This Week’s Top 10 Poetic Picks

Matthew Kreider The best in poetry, (and poetic things), this week with Matthew Kreider.

Artful Girl by Claire Burge

1 Art

Remember the stainless steel walls of those old phone booths? And how strangers decorated them with interesting words? New York architect John Locke wants to give you a chance to get back in the booth, for a whole different kind of reading experience. Check out his library in a phone booth design project.

Speaking of design, now you can get your hands on 30 Free Fonts from Behance. These altruistic typographers might just make your day or possibly your next publication.

Poets need paper. And some of them need beautiful jewelry. Sarah Kelly’s new book on avant-garde paper jewelry offers stunning images to whet your appetite. She even provides techniques to create your own. Gentlemen, fold your next sonnet into something equally impressive for your special someone.

News by Claire Burge

2 News

People love to visit New York for its drama. Even literary drama. Now you can visit an exhibition at the public library and dig through the life of Mary Shelley and the colorful folks who shared the stage with her. Shelley’s Ghost: The Afterlife of a Poet includes selections from her Frankenstein manuscript. So if drama is what you’re after, surely you could raise a monster here.

And raised on a diet of sound bytes, my stomach often finds it difficult to digest tough stories. A new project at NPR invites poets into the studio to spend the whole day chewing on headlines. After what Craig M. Teicher saw, he had no choice but to reach for a villanelle.

Publishing by Claire Burge

3 Publishing

Are you a newly self-published author? And are you itching to seize every opportunity to market your sweet baby, even if it means shelling out cash? Slow down there, buddy. Stay away from BookExpo America. And here’s why you shouldn’t pay money for BEA Book Promotion.

Did you start your blog thinking it would quickly morph into a best-selling book? I kinda did. But here are four reasons why you shouldn’t blog your book. Says Jane Friedman, “If I read a book and think, ‘I could’ve gotten this from a series of blog posts,’ then I consider it a failure.”

Reviews by Claire Burge

4 Business

Attention, all you creative visionaries: do you feel pregnant with a project, but don’t have the funds to pay for your hospital stay? Kickstarter might be the doctor to deliver your baby. But you’ll need to follow these kick-butt fundraising tips.

Cynical about conferences? David Cohen was, too. But after returning from a conference armed with a machine-gun magazine of SEO ammunition, his company earned a 7100% return on its investment. In 56 days. Watch this short video on the ROI of attending a Distilled Conference and let me know if you’re still a cynic.


5 Creativity

Are you ready for a revolution in printing? What if you could upload product data and see that little red dress ensemble in 3-D? While architects and designers will love this technology, perhaps poets could also break a few lines and start a revolution of 3-Dimensional printing before 2012 ends.

While sitting in my first university-level science class, I learned more about poetry than science. I swear I heard Emily Dickenson whisper to me from her window. Was I in the throes of some desperately creative defense mechanism? Maybe not. Turns out science and poetry are hot lovers. This excerpt from The General Theory of Love offers a sultry peak at some of the romantic tension between art and science.

Write It by Claire Burge

6 Write-It

Poetry is all about risk. The real danger of a poem is that it doesn’t come with the guarantee of a neat resolution at the end. Are you a brave soul? Try this week’s prompt for a risk poem at Writer’s Digest. Do not go gently.

Standing in front of my classroom one day, I opened a large cardboard box of black and white photos. The students were captivated by the relics. I asked them to transcribe the pictures for poetic violin. If you missed my class, the folks at Everyday Poems have another opportunity for you. And their Image-ine picture prompt is way cooler. After you drop your poem in the comment box, take a moment and enjoy the rest of the thread. No grades. Only congratulations.

Poems by Claire Burge

7 Poems

I don’t usually laugh when someone starts teaching the ABCs of poetry. But this Poetry FAQ totally got me. It opens by asking, What is poetry? Well of course it’s, “clumps of words that make people feel something.”

Do you remember John Lennon’s “#9 Dream” from years ago? You might hear something of his dreamy tenor voice in “Red #9.” But this poem by Anne M. Doe Overstreet flips the dream like a pillow. Listen to how your heart beats on both sides.

People by Claire Burge

8 People

Is it a rule that writers have obsessions? Well, I’m a sucker for the green-tipped Ticonderoga pencil. So what’s yours? And what about those big names stuck inside your Norton? Here’s a great list of authors and their “unlikely” obsessions. Can you guess who had a thing for aliens?

Are we too jaded to find poetry in celebrity? Come on, what does a poem by a woman born in 1825 have to do with Whitney Houston? Read this Poetry Pairing between Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s poem and Houston’s obituary, for a little unexpected dazzle.


9 Education

Is consumerism about to murder poetry? Will we see a time when readers simply walk up to the counter, flash their wallets and order what they want? Gasp. According to Kathleen Rooney’s essay, it’s already happened. And they’re closing the deal with typewriters.

Might technology murder modern education, too? Let’s put that question aside for now and check out these free iTunes U courses available for writers and readers.

If I could spend a Sunday morning with a poet, I’d surely share my coffee and oranges with Wallace Stevens. Your friendly neighborhood literary critic, Harold Bloom, actually got the chance to “bask in the presence” when he was just 17 years old. But can Bloom — or anyone, really — understand this great man? Read Making Sense of Wallace Stevens and “stop hunting for ‘meaning,’ per se, and simply look at the poems as imaginative brain-clouds you get to ride along on.”

Motion by Claire Burge

10 Sound n Motion

Oh, Wallace. I’d even go for a walk with you around Hartford. Yes, even Hartford. Not exactly a literary Mecca, right? Take a stroll through this article and discover his Unlikely Muse.

But before you go, listen to Harold Bloom read some Wallace Stevens.

Photos by Claire Burge. Used with permission. Post by Matthew Kreider.


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $2.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In March we’re exploring the theme Angels.

Red #9


  1. says

    Great list, Matthew! I especially loved No. 7, the FAQ. On No. 5, it made me wonder if you’ve read “The Age of Wonder” by Richard Holmes. It’s not an easy read, but it’s all about the co-development of science and poetry in the 18th century. I got to totally geek out on that one.

  2. says

    We apparently visit many of the same sites.

    3-printing is a marvelous technology. I was reading this morning about someone who tried to use it to make 3-D cookies; alas, she’s not had success yet.

  3. L. L. Barkat says

    Megan, that sounds very cool. Going to see if it’s at my library.

    Maureen, I’m curious to know if any of these were new to you? (Nobody seems to get around in poetry more than you, my lady! :) The cookie thing… that sounds like me, even without trying to incorporate 3D printing into the mix :)

  4. says

    I think it’s great our interests cross like this. Just goes to show how connected we all are, even hopping around in the vast space of the Web. It also speaks to how the best stuff always stands out. Great write-up.

    Btw, today’s home section of NYT features a gorgeous pair of lamps created using 3-D technology, which has such tremendous design capabilities.

  5. says

    The library phone booths are super cool. I look forward to getting a chance to check out the other links, esp. 3b, 8b, and 9a :) And, of course, the Tweetspeak poetry prompt. Thanks, Matthew, for rounding all these up!

  6. says

    Megan, Thanks for the suggestion. A geeky opportunity sounds grand. :)

    L.L., Are you *really* going to check for the book at your library? Come on. So yesterday. Get thee to a phone booth-ery.

  7. L. L. Barkat says

    Lol. No phone booths nearby. And I already put it on hold at the library. Maybe I can read it in a phone booth? :)

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