Poetry and Memoir

Trish Hopkinson, gifted poet and model literary citizen, maintains a super blog with boatloads of free information about writing and publishing. This month, I’m one of her guest bloggers, exploring connections between poetry and memoir. Rock on, Trish, and all us writers!


“I write in both genres, and have often wondered what impels me toward each type of expression. Time lapse is one element that seems to convince me that a subject should find its place in a poem: if a specific, momentary observation moves me, that seems less appropriate to a memoir-style essay, and more appropriate to a lyric poem that can make use of what poet Kate Light has called the “imploded image.” Even then, though, seepage occurs. For example, I recently worked on both a poem and a lyric essay using one of those momentary observations: a young cardinal leaping from the nest for the first time.  This fledgling image is one that’s very easy to treat in a hackneyed manner, and maybe my search for a fresh take on this moment is what led me to try both genres.  Last month, after many, many revisions, I submitted each piece for publication in different journals. We’ll see what happens.”

Read the entire post here

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