Thursday, December 01, 2005

Poetry Reading by Dionisio Martínez

This is the second of the campus events I attended shortly before the Thanksgiving break. According to the flyer provided, Dionisio Martínez was born in Cuba and raised in California and Spain. He is the author of three poetry collections: Climbing Back, Bad Alchemy, and History as a Second Language. Mr. Martínez spoke on our campus on Wednesday November 16, 2005. Some notes from his reading:
  • Language is already there. A poem is created from our ideas, perspectives, and points of view. Poetry is not created in a void. It is important for poetry to bring in bits and pieces of the real world.
  • A way to die: sitting by a lake with the moon reflecting on the lake. That way, someone writes a poem about you. This was prompted by reading about poet Li Po.
  • Poetry is the art of lying, of reshaping the truth.
  • On writing, that's what the trashcan, the delete key, and paper planes are for: for when things don't work out. He tells publishers who reject his poems to go on the roof of their building and make a paper airplane with his rejected poems.
    • I would love to tell a publisher that rejected my work something like that. Is that cool or what?
  • The important thing is you vision and experience, so use them. Don' try to be a journalist. The great thing is doing something that cannot be duplicated.
  • Research leads to things you are not expecting to find. Discover things as you write: from memories, previously read, creativity. Also, don't edit while you write. Write without fear; edit when you are done. You never know if something you use now may come to be used later or where. Also, you never know who or what may have an influence.
    • This is a lot of why I write in my blogs and my journal: to discover things. Now the fear part, that is a little tricky. Though I usually care little for what other think, I still cannot help a bit of trepidation since exposing what one writes involves some element of risk. And very true, you never know who or what may have an influence. Hey, who knew I would become a librarian?
  • You cannot surprise your reader if you cannot surprise yourself. Take a leap.
More information on the poet can be found here or at Inprint, an nonprofit organization founded by a group of community volunteers and members of the UH Creative Writing Program.

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