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All posts by Claire Skinner

Thaw

by Claire Skinner

How hard it’s been, winter. Putting on our hats and coats and long-johns and gloves and scarves and mittens. Paying the heating bill. Slipping on black ice. Trudging to work before the half-hearted sun comes up. Of course, there have been some pleasures (full moons over snow, red wine), but, by March, aren’t we through with all that? Aren’t we ready for something else entirely: some softening, some respite, some real warmth?

Fun: A Manifesto

by Claire Skinner

Above all else, a poem must be fun. Even poems that deal with decidedly not-fun topics (death, disaster, cruelty) must have elements of joy.

Fun. Not exactly a word thrown about in academic circles or in serious reviews of serious poetry. But, if a poem’s not fun, the likelihood of me finishing it (or enjoying it) are slim to none.

Underwood Touch-Master 5

In Praise of Side Practice

by Claire Skinner

Maybe we writers write because, at the bone of it, we’re eternal students. We thrive on learning, on discovering new angles from which to view the same old things: Love, Death, Time, and God. (After all, a metaphor—the writer’s version of a Vegas marquee—is simply a writer’s tool to get you, the reader, to see life differently.) But, to spend all one’s time thinking about Love, Death, Time, and God, and pondering how to write about Love, Death, Time, and God, and actually writing about Love, Death, Time, and God—well, that’s another thing entirely.

Against Writing Every Day

by Claire Skinner

Like most creative writers (especially us wayward poets), I don’t relish being told what to do. Perhaps this is why I bristle when I hear the dictum write every day. To me, writing every day doesn’t sound appetizing: it sounds like a dry piece of rye toast with no butter. It sounds Machiavellian. It sounds like a chore, replete with brooms and mops and green jars of Comet. As it is, my To Do List is already chock-full of this and that and a little more of this.