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Members' Introductions

Anything (within reason) goes...

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riverwriter
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Members' Introductions

Postby riverwriter » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:49 pm

Any members (but particularly new members) are encouraged to reply to this post, by way of introduction.

You might tell us your general location on the planet, and perhaps why you write poetry. It might also be useful if you give us a general idea about whether you are new to writing poetry or have been writing for many years.

There are some other details you might wish to share: whether you are a performance poet, a published poet (you could list your published work), the URL of your blog if you have one, how often you write — you get the idea.

To post here, simply hit the reply button, and introduce yourself.

Or don't.

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby Agnes » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:57 pm


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olson29
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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby olson29 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:07 pm

yes, I want to know about these new members, good questions
you are poetry

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riverwriter
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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby riverwriter » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:19 pm

Agnes, thanks for pushing me into this. I thought about starting off with a little biographical tour of me, but until your "you first," thought I should wait and see if we had any takers here. But, there is fair, so here goes.

In my almost three quarters of a century, I have been a teenaged newspaper columnist at fifteen cents per inch, secondary school English teacher and department head, a teacher of dramatic arts to students and director and teacher of the first provincial course in drama and Theatre arts for secondary school teachers at Brock University, a writer of play scripts, playwright member of the Playwrights' Unit at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, editor, chief writer and editorial cartoonist of an award-winning in-house educational newsletter, and, during all this, clandestine 5 AM poet, essayist, theatre critic, and since my retirement, blogger and duplicate bridge aficionado. My theatre experiences include performing, directing, design, technical and practical execution, as well as stage management, production — you name it, I have done it.

I am married to a woman who is more divergent in her approaches to problems than I could ever be, and more understanding, forgiving, and confident. We have three children in their 40s. My three grandchildren know me as Poppa.

For almost a half century, we have had a summer place on an island in the St. Lawrence River, just twenty minutes by car and boat from our house. This place has been a significant source of inspiration for my work, and has provided a true source of happiness for our family.

Although I have never tried to publish anything I have written, some of my humorous work has appeared in anthologies. But that was some time ago.

In February 2006, I started my blog, , and have since published 1083 original poems and 63 theatre reviews there. Although I have not posted very much there in the last year or so, the blog has taken on a life of its own, and still receives quite a few hits every day.

I have a second blog, , my blog about wordcurrents, similarly neglected.

If you would like some advice on WordPress or blogging in general, I am a reasonable resource, as I have considerable experience with the backend of these programs.

I am a member of the Zeugma Yahoo! group. I am still writing, although I seldom post in either that group or this forum. I am currently working on a science fiction short story and a novel. I'm close to broaching the 30,000 words barrier in the novel, and I am working on my fourth draft of the short story. I think one of the reasons that I am not taking part in these two groups and others of which I have been a member is that I have some health problems that seriously interrupt my ability to write consistently. I suppose this goes along with the approach of one's mid-70s, when one can hardly claim to be middle-aged anymore.

I do enjoy lurking here, and facilitating the entry of new members to our forum. I really wish I were still in my 40s or 50s, because if I had the energy I had then I would certainly be a more active participant everywhere. An example of the wonders of age upon my writing ability is that I am dictating this because the tremors in my hands hardly permit me to type or write legibly. Ah, the Golden years!

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby Agnes » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:35 pm

Okay. Fine. There's really not much to tell. I'm just a simple Agnes.

As you can see by my avatar, I'm in Arizona. Valley of the Sun. That's code for metro-Phoenix area to those who don't know. Not much sun goin' on right now, but at least I'm not up to my eyebrows in snow. I really hate to be cold. Is this because I'm mainly Kapha dosha? http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv- ... istics.htm I dunno. I was born and raised in a small town in Michigan. I'm almost 50. Crap. Did I just write that out loud?

I'm married with children.

I began writing poetry in 8th grade. I guess I was 14. That was a long time ago. My writing comes in fits and starts. My longest dry spell was about 7 years long. (I am annoying and lean toward all or nothing behavior.) The only poem I've ever submitted was published in an "Arts" magazine of some sort at the community college I attended here in AZ. I think that was in '94. (I have no college degrees. I like to blame that on science labs. :smt003 ) That poem was actually lyrics to a country song called Don't Cross My Woman. You can find it posted here under "Did I ever post this one?" Other than poetry, I've sold puzzles/word games to a couple children's magazines. That seems like a billion years ago. More like 20-something, I guess. I tutored ESL students while attending community college. That was interesting. Over the years, I've hung myself on a couple internet poetry boards besides Zeugma. I've had a (mostly) poetry blog for a few years now. The link is under my avatar. I really should get over there and post something new. The idea of submitting poetry to magazines is off-putting. Perhaps I'll self publish a chapbook one day, if I find the energy. It's not something I feel a pressing need to do.

Don't read to me. It's annoying. Odds are your words will just become noise, and I will retreat into my own head. I'm not a good listener. My own thoughts get in the way. I'm the most selfish person I know. I have a million flaws. I quit eating flesh a few years ago. That may be the best thing I've ever done for my health. But I still smoke. I'm a walking contradiction. Sue me.

Peace out.

Agnes

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby LunaPS » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:43 pm

Thank you riverwalker and Agnes!
I agree - aging sucks!

O.k. - where to start? I'd love to say I live in Canada but, no. Closest I've come is WA state where I've lived since 18.
I have schooled here, married here, birthed and raised two children here.
Guess you could say I'm a consummate pacific northwest/west-coast-er.

I am a performance poet first and foremost. This has often kept me from joining a site like this as I rarely write "for the page", although I occasionally do. I guess this has inhibited me because there is always the dimension of my work, a huge part, that cannot be communicated on a site like this. This is the first "written" poetry group of any kind I have joined. I have belonged to a performance poetry group in the past.......

Before my marriage and children, which I refer to as "BC", I lived happily as a musician. I have written poetry since I was six. I am just beginning to play music and write poetry regularly again. My hope is for this site to inspire me to write more consistently; my goal is every day.

I am a published poet. I've been published three or four times in a local magazine/rag that is no longer. It was nice to receive renumeration for one's work! I've also won a local poetry slam contest and was published a couple of times in the local community colleges annual writers publication.

In addition to writing daily, I am looking to organize my work, get it all typed and laid out properly on the page, and readied for publication. I have boxes and boxes of poetry to get through. I am the type of poet that writes whenever I am inspired to. That means I have poems and bits of poems tucked between bills and other papers scattered here, there, and everywhere! I have partial poems written on napkins found folded and stuffed in my purse or in pants pockets. Just finally collecting all of my work and getting it all in marked boxes will be an effort! (ugh!)

I, too, have worked as a college tutor, Agnes. I worked in the WriteLab doing lots of editing, proofreading, and teaching of writing, researching, topic searches, and, hopefully, inspiring a few along the way.

I hope to inspire others on this site and hope to be inspired by others. Having been a political animal in my youth, I have been involved in group criticism before. It has made me leery of critique as I often saw it used to batter others or as a big ego trip of certain individuals. When I offer comments here, I aim to provoke thought or direction and to always be supportive.

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby Squeaky » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:20 pm

Hi everyone, and thanks for letting me into the Zeugma community.

I'm a (barely) pre-baby-boom male, living with a woman who is smarter than I am, not far from Dayton, Ohio, USA. English is my mother tongue, but I can handle Spanish well enough to teach classes and do a little public speaking. My careers were in education and software development. I've been lucky enough to live in several countries (S.America, Caribbean, Central and Southern Africa) besides my native USA.

I've been interested in literature all my life, but have written little (a few poems in the '80) until I retired recently.

I like poetry that assumes intelligence, objectivity, cultivated emotions and a decent level of education on the part of the reader. (It's often hard to find).

I dislike poetry that says, "Look at me, I'm a self-absorbed poet." (It's usually easy to find.)

My main purpose for coming to Zeugma is to hear what serious poets think of my work (to see my poetry as others see it) and, I hope, improve as a result.

I'm reluctant to comment on anyone's poetry while I'm so new, but I understand it's expected in return for getting feedback on my own work, so I hope to be participating soon.

Thanks again.
Unless I missed the point, again.

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby caliana » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:37 am

Hey, thank you guys for introducing yourselves. It just seems right to do the same!

My name is actually Karen and I am ]from Cape Town, South Africa. I am 28, not married and don't have any kids, but I do have a boyfriend I am very happy with, so I could be married soon :p My first language is actually Afrikaans, but I'm comfortable with English and speak it daily.

I've been writing poetry since 8th grade and just improved through practice
. I never read up on different types or styles of poetry, nor concentrated too much on improving. Until very recently I would just write, let the words fall as the may, and then leave it at that. Now I want to push myself to be better and I believe this site can help me with that. I love writing and enjoy writing poetry the most. (I also love reading poetry.) I do feel I have some potential, but realize it takes hard work.

Like Squeaky I don't necessarily have full confidence in critiquing someone else's poem, but I will and I'll just give it my
best, honest effort.

And though I don't
know too much about aging yet, I am glad I get to interact with older, wiser and more experienced members. I'm very keen to learn from you. Thanks for the chance. :smt001

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby upside » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:57 am

hello from the sonoran desert in az,

i have an odd way of coming up with ideas for my poetry. first i look for strange word combinations using word generators and then when i think my head's about to explode, i sift through and alter the words until something smacks me in the face. backwards or sideways, yes that's nice. it resembles the way i approach stone carving. the stone is doing most of the talking.

i consider it a matter of very good fortune stumbling in on your poetry group, considering the quality of the work i've read.
sincerely,
upside

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby Jabberwhacky » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Hullo all,

This is Ravi. I am from India and have been in Dubai and on Zeugma for the last 5 years and a bit. Closer to 50 than 40 this year, married with two boys who have been the best things I've helped create. I used to sail - and read, and write. Now I repair ships or convert them into floating refineries - which leaves me with very little energy to do either, read or write that is. Joining Zeugma is probably the only affirmative action that there will be in my life as regards service to Art and poetry in particular.

I used to have two blogs - they took away one even without so much as a 'by your leave'. On the other one I used to post 're-runs' of some old works, but even that has stopped.

I probably will never ever get published - but I will write again. Sooner rather than later I hope.

Best and thanks for reading and posting here!

R

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby JmPasc » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:46 pm

I am 61, married, we have 1 daughter age 30 who lives in Boston. We have lived near Seattle for five years, and before that we lived for 20 years at the edge of the Pacific, just south of San Francisco. I wanted to write poetry since about 5th grade but the drivel I wrote at that time didn’t satisfy. Then in graduate school, I took a summer course in Poetry Writing (more or less to balance a difficult Hebrew course) with New York poet Bill Zavatsky. He is a very encouraging teacher and at that time I began to have a glimmer of hope that perhaps I could write. It was fun writing poems about my grandparents and so on, but after the summer was over I couldn’t keep the momentum going. Plus, the poems were fairly superficial.

Over the years I wrote a few poems to express love or annoyance, mostly things to enclose in long letters to girlfriends. Then in 1990 one of my friends gave me a blank book; she said, you keep saying you’d like to write poetry—here’s a book to put your poems in. So I started writing every day or so, and if I liked something, I’d copy it into the blank book. Because it is messy to tear pages out of such a book, I didn’t revise much—which at that stage made writing easier on the nerves. After about a year I joined a seniors’ poetry writing group (although I was just 40), and also joined a second writing group with people of all ages which included both poetry and prose. In both groups I learned a lot by listening to others’ styles and struggles and pleasures, and hearing comments on my work. Did a lot of revising, and wrote more meaty poems. I published a few light poems in local poetry magazines.

Then after surgery in 1994 I had a slight stroke, and it was hard to think of words. I thought I’d never be able to write poetry again. I pressed on for about a year, writing poems every day, but they were all terrible and I knew it. This was not improving either my writing or my disposition. So I stopped writing entirely. Then, about four years ago, a friend told me about a woman she knew whose domineering father had just died, and when she saw a wolf near her house in the backwoods of Canada, she would wonder if that was his spirit trying to communicate with her. It was an intriguing thought, and I sat down and wrote that haiku which you have seen posted on the forum:

winter wind, full moon
an old man has left this life
black wolf leaves no track

After that, I started writing again. (In the same style as previously.) Most of all, I wanted to put my poems from the early 1990s together into a little book. The process of revision and selection got my ‘poetry muscles’ going again, and since then I have continued to write poems, for about four years now. When I got more into writing new material, I missed the poetry groups I had belonged to in the past, the camaradarie as well as the feedback. Since I didn’t know of any such groups nearby, I went online, examined all the poetry forum web sites, and liked the zeugma one best, so I joined.

Joan

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby erifnosmirc » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:51 pm

Hello, just came upon this forum a few days ago. I'm really excited to be here and look forward to critiquing and receiving critique.

Anyway, I'm Ashi and by the looks of things quite a bit of a youngin in my mid-20s, which comes with its own emotional adventures and may or may not provide a considerable amount of inspiration for my recent writings. I've been writing in some form since at least middle school, when one of my poems was published in an anthology of fifth grade poetry. Three years later I'd make it into the eighth grade edition of the anthology. During high school, I was very involved with the school paper and served as the staff artist -- though admittedly I'm not that good a drawer -- a copy editor, and most importantly news section editor. This led me to believe I should pursue journalism as a career, though I never let go of my creative writing roots and took a couple of semesters with the literary magazine staff.

I first majored in communications in college but soon found myself disillusioned in my journalistic goals because I had a hard time comprehending current events, couldn't keep up with the fast pace the media industry required, and mainly was much too shy to be able to put myself out there to interview and report for stories. I enjoyed the academic media study classes more than the practical ones. Midway into my college career I added writing as a second major, which was easy to complete since many of my communication courses could count towards my other major. I enjoyed the writing major considerably more, and that led to getting involved with the English Honors Society unfortunately named Sigma Tau Delta -- it's in the initials, by the way -- and the literary magazine again. Through lit mag I performed my pieces at open mics for the first time. I find I'm more of a print than spoken word poet, but if I'm proud of a piece and I can get over the nerves I'll recite it.

I've dabbled in scriptwriting, playwriting, radio performance, and short stories, though I lean more towards poetry -- free verse more than poetic form -- and have taken an interest in abbreviated, flash fiction. Since graduating almost three years ago, I got lazy with my writing since I didn't have grade deadlines to pressure me. As 2012 was approaching, I made it a goal to have a piece published in a literary magazing for the new year, which brings me to Zeugma. I'm trying to write more now and I want to get serious about editing and submitting my work. Hopefully being a part of this group will help me accomplish my resolution.

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Re: Members' Introductions

Postby DougH » Sat May 03, 2014 2:23 pm

If you want to know the facts about me, look at the Bio for riverwriter elsewhere in this thread, because that's who I'm.

I decided to start posting as DougH (which, if you think about it even a little bit, is kind of a yeasty name) so that the the forum administrator would not loom so large in the posts.

Sometimes DougH will appear to have different functions as riverwriter callously manipulates him to check out various forum functions as used by various forms of membership. As I write this, DougH is a Global Moderator.

That's about it. I am not almost three quarters of a century old any more, and I am not paying as much attention to my blog as I used to. At present, there are 1,140 of my poems there. I just keep pumping them out, working on my novels, and running a bunch of websites.

An interesting one at present is , which represents 21 artists who have studios together in an empty country school in Quebec.


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