Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13) On Reading And Writing Poetry During A Pandemic

NPR-9 months before

Enlarge this image Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of my music buds are out of the loop on poet...y. Why not explore now, since many of the coolest journals publish online without a paywall? Then we can all go to a reading together...eventually...I hope.

Hyperallergic, Granta and The White Review's poetry sections are good places to start. And as you dig deeper, you'll find there are as many mysterious and special sites publishing new poems as there are Bandcamp cassette labels. (I really like b l u s h and Yes Poetry, both of which I have recent or forthcoming work in. That feels like a weird self-plug but, duh: I submitted there because they're printing great things!)

Independent presses and bookstores desperately need support now, just like touring bands and every other small business you love. If you come across a poem that startles you, take a chance and order its author's collection. I rarely re-read novels or essay collections, but I visit my poetry books over and over.

Enlarge this image Sadie Dupuis and her many volumes of poetry. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

I'm a heinous journaler, but writing poetry regularly wrangles my anxieties into something significant. I'll take notes on strange dreams, odd words that pop into my head, beautiful colors I see — and at the end of the day I try to write at least 10 lines. Sometimes I edit those down to half that, sometimes I wind up with a couple pages. Having control over a routine gives me back some sense of normalcy. T. Cole Rachel wrote an awesome guide for The Creative Independent on how to write your first poem. I promise, it's not scary. And even if you write something stupid ("'Cats' Was Not Realistic" by Sadie Dupuis, 2020) you'll at least kill some time.

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