Creative Writing

Dan Hogan Author Profile

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Dan Hogan and wife, Sophie Mae

Published Poet Profile: Dan Hogan
Interview by: Amanda Riggle

Dan Hogan is a part-time English teacher at Cal State Fullerton, Irvine Valley College, and Norco College. In addition to being an amazing teacher, Dan has recently had his work published in Cal State Fullerton’s literary journal DASH – due out in May of 2013. His original haiku was about a double-parking incident and will be available for everyone to read once DASH releases their current issue. For more info on DASH, visit their website WWW.DashLiteraryJournal.Com. We had the pleasure to interview Dan via-email and below is what he had to say. He’s a smart man, talented man, so you should totally read this and be inspired.

The Poetics Project: Dan, what inspired you to write this piece? Did someone double park next to you and block you in?

Dan: I live at an apartment complex with two really narrow spots right next to the dumpster. I work so late that often those are the two spaces that are open. Most of the time, people with their gargantuan sport utility vehicles can’t fit in the spots, and it’s kind of an art to squeeze in there. But sometimes people just give up and park across both spots. Or worse, they park with one tire into the other spot making it impossible to park there. Such a pain. The nearest spot from there is about two hundred yards away, and at 1 am after grading all night at a coffee shop, it’s a real pain. So I wrote it one night because I always feel like writing notes and leaving them on the windshield, but this time I didn’t.

Pentametron Uncovering the Poetry of Twitter

With the help of a computer program, @pentametron is uncovering the poetry behind tweets on the popular social networking site twitter. Below are just a few of our favorite rhyming couplets:

That hesitation right before a kiss

I don’t remember ever learning this

Don’t matter what the circumstances are

Quit reaching for the stars and be the star

Eye contact is a privilege, not a right

Play secretary, I’m the boss tonight

Kerouac’s 1993 Gap Ad

“Kerouac wore khakis,” states a 1993 Gap advertising campaign. The creators airbrushed photos taken of the writer by Jerry Yulsman, who followed Kerouac around Greenwich Village in 1958 for Pageant Magazine.

The photo was one of many of Kerouac’s belongings sold off in auctions by feuding relatives during the 1990s. An original photo from the collection is pictured below.

The First Poems of Famous Writers

Below are some of our favorite writers and their very first poems ever written. What do you think? Which are your favorite? Can you see where their style started from? Do these poems inspire you? Let us know in the comments below!

William Shakespeare

“Untitled” (1582) (1 year before he had a poem published)

Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
Breath’d forth the sound that said I hate
To me that languish’d for her sake:
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come.
Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom:
And taught it thus anew to greet:
‘I hate’ she alter’d with an end
That follow’d it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away.
‘I hate’ from hate away she threw,
And sav’d my life, saying ‘not you’

Tamara Trujillo’s Summer Creative Writing Class at Fullerton College

Tamara Trujillo is offering, for the second time ever in Fullerton College’s history, a Creative Writing course over the summer session. What makes her qualified to teach such a course? Not only is she a professor at Fullerton College, but she is also a published author. Much of Tamara’s poetry has been published and we are lucky enough to have one of her unpublished poems to share with you today.

Homemade

Most nights, the sewing machine whirred from my parents’ room next door, mother obsessed with perfection. It was a tedious process: pairing our hopes in the shape of a pattern, selecting fabric for the thin paper frame, lining up seams, rethreading the machine, hours of holding still under the delicate prick of the needle. In the sleepy evening, I would stand in front of her long mirror as she pinned the flimsy outline around my form, tracing my body with her long, natural nails. She would sit with her tanned, slim legs tucked under her as she hemmed pant cuffs that flared at the end, or ankle-length dresses with bibbed fronts. If I looked down at her as she worked, I could lose myself in the crown of her expertly-coiffed beehive, swirls of brown floating me closer towards something like love but never reaching anything that ever actually fit.

Worried About Cliches?

At cliche.theinfo.org writers can paste any piece of text into a blank field, click Find Cliches, and be taken to another page that highlights any and all cliches found in red (check out the screenshot below).

The website uses cliches from The Associated Press Guide to News Writing by Rene J. Cappon, and the home page features a quote from Author George Orwell’s book Politics and the English Language:

[Political] prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.

Even if you aren’t worried about cliches present in your own writing, try it out. It’s a fun tool.