Happy New Year!

Welcome 2016! 

Greetings poets and poetry lovers, 

Happy New Year, first of all. I wish all of you a fruitful 2016. I expect many good things out of this year. Why not? We have a new Poet Laureate to get to know. We have a state peopled with poets and readers from border to border. I have high hopes about this website being used more often to connect poets and readers alike. 

For me, these coldest times of the year are the toughest times to write. I want to write; I lay awake with lines that I know I should get out of bed to jot down, but I don’t. Some believe in writer’s block, some don’t. Maybe it isn’t real, but more a matter of how much control we have over our inner, most pessimistic self-critic. Whatever it is, I know that when it freezes, I pretty much freeze, too.  

That’s not to say I abandon the literary world altogether, tempting as it is with playoff football (my junkfood) on. In fact, this is the time of the year when I get the most reading done outside of the material I teach/grade. Mary Oliver says (not that she’s the first or only person to suggest this, but I remember it from her treasured handbook) that we should let poems be our teachers. I couldn’t agree more. The amount of reading I get done during poemless slumps makes me okay with the fact that I’m not writing. I think it is okay to put the pen/keyboard down when nothing seems to work and read. It helps me get outside of my head, which feels like channel surfing incarnate at times. 

What about you? Does the cold weather slow you down, or are you enviously consistent?  

*There’s another blog (if you’re curious) about what I’m reading that’s meant to be interactive. I want you to share what you’re reading, too. Please take a look and chime in, you’ll make it more interesting.

Happy writing/reading, 

Brandyn Johnson

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