Hi all - I have just had confirmed something that I had heard on the grapevine a few days ago, that one of our literature students, Young J, who was in third year last year - and began LiveJournal with us 3 years ago- has finally had a book of his poems published. These are available internationally from Amazon.com. Visit http://www.amazon.com/here-you-are-distant/dp/1847530028 for details. Meanwhile check out Young's LiveJournal site where he has been actively writing and "publishing" his poems for the last three years:
Young is one of the finest poets who has been nurtured by the LiveJournal environment at our uni and he has rewarded us all by the dedication and success of his writing. Well done Young J.
As soon as I get my hands on a copy of this book I plan to write a review of it.... Cheers MG... back to marking!!!!!!! stop getting distracted... yes we all suffer from this one!!!!!!
And by the way (this applies to first, second and third years... when you visit Young's site be sure to make him a "Friend" and his poems will always pop up on your Friends Page... how's that! Easy Peasy!
Now I have just asked Young J to give a brief account of his own development as a poet: why he started to write, what he gets out of writing and what encourages him to continue. I am sure we can all learn something from his thoughts. And here he is (taking poetic license) with a fake mustache!
And so here now is Young's Brief Poetic Autobiography:
I think that it's really strange how it all started. I began writing poetry just kind of on a whim in high school. I had written a few short stories when I was much younger, but hadn't continued for years, but due to the upcoming HSC, I was forced to write a few short stories. However, in my spare time, instead of refining these pieces, I began to write poetry. This isn't to say that I particularly had any talent in it, or even enjoyed it much. However, I felt this kind of a release when I wrote.
Soon, I was writing poetry exclusively -- I couldn't seem to get my thoughts down in any other form. And with that, with more personal issues showing through in my poems, I feel like things really improved. Maybe I'm not articulating it as well as someone who's talking about how they improved in writing should be, but I really can't think of any other way to put it -- I just got better the more I wrote. It was that age old cliche', that practice makes perfect (or as close to it as one can get).
I've been keeping up with writing as much as I can, and the best thing I can think of to do is to write down anything that kind of sparks something in you. If I suddenly think of a line or even a word that stirs something in me, I have to write it down or run the risk of forgetting it. Then later, I can check what I've written and build upon it.
Lately, I've been thinking about this thing that someone once told me -- that the best writers try to write something everyday, even if what they write is complete garbage. I can't say that I do this, as there are many days, even weeks that I go without writing anything down -- however, I think that this statement is absolutely true. The more you write, the better you get, and if you're writing everyday, it won't be long before poetry becomes more personal and more reflective, and in my opinion, this is the best kind of poetry.