubles anyone, but it’s the path I’m on and have always been on. 

To the point: my output lately has been low because I’m struggling with health issues both mental and physical as well as financial and family concerns. It takes a lot of time and energy and I need to prioritize those things right now. I’ll be back, no worries. 

Thanks,
Tony


A brief note to my readers

You’ve likely noticed a pretty significant drop in my output of late, and I’d like to explain why.

First off, I’m spending a great deal of time and energy in caring for my mother, who is 94 and was recently diagnosed with moderate dementia. She has severe mobility issues, still live alone in the family home, with my sister living next door and me about 25 minutes away. My sister is pretty sick too with a fairly rare autoimmune disorder and associated flare ups and consequent conditions that especially of late have rendered her less than able to do all she typically does. Hence, I’ve been there a lot handling issues and daily concerns, including estate and insurance stuff related to the estate of my late father. It’s a lot and is both physically and emotionally exhausting, so my energy for doing this work is pretty depleted, though I’m still up by first light most mornings to try. 

Second, my finances are disastrous right now; my consulting practice, always slow at this time of year, has been downright anemic and I’m scrambling for every dollar. That takes time and energy, too. 

Third — on top of everything else, my own health is not great. Diabetes complications like neuropathy in my feet and fingers makes it very hard to do certain daily tasks and adds to my exhaustion at the end of the day. There is, also, a cognitive problem going on — short term memory issues and ability to negotiate complex thinking at times aren’t easy to deal with, and I’m usually pretty much in a fog by late afternoon and evening on many days. (Not saying more about this issue, and not entertaining advice. I know what’s going on. Some of it is aging, some of it is not. Right now, that’s all I’m going to say.)

I recently received an award for a history of achievements and support of poetry in this area. It was sweet, but I’m unable to think of it as other than a “lifetime achievement award.” Can’t help thinking the the timing is about right for that. (A joke, but more than a little sobering.) 

Still, I’m plugging away at a full length manuscript; still doing readings; still producing work and maintaining my Patreon site as an alternate way of getting work out there and generating income. I’m still here, and I hope that certain things my sister and I are doing to bring professional in home care to my mom will ease some burdens in relatively short order. 

Thanks for reading. Still here, a little slower than before, but still going. I’ll be here as long as I can be. Promise.

T


Time off

I’ve pretty much stopped writing at the moment.

Kinda like a light switch turned off — or on, perhaps. Like, oh, look. This isn’t really necessary.

Feels pretty good, I must say. Surprising.

I don’t expect this to last forever, but it might. I mean, I might die before I return to the Work. Anything is possible.

Plenty here to read in the meantime. 

Thanks,
T


4000

The poem I posted this morning, “Fox On The Run,” is the 107th new poem I’ve posted on the blog this year.

I started keeping track of how many new poems I’ve posted on this blog on January 1st, 2010. This poem is number 4,000 over that time period. There are probably another 3,000 or so in the archives I’ve kept, online and on paper, since 1974.

That works out to about .89 poems a day, which seems like a reasonable way of putting it as many aren’t even real poems according to some folks. (Don’t listen to them. Let’s round up and say it’s an average of a poem a day, shall we?)

I’ve always nicknamed this bookkeeping “the Meaningless Goal,” although it has a more specific meaning and purpose for me that I don’t share with others, and I won’t share here.

More to the point, it represents a way of looking at the Work I Do that I think does matter — which is that many of them, most of them in fact, are mediocre at best and do more for the Work as a whole than they do standing alone as indivdual poems. I just decided to make it all public and available, rather than hiding it away.

I have a manuscript of selected poems in progress now. It stands at about 50 poems I’d be glad to be remembered for when I die. I’m ok with that. The blog will remain as the rest of the iceberg I struck upon before sinking. I’m ok with that too.

I’m not done adding to the Work yet, but I thought it worth noting that as poets go, I’m only moderately talented but I put in work to the point of exhaustion sometimes.

I try not to fall into the trap of putting any individual poem’s perfection before its service to the Work overall. (In other words, I edit and polish but recall that there’s always another poem to be written.)

I’m 62 and I feel like I’m just now getting to be the poet I knew I could be.

Back to work.


Revisions

Just made some revisions to the “Patreon” and “Show schedule, Tracks, and more” pages here. Updated links, etc.

An FYI only, but I’d love to have you check them out when you have time.  


Notice

My father passed away this morning at the age of 89 from advanced Parkinson’s disease. I will be away from writing here for several days, at least.  

I will be back. Thanks. 


An important note

Just letting everyone know that my output these days is low because we are dealing with multiple health crises in my family at the moment, and I’m the only member of the crew who is (crossed fingers) on my feet most consistently right now. 

I’m trying to get things finished and posted but…

Be patient. I’ll be back soon.  

Thanks.