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IPA News

  • Many of you have already received the sad news that our beloved Lucille Morgan Wilson, 95, passed away on Monday June 21st. Among the many other responsibilities in her career and her prodigious volunteer work, Lucille served as IPA Treasurer 1973-76, IPA President 1976-78, and IPA Editor-in-chief 1988-2016. Lucille will be greatly missed. Please feel free to share this information with all who knew her. You may find her obituary here.
  • NEW Resources for Teachers, Parents and Students. We have asked teachers to share some ideas for poetry assignments you can use in preparing student submissions.
  • For information on Shreya Khullar, the inaugural Iowa Student Poet Ambassador, see Ms. Kullar's bio. You can read her poem "The Hindi Word for Prayer" published in The Rising Phoenix Review. Ms. Khullar participated in our IPA LIVE! program this past July.

President's Message

"Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all." - Charles Bukowski

Writers have found themselves a special niche when they are unmotivated or perhaps just lazy. They say they have writer's block. Does a dentist's office close because of "dentist's block"? Can the butcher not be at the market because of "butcher's block"?

But writers are special, right? I am sorry to inform you I do not believe so.

Okay, so you do not have the plot in your head for the next Times best seller, yet. But you can sit down and write - anything, just write. Yes, it will begin as drivel but in a few lines you will find a storyline of some kind beginning to lead you on, one thing into another. Suddenly it seems you are on to a second page, a third, perhaps seven or eight, a gallimaufry hiding the seeds of poems and stories. In my experience this works best with pen or pencil, whiteboard, typewriter if you prefer*, something that will simply let you write without constantly nagging you to make corrections. Successful writing requires divorcing your creative writer self from your critical editor self, they are not compatible. The object is to get as much written about wherever it leads you, ignore errors in spelling, punctuation, syntax, turn your creative mind loose and hang on for the ride. Editing can come later, it is here that the ease of a computer's word processor will show its value.

Save each session's pages. Your inspiration may not be immediately evident. Going back to read what you have written days or weeks before will nearly always present the idea, often several lines of your next work. So many times I have realized looking back over cold pages, "hey , I could work with that," and the poem begins.

Read the best of what you wish to write and ever, keep writing.

"Every day, writing. No matter how bad. Something will come." - Sylvia Plath

*If you are unacquainted with this device, email me and I will send a picture of one of the ones I use.
April 2022

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