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Greetings! I’m a writer, editor, and teacher, and I enjoy connecting with readers and other writers. From 2017 to 2021, I served as Alabama's Poet Laureate. My latest book is a poetry chapbook, "Borrowed Light," and my current writing projects are a literary history in the form of narrative nonfiction based on the lives of the writer Sara Mayfield and her friends, a collection of poems about my late father, and a co-edited collection of essays about southern women, aging, and creativity. I call this blog and website "A Map of the World" because I think that, as writers, we each map the world through our own lives and imaginations. Welcome to my particular map! To get in touch, you can email me at forjenhorne@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/for.jen.horne where I post a Mid-Week Poetry Break every Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Writings on Writing:

With September 2022, I'm starting a new blog sequence, sharing a quotation on the art of writing that I've found in my readings. Here's the first, from Stanley Kunitz's The Wild Braid. There's so much to love about this book, but here's one that struck me especially: 

"I kept pruning [the juniper] back, converting its battered state into an aesthetic principle, and now it has taken on a completely different shape, spreading rather than growing upright. As with the making of a poem, so much of the effort is to get rid of all the excess, and at the same time be certain you are not ridding the poem of its essence.

The danger is that you cut away the heart of the poem, and are left only with the most ordered and contained element. A certain degree of sprawl is necessary; it should feel as though there's room to maneuver, that you're not trapped in a cell. You must be very careful not to deprive the poem of its wild origin."

from "The Sentinel," p. 57

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