Narrative poem published at Wingless Dreamer/Mini Review of site

auditorium benches chairs class    I love writing narrative poems as I am a storyteller; this is a gift I received from both of my parents, who told stories all the time, even in reply to simple questions.  How was your day, I might ask.  And… a story would ensue, sometimes farcical, sometimes tragic, but always–dramatic, need I say, interesting?  My husband says I come from a long line of exaggerators, but I prefer to think I share my parents’ enthusiasm for storytelling.

One of my narrative poems, “The Professor and the Gravel,” was published today here, at Wingless Dreamer: Wingless Dreamer/ Laura Lee. In this poem, I hope to capture the longing for a better life, a life the narrator of the poem simply cannot see through all the dust and “gravel” of her life.

As to the site, Wingless Dreamer is a pleasant site, created with caring and a love of writing and writers.  The founder of the site, Ruchi Acharya, states that she wanted to create:

“…a global platform for emerging writers to gain recognition and showcase their feelings and passion for literature through their creativity.”

Furthermore, Ms. Acharya goes on to state her site is growing and thriving:

” Now, we have 10,000 active visitors and more than 50 international contributors and the community is still growing.”

Writers: if you get a chance, I would check out this site.  In a world wide web often dominated by snide disdain, it’s refreshing to see whole-hearted enthusiasm for the art of writing.

Thanks for reading–and keep on writing.

Laura Lee

 

Publications,Updated

 

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163116     Some of my poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles are included in books and magazines published in the UK, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States

“Moving Gravel,” a short story, to be published in Crack the Spine’s forthcoming themed “Routine” print anthology. 

*Coffin Bell Journal,2018
“Herstory,” a poem, to be published October 1, 2018

*Spillwords Press, 2018
Stopped by Laura Lee at Spillwords Press

*Tuck Magazine, June 2018
Tuck Magazine

*Tuck Magazine,  May 2018
Tuck

* Southernmost Point Guest House (UK)
Poetry

* Journal of Modern Poetry 21 (Volume 21)
JOMP Volume 21 Dear Mr. President

* Journal of Modern Poetry 20 (Volume 20)
JOMP Volume 20 Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy

* Journal of Modern Poetry 17 (Volume 17)
JOMP Volume 17

* Magazine (New Zealand) , Raewyn Alexander, Publisher
Raewyn Alexander NZ

* Fiction in: http://staxtes.com/2003/
“Between the Sunlight and the Skipping” in English Wednesdays

*Poetry in: https://poetsagainstthewar.org/ Archives

* Illinois English Bulletin, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, nonfiction article about teaching in an alternative education program.

* Poetry in Marginalia, Elmhurst, IL

Publications, Updated

 

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163116     Some of my poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles are included in books and magazines published in the UK, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States.

*Coffin Bell Journal,2018
“Herstory,” a poem, to be published October 1, 2018

*Spillwords Press, 2018
Stopped by Laura Lee at Spillwords Press

*Tuck Magazine, June 2018
Tuck Magazine

*Tuck Magazine,  May 2018
Tuck

* Southernmost Point Guest House (UK)
Poetry

* Journal of Modern Poetry 21 (Volume 21)
JOMP Volume 21 Dear Mr. President

* Journal of Modern Poetry 20 (Volume 20)
JOMP Volume 20 Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy

* Journal of Modern Poetry 17 (Volume 17)
JOMP Volume 17

* Magazine (New Zealand) , Raewyn Alexander, Publisher
Raewyn Alexander NZ

* Fiction in: http://staxtes.com/2003/
“Between the Sunlight and the Skipping” in English Wednesdays

*Poetry in: https://poetsagainstthewar.org/ Archives

* Illinois English Bulletin, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, nonfiction article about teaching in an alternative education program.

* Poetry in Marginalia, Elmhurst, IL

Poetry is making a comeback? NPR discusses the NEA study

 

gray scale photography of typewriter        As I wrote earlier and as this article declares, “In half a decade, the number of U.S. adults who are reading poetry has nearly doubled.” Read all about it on the NPR (National Public Radio) site, where they quote from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) study here: Poetry is making a comeback

If a comeback, not even 12% of Americans reading poetry is a paltry figure to me.  How can poetry not be a part of so many lives? And do we even have 12% of Americans buying/ supporting poets and poetry?

I’m not sure about that.  I’d love to see America support its poets and truly embrace poetry, but we have a long way to go.

 

Poetry-reading rate is up in America per NEA study

find joy          Poets! According to this NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) study, poetry-reading rate is up, to about 12% in American, up from 6.7% in 2012. Alas, this means that MOST Americans–88%–do not read poetry at all.  Hmm… from my own acquaintances, I thought more than that percentage WRITE poetry.   And if you write poetry?  You do need to be reading poetry.

Come on, American–we can do better.

Find the article here : NEA Study on Poetry-reading rates in USA

From the study: The 2017 poetry-reading rate is five percentage points up from the 2012 survey period (when the rate was 6.7 percent) and three points up from the 2008 survey period (when the rate was 8.3 percent). This boost puts the total rate on par with 2002 levels, with 12.1 percent of adults estimated to have read poetry that year.

Growth in poetry reading is seen across most demographic sub-groups (e.g., gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education level), but here are highlights:

• Young adults have increased their lead, among all age groups, as poetry readers. Among 18-24-year-olds, the poetry-reading rate more than doubled, to 17.5 percent in 2017, up from 8.2 percent in 2012. Among all age groups, 25-34-year-olds had the next highest rate of poetry-reading: 12.3 percent, up from 6.7 percent in 2012.

Women also showed notable gains (14.5 percent in 2017, up from 8.0 percent in 2012). As in prior years, women accounted for more than 60 percent of all poetry-readers. Men’s poetry-reading rate grew from 5.2 percent in 2012 to 8.7 percent in 2017.

Among racial/ethnic subgroups, African Americans (15.3 percent in 2017 up from 6.9 percent in 2012), Asian Americans (12.6 percent, up from 4.8 percent), and other non-white, non-Hispanic groups (13.5 percent, up from 4.7 percent) now read poetry at the highest rates. Furthermore, poetry-reading increased among Hispanics (9.7 percent, up from 4.9 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (11.4 percent, up from 7.2 percent).

Adults with only some college education showed sharp increases in their poetry-reading rates.  Of those who attended but did not graduate from college, 13.0 percent read poetry in 2017, up from 6.6 percent in 2012. College graduates (15.2 percent, up from 8.7 percent) and adults with graduate or professional degrees (19.7 percent, up from 12.5 percent) also saw sizeable increases.

Urban and rural residents read poetry at a comparable rate (11.8 percent of urban/metro and 11.2 percent of rural/non-metro residents).

Part 2: Literacy Can Be the Bridge–The Power of Reading and Writing

cropped-be-creative-creative-creativity-256514           How do you get there from here?  I had no idea; I wanted to have a life that contained more reading, writing, poetry, nature.  I’d always wanted to be a teacher, but could not afford to take any more time with college.  I graduated with my teaching certificate, but there were only aide positions or sub positions, neither of which paid enough to pay the rent and neither of which carried insurance benefits.

Yet the rent wanted to be paid, the electric bill wanted to be paid and so on.  Not having a family to turn to for any help, I knew I was on my own.

I found what should have been a great job in business, but it was killing me.  I’d lay awake at night grinding my teeth, willing the hours not to pass.  I just didn’t want to do it anymore, and yet I had no idea how to get there from my present life.

# #  #  #

For a number of years, I commuted by train to the loop.  (That was my favorite part of the day, the commute!) I discovered I could read again, books I wanted to read.

One year, I decided to read only female writers or novels with strong female characters.  There was no method to this plan, just the knowledge that I spent most of college reading male writers or about male characters.

I found books at the library and read them voraciously. I discovered Willa Cather, and my life changed forever. Why hadn’t I heard about her or read her books in college?  Her characters’ longing for culture and education plus their longing for the beauty of nature resonated with me.  I discovered Edith Wharton and the plight of the urban female. I discovered Theodore Dreiser and the plight of the female as he expressed it.  I discovered Anne Tyler, Anne Frank, Jane Austen, The Bronte sisters, Virginia Woolf, Amy Tan.  I discovered the lovingly drawn character of Helen and her search for education in Bernard Malamud’s The Assistant.

I was unsophisticated in how I chose the books to read, often choosing by the cover, by what was available, by what was on sale, by what I had heard about.  This was before the internet, I had no literary types in my life at that point to help me make decisions.  I got lucky in that I read many great books and “met” many great characters.

In these books, the longing for a more meaningful life as expressed by strong characters spoke to me: I was not alone.

But what was next, I wondered, even as my home made after college education continued?