One of my readers asked me recently, "Are you going to publish your National Poetry Writing Month poems? Because otherwise, we're going to have to resort to just printing them out." My mother said the same thing to me last year. In both cases, I promised that I could improve upon a sheaf of print-outs.
On that note, I'm delighted to be posting today to announce a new chapbook -- April Dailies! Here's the official description:
Writing daily poems is a discpline designed to prime the pump of creativity and to hone attention to the ideas, phrases, and everyday miracles which are a part of every life.
This chapbook collects the results of an annual month-long experiment in attention: daily poems written during the spring of 2013 and 2014, now revised for publication.
(It also replaces the chapbook I put out last year, which contained last year's daily poems plus the commentaries I'd posted alongside them -- that one's now officially out of print.)
Here are this year's poems, arising out of recent travels in Jerusalem and Hebron, Pesach and the journey into the Omer, small-town country life -- and last year's poems, arising out of parenthood, brushes with sorow, and spring.
Many of the poems have been substantially revised from the original versions posted here during NaPoWriMo.
I love the discipline of writing daily poems, especially in the context of a community of others who are engaging in the same practice. It's a lot like writing weekly poems, a practice which I've had off and on for years. (See 70 faces and Waiting to Unfold, both published by Phoenicia.)
Whether writing daily or weekly, the process mimics my former life in small-town journalism. The relentless constancy of regular practice mitigates against perfectionism, and that in turn lets me access a different kind of creativity.
Writing daily poems keeps me attentive to the poetic possibilities of ordinary life, just as daily prayer practice keeps me attuned to living with prayerful consciousness. I hope that reading them brings some joy to you.