Contributions by Dawn Potter

What’s the Most Important Detail?

By | Dawn Potter, Poetics, Prose

“We know there must be consciousness in things,” writes Mark Jarman: In bits of gravel pecked up by a hen To grind inside her crop, and spider silk Just as it hardens stickily in air. Many poets might just as easily say, “We know there must be consciousness in words.” By fitting together individual bits …

The North Pond Hermit

| Dawn Potter, Prose

by Dawn Potter This week, the big news around here is the North Pond hermit. You can read all about him in the papers, but the essence of the tale is this: 27 years ago a recent high school graduate vanished from his home in central Maine. His family thought he’d gone to New York …

The Craft of Poetry

| Dawn Potter, Poetics, Prose

by Dawn Potter It’s so easy to overlook punctuation. Our eyes are trained to glide past it, automatically registering the marks as pauses or sentence endings but not otherwise lingering over them. As Baron Wormser and David Cappella note in Teaching the Art of Poetry, “punctuation makes necessary distinctions so that things don’t blur and …

Who’s the Most Important Character?

| Dawn Potter, Poetics, Prose

by Dawn Potter Today, most of us automatically equate narrative with prose: stories, novels, memoirs, plays, and biographies that depend on skillful narrative control. This is understandable because many successful poems ride on the strength of their word choice, imagery, or cadence rather than their superior character development or plot construction. Nonetheless, as a narrative …