Writing in Community


Pyrenees Mountains, Vierge d’Orisson

Led by Kelli Russell Agodon and Donna Vorreyer, a group of poets who used to blog together in the mid-2000s has gathered once again in an effort to revive our blogs and our communal writing space outside of Facebook and Twitter. 

I’m not sure about everyone’s motivations, but I find that if I have a community of writers to turn to, I stay motivated to write and share my process with others. The 2016 elections and the onslaught of trolls and bots has left me fatigued with and leery of other social media outlets, and so I return to my own private Idaho on the web–my blog!

Of course, blogging is another form of social media, but on my site, at least, I don’t have ads popping up.

My project for today is to begin writing a sonnet crown based on the seven words the current occupant of the White House has banned from the CDC budget papers. I’m going to begin with the word “vulnerable.”

For more inspiration, I recommend this podcast interview with U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith–American Masters: The Poet: Tracy K. Smith.



12 thoughts on “Writing in Community

    • Christine says:

      Thanks for reading, Carolee! I am not going to write a traditional crown, but I thought since there are seven banned words, I could write seven stanzas, one for each word. If I can’t sustain that, I’ll try some other repeating form. I’m excited about blogging again, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Christine says:

      I just sent you a reply that I meant to post here—you can tell I haven’t been too active on my blog! We’ll see if I can sustain seven stanzas of these banned words. I might switch to a sestina and use the word “based” for one of my end words. That way “science-based” and “evidence-based” can be combined for six end words. I find that if I play around with a form, I can end a dry spell of writing. I’m impressed with your one-month poetry writing, and during December!


    • Christine says:

      I was going to write blank verse sonnets, or a “nonnet” as Maggie Smith calls them. I’ve written a few sonnets that have worked as far as rhyme/meter go, but I seriously doubt I could sustain that for a crown. I’m more interested in the repeating lines…


  1. Sean Wright says:

    Hi Christine,

    I stumbled across Kelli’s website/blog via Twitter and have signed up for the year. I think the premise of the Tour is great. I have certainly noticed that the discussions that used to occur on my blogs have either moved to FB or died. I am touring the blogs at the moment finding all these new poetry folks. Here’s to a productive tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. E.E. Nobbs says:

    Your post cheered me on a very cold Jan. 2, Christine; and it continues to cheer me on a very cold Jan. 3. The interview with Tracy Smith is a gem. I like how she talks about looking out the window when searching for a metaphor, and how she talks about what to write about. Actually I like the entire interview and how she talks about things. I remember listening to another interview with her when she was first appointed U.S. poet laureate and that I wanted to order her “Life in Mars” – which I finally did yesterday! All the best with your crown of sonnets! Did you see the very recent chapbook by editor Eileen R. Tabios? I have a very small poem in it. Small was the only way I could deal with it – but I wanted to participate. http://www.moriapoetry.com/fetusebook.pdf

    Best Wishes,
    Elly 🙂


    • Christine says:

      Thank you so much for reading my blog! I’m glad you found some inspiration. I’m amazed that the chapbook came together so quickly–your triolet is lovely. I’m not so sure I will write a crown of sonnets now. I’m more inclined to write something shorter as you did.


  3. E.E. Nobbs says:

    Hey Christine,
    Thanks for reading my poem. Yes, I did a triolet variation. When I feel stuck, I often find that writing in form helps me get started. Sometimes even just doing syllabics helps! Good luck with yours … wherever it leads you …

    I first came across Eileen Tabios, the editor of the chapbook several years ago via her online literary magazine Galatea Resurrects. Here’s the link: https://galatearesurrects2017.blogspot.ca/ And since then I have submitted a couple of reviews to G.R. and enjoyed getting to know her via Facebook and her blog and her books. She is a prodigious (& yes, speedy writer), and someone who is a very generous supporter of the poetry community. And lots of fun too 🙂



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