Posts Tagged 'Writing the Life Poetic'

The Writer Mama Back-to-School-Giveaway 2009, Day Six

Order you copy today!

Welcome to day six of the annual Writer Mama Back-to-School-Giveaway. No one needs an advanced degree in creative writing to reap the rewards of poetry. Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry, brought to you by Sage Cohen and Writers Digest Books, puts poetry back into the hands of the people – not because they are aspiring to become the poet laureate of the United States – but because poetry is one of the great pleasures in life.

Writing the Life Poetic is packed full of captivating new ways to generate ideas and have fun with the writing process. 80 short, friendly chapters address a mix of content, process and craft ideas designed to help you:

  • Find the inspiration you need to put pen to paper immediately
  • Transform the raw materials of experience and emotion into language
  • Build skills and confidence in your poetic voice
  • Learn some key craft techniques and enjoy experimenting with them
  • Engage in (or breathe new life into) a writing and reading practice
  • Get excited about the possibilities of poetry

Poetry is as unique and personal as fingerprints. No one else will ever write what you write, the way you write it. Writing the Life Poetic can help you find your place in poetry by tuning into the poetry of your life—and getting it down on the page.

About the Author

Sage Cohen is the author of Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry (Writers DigestSage Books, 2009) and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. An award-winning poet, she writes three monthly columns about the craft and business of writing, publishes the Writing the Life Poetic Zine and serves as Poetry Editor for VoiceCatcher 4. Sage has won first prize in the Ghost Road Press poetry contest and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She hosts a monthly reading series at Barnes & Noble and teaches the online class Poetry for the People. To learn more, visit http:// Join the conversation about living and writing a poetic life at!

If you are new to the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

Today’s question is…

What does a poetic life mean to you as a writer mama? What is your life like when it’s poetic? How could you make your life more poetic? Does poetry have a place in a more poetic vision for your life? Feel free to wax rhapsodic. 🙂

Before you go! WE HAVE A CAUSE TO RAISE MONEY FOR THIS YEAR! Please read the story about the Applin family here and consider  making a small contribution at some point during the giveaway. We’re aiming for $100/day collectively. Please help us help the Applin family adopt two beautiful children from Russia. 🙂


The Articulate Conception: Then Comes Theo in a Baby Carriage

By Sage Cohen
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; there is simply no way to prepare for birth. I read the groovy, you-Sage Cohen and Theocan-do-it birthing books by Ina May Gaskin to psych myself up for the task at hand and took the groovy Birthing From Within class where we made birth art, practiced managing pain by putting our hands in buckets of ice, and tried to articulate our “birth tigers”–those anticipated fears that had the potential to shut down labor.
I saw Ricki Lake’s “The Business of Being Born,” became well-versed in the “cascade of interventions” that are likely to happen at a hospital birth, and decided I wanted to give birth at home. We chose a naturopathic physician / midwife who seemed in line with our philosophy and approach to birth and hunkered down for the tidal wave of birth to arrive.
What I know now that I could not have known then is that preparing for birth is like packing a backpack for a trip to the moon. It’s an exercise you go through to give yourself the illusion of control, to feel that you have some inch of influence over gravity’s relaxing grip as you orbit unfathomably through space.
What I know now that I should have known then is that agreeing to proof a book in layout two weeks after giving birth is a bad, bad idea.
It went down like this: I labored for 60 hours at home — from a Monday to a Wednesday­­–until it became clear that my son’s head was stuck at an angle and wasn’t budging. We raced to the hospital where some other complications were identified, and within 30 minutes the surgeon lifted a perfect little boy body over the C-section curtain. As my son Theo’s life untwined from mine into his own breath and being and I watched the nurse performing his Apgar test, it slowly dawned on me that I was no longer in labor, that I was no longer pregnant — that my son had birthed me into motherhood.
Theo and I spent the next five days learning each other’s rhythms in the bright spotlight of around-the-clock, nursing supervision. A week later as I was surfacing from the haze of heavy-duty narcotic painkillers, euphoric awe and interminable exhaustion, the PDF proof arrived. I printed it, put it in a binder, got out my highlighter and my Pilot V Ball Grip pen. Then, I sat down to dinner, started crying and just couldn’t stop. My concerned husband and mother in law quickly made a plan to relieve me of baby duty for the night and sent me into private quarters to sleep.
What I realized during that blessed night of honest-to-goodness sleep — my first peephole of contemplation since Theo’s arrival — was that giving birth had initiated me into the superhero, secret society of motherhood. I had tapped into the universal power shared by women everywhere who simply do what has to be done, with love and with gratitude. I had endured three days of unmedicated labor; what was proofing a 264-page book at the nadir of depletion compared to that?
The next day, I returned to the dinner table, wiped my bleary eyes, and I proofed that book with the hormonally-enhanced ardor, focus and determination that only a new mother can.
Next month: The utter obliteration of mind, desk and to-do list in the first three months of motherhood. 
Sage Cohen is the author of Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry, forthcoming from Writer’s Digest Books, and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. Her poetry and essays appear in journals and anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Writers, Oregon Literary Review, Greater Good, and VoiceCatcher. Sage holds an MA in creative writing from New York University and teaches the e-mail class Poetry for the People. In September 2008, her son Theo Luchs-Cohen initiated Sage into the life of the writer mama.

Today is Sage Cohen’s Amason Spike Day for Writing the Life Poetic!

Please help me push her under the 100 mark on

She’s so close. At 296 right now!

Read more here:

December Sell-a-bration #24: A Year of Gestation and Birth

By Sage Cohen

2008 was a banner year for my writing career. The previous year, I articulated my platform, pitched a book and landed a book deal. I spent 2008 delivering on the promise of my proposal while writing my book, Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry, forthcoming from Writer’s Digest Books in March 2009.

In parallel to this gestation, another creative project quietly and joyously took root. Early in the year, my son Theo was conceived. While pregnant, sleep deprived, increasingly off balance and out of breath, my writing life momentum somehow continued! Thanks to a clearly articulated platform, a passion for my topic and my community and an unrealistic sense of what I could handle, I spent a good amount of time celebrating poetry publicly. My speaking gigs included: the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference in Seattle, Washington and the Northwest Author’s Series in Wilsonville, Oregon.

The opportunity to teach also presented itself, and who was I to say no?! I spent a weekend teaching as Writer-in-Residence at the Oregon Writer’s Colony and launched “Poetry for the People”, an email class through Writers on the Rise. I was invited to read at seven bookstores, three poetry festivals and two radio shows. I had a poem published in The Sunday Oregonian and a poem nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Every month, my column “Beyond What You Know” appeared in Writers on the Rise. And every month, I continued to host the reading series I established at Barnes & Noble, Lloyd Center for audiences of up to 60 people. In a final act of bleary enthusiasm, I joined the editorial collective of VoiceCatcher, an inspiring anthology featuring the work of Portland-area women writers.

The culmination of all of this “doing” was the birth of my son, Theodore Luchs-Cohen, on September 17, 2008. Since his arrival, he has been initiating me into the practice of “being” as I reconstruct my identity and lifestyle to embrace my new “writer mama” badge of honor. I spend less time at the computer now, and less time in public. As the New Year approaches, I can’t wait to discover how I will take these two tender new roles of author and mother forward!

Sage Cohen is the author of Writing the Life Poetic, and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World.  Her poetry and essays appear in journals and anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Writers, Oregon Literary Review, Greater Good and VoiceCatcher. Sage holds an MA in creative writing from New York University and teaches Poetry for the People. In September 2008,  her son Theo Luchs-Cohen initiated Sage into the life of the writer mama.

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