Hosting the #14 Language/Place blog carnival

In March I will be hosting the Language/Place blog carnival on the theme “Locating the Senses in Language / Place.”  Submissions of poetry, fiction and non-fiction are open from February 1 – March 10, 2012.

My own contribution will be in haiku; here’s why. When I first came across haiku, I was puzzled by its brevity, and, given the size, the disproportionate impact it had on me. There was something in this form that attracted me in mysterious ways, enough to start me reading it and, much later, trying my hand at writing it.

Then in January 2011, I joined the small stones project (A River of Stones, then), focusing, noting, and writing down an immediate experience from my day; in February 2011, the National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo for short), and felt I had found something precious, an area of writing and thinking that with study, practice and discipline would be rewarding to me.

And so it proved to be. This coming together of daily attending to my sensory experience of the world, and putting it into words, shaping it to the short form of haiku, became both an invaluable experience and a developmental practice, a sort of daily meditation on a material, physical input. The essence of this experience was not in the mind (where I lived for many, many years), but in this lived moment where, for me, both the work and the rewards were found.

So I didn’t need to think twice when it came to choosing a theme for the blog carnival Language / Place, #14. My contribution will be in the form of haiku. Yours might be in the form of a short story, a flash, a non-fiction piece, a travelogue, a recipe, an image.

Listen, taste, feel the weight, and lightness of the world and share this experience with us. Does a place associate in your mind with a smell, an image, a sound? Does a taste, say of aniseed, of olives, of papaya define a place for you? Do bird song, drumming, waves move you? Where do you stand on body odor? And how do you react as a writer? Do you have a voice recorder, notepad, or the back of your hand on the ready for recording your experience? Is the result a ‘small stone,’ a flash, or haiku? Do you have a Proustian gene in you? Perhaps a non-fiction piece detailing a sensation-awakened memory? Tell me. Tell us. I can’t wait to hear from you!

If you have already written something on this theme, great. Please submit your link(s). If not, and you are looking for inspiration, then have a look at The Haiku Foundation website: lots of (haiku) moments to inspire you, including Per Diem: Daily Haiku.  In March, my selection of sense-based, mainly non-visual haiku will appear, illustrating not only how good these sense-based poems can be, but also how the senses interconnect, each one stimulating one or more of the others. There is a digital library on the site with free books to download and enjoy, discussion boards, calendars of events and contests and more.

There is the ‘official’ NaHaiWriMo coming up in February once again, too. Perhaps you might like to join and write a haiku a day. Michael Dylan Welch has set up this site with iinformation about haiku and the NaHaiWriMo facebook community. I joined last year doubting I could keep it up. Well, I haven’t. I have been writing not one but several haiku a day! (FB community site here)

If you didn’t join the January Small Stones project, no need to worry! You can keep your senses alert with a little help from Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita Thompson’s  Writing our Way Home

Fiona and Kaspalita’s blog is full of ideas on how to record polished moments of experience. You could start from here:

Other contributions, not restricted to this theme are, of course also welcome. Submissions will open on the 1st of February and close on the 10th of March.

For information on how to submit your links to you posts see here

The blog roll of those taking part in the blog carnival so far can be read on Dorothee Lang’s BluePrint blog site.

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