April 2016

It’s National Poetry Month. Please Give Me Back My Poem.

This post comes from the Huffington Post written by Iain S. Thomas. In recognition of National Poetry Month, it’s a great reminder of the need to recognize the creators of art, whether they choose to give their work away for free or sell it.


Photograph: © Jon Ellis

The best way to start this story is in my car in the middle of a heatwave, while my very pregnant wife and I look for a new house because we have a very real concern that we’re about to get kicked out of the place we’re currently renting. My air conditioner has a leaf or something stuck in it so depending on how low or high you turn it, it either makes a low creaking noise or a high frequency whine. The only way to get rid of it is to turn it off, which isn’t an option. After about six or seven hours, we discover that every house we look at is either out of our price range or not something we’d actually want to move into. We go home and have dinner. In the middle of dinner, I get a message telling me that, to paraphrase, “LeAnn Rimes has plagarised one of your poems on Instagram.”


It’s been a long day and I have a strong suspicion I know exactly which poem it is before I even check. Back in 2007, I wrote a poem entitled The Fur on my blog, that reads:


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” 


Since then, it’s somehow made its way across the world and been tattooed and read at weddings and funerals and spray painted on freeway overpasses.

… continued: read full article here

How to Craft the Perfect Short Story

skillshareRecently, Noah Milligan was invited to share his expertise in writing on SkillShare alongside other great writers like: Ashley C. Ford, Susan Orlean, Yiyun Li, Benjamin Samuel and James Franco.

Here’s a synopsis about his class. Given the skill with which Noah writes, I strongly encourage checking it out:

Ever wonder how a writer hooks you into a story and compels you to keep turning the page? Join writer Noah Milligan as he dissects a short story and explains a step-by-step guide in creating enthralling narrative arcs. This 30-minute class breaks down various elements of short story structure, provides a writing prompt to start a new story, and offers insightful tips on crafting engrossing characters and plot.

Students are able to post a new short story, engage in constructive critique with other students, and polish their projects to get them ready for publication. This class is designed for emerging writers crafting their very first short stories, more experienced writers honing their craft, and anyone who has ever had a story to share.

NoahMilliganShortlisted for the 2015 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize, Noah Milligan’s debut novel, An Elegant Theory, is forthcoming from Central Avenue Publishing in the fall of 2016. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Central Oklahoma, and his short fiction has recently appeared in Rathalla Review, MAKE Literary Magazine, Storyscape Literary Journal, Empty Sink Publishing, Santa Clara Review, Glint, and elsewhere. Connect with him at www.noahmilligan.com and @MilliganNoah

Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and as the publisher of one of the world’s more recognized current poets, I am celebrating every day of April by reading a poem I’ve never read before. It all started out as a chain letter from a colleague and while I rather dislike chain letters, I love finding and reading new-to-me work.

You can celebrate National Poetry Month in many ways, but for me, I’m doing it by searching for new poems by poets I’ve never read and new poems by authors I have. I just found this Pablo Neruda poem which I am drawn to. I think I like it because I’m not a writer or poet and so for me, poetry is a way to escape, to get a hit of creativity and passion in a busy, sometimes non-creative day.

Happy Poetry, everyone…


The Poet’s Obligation

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell;
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea’s lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn’s castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying “How can I reach the sea?”
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.