Glitter in the Blood: A Poet's Manifesto for Better, Braver Writing

Glitter in the Blood: A Poet's Manifesto for Better, Braver Writing

by Mindy Nettifee

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You do not want to write good poems. You want to write great poems. You want to write poems that challenge, inspire and awe. You want to write poems that forever alter your audience, that forever alter yourself. Those poems take guts. Glitter in the Blood: A Poet's Manifesto to Better, Braver Writing will put you in constant contact with your guts. Pushcart prize nominated and highly accomplished performance poet Mindy Nettifee is not going to lead you step-by-step up a how-to staircase. With this collection of essays, prompts and exercises, Mindy is giving you the wrench you need to open up the blood and let it flow into your writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938912016
Publisher: Write Bloody Publishing
Publication date: 09/15/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 222
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Mindy Nettifee was born in Iowa but spent her formative years in Southern California. She is a graduate of Chapman University and the director of the nonprofit poetry organization Write Now Poetry Society, which she co-founded with actress Amber Tambyln. She has taught poetry workshops at community centers, schools and universities across the country for 15 years, and has curated poetry events for the Smithsonian, the Getty Center, GirlFest, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and more.

Read an Excerpt


It's hard to say exactly when I fell in love with poetry. George Michael was still straight. My mom drove

something with rust-colored interiors. So, let's not do the math. Let's just say with certainty I was

young, and that besides my youth, there wasn't anything striking or cinematic about it. I didn't live in

the storm shelter of a public library, or wear peasant skirts, or sit in trees memorizing Keats. I wasn't a

beautiful orphan. My parents weren't ex-patriot literary scholars smoking Gitanes in the kitchen.

I did have an old paperback Norton Anthology of Poetry that I stole from a Sunday School. The one

with the yolk yellow cover and vaguely Greco-Roman art. The pages smelled like basement, or tornado,

and were not uniformly loved. Chaucer was crisp as brand new bibles; Berryman was dog-eared and

smudged. I liked how heavy it was. I liked the difficult words. I liked the even more difficult syntax that

made reading aloud like chewing leather.

Mostly, I liked the way none of it made sense to me. It made the book feel stolen in more than one

way. It was like a chronicle of ancient mysterious secrets had fallen in to my possession, and it was all

written in impossible code. Learning to understand it, I knew, meant learning a foreign language. Maybe

several. There were things in this book that I was not supposed to know — why else would it be written

so strangely? Surely, I thought, if I studied it long enough, everything there was to know about life

would be revealed to me.

It is not hard to say when I fell out of love with poetry — it was early Spring of 2005. I was on the verge

of a nervous breakdown, but I didn't know it. An epic, space-black despair was swallowing me, and the

one thing that had always added so much juice and church to my life now felt stiff and lifeless.

Poetry had never been a career goal. I was pretty sure poetry careers were just legends anyway. Like

narwhals. Or the gold standard. But poetry had been everything else to me. I had gone regularly to

open mics and poetry readings since I was just shy of 13, and at these unruly caffeinated gatherings I

found people who are, to this day, the most eccentric and emotionally unstable people I've ever met.

I worshipped them. They weren't like other people. They were smart and free and weird, and they

weren't always nice, or good, but they were urgent and alive. It inspired me.

Table of Contents

Glitter in the Blood

The Author's Forward 13

In the Beginning

Chapter 1 The Myth of Inspiration 19

Chapter 2 Begin Anywhere 24

Chapter 3 The Source 29

On Writing Poetry

Chapter 4 Practical Magic 37

Chapter 5 Any Thing Can Be an Instrument 39

Chapter 6 The Metaphysics of Storytelling 49

Chapter 7 Notes from the Nebula 59

Chapter 8 Architects of Yes 69

Chapter 9 Achillies Heeling 77

Chapter 10 Oh, The Places You've Been 85

Chapter 11 Benjamin Franklining and the Great and Powerful is 95

Chapter 12 More Fresh, Cold Prompts from the Prompt Snow-Machine in Mindy's Brain to Melt and Smelt into Hot Burning Poems 106

On Editing Poetry

Chapter 13 Paper Snow Flaking 101 113

Chapter 14 Your Editing Tools: a Field Guide 117

Chapter 15 The Feedback Loop 125

Chapter 16 Lessons from the Hanged Man - Editing for Content 130

Chapter 17 The Lost Chapter 137

Chapter 18 The Cure for What Ails Us, which Might Be Tone Deafness-Editing for Context 144

Chapter 19 The Dark Side of the Rainbow-Editing For Language 152

Chapter 20 Awkward Graduation Speech-Editing for Form and Structure 161

In Conclusion

Suspicions, Skeletons and Zebras-A Bloody, Glittery Dénouement 171

An Incomplete Poet's Dictionary, In Sweet, Conceptually-Jumbled, Alphabetical Order 179

References 193

About the Author 197

Tear-Out Inspirado 199

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