me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Crime writing, poetic and otherwise

Sorry I've been absent these past few days. It's been Edgar Week in New York. Writers, writers everywhere. Lots of catching up with my buddies, lots of talk about careers, the industry, who's doing what and with which and to whom. Also, lots of talk about writing. Craft, art, heart, what it's about. Will share some of this with you in the upcoming days, but wanted to let you in on something you may not know about: crime poetry. In THE LINEUP, Gerald So and his co-editors Reed Farrel Coleman, Sarah Cortez, and R. Narvaez have produced, not a new genre -- poems with crime themes have always been with us -- but a new idea: call for them, collect them, publish them together. The magazine makes for some terrific reading. I'm a poetry fan anyway, because poetry of necessity emphasizes word choice and rhythm, two under-valued tools in writers' toolboxes. I was blown away, for example, by David Corbett's "Bargain," which opens:

"Since we met, fewer insects die.
Today (for example) you were gone
but a fat green fly hammered
blind against the window --
so I cracked it open and off he went:
tumbling wind, sunblue sky."

The staccato of " were gone/but a fat green fly..." I love. I love it that it extends into "hammered" but retreats again to the single syllable "blind." By the time we get to the two-syllable words "against" and "window" it's too late; we already understand there's no real continuity here, no connection possible.

I'm thinking about this kind of thing because I do love the writer energy that flows around during Edgar week, the conversations I'm part of that all, taken together, have the effect of making me want to rush back to my desk and try things, work hard, be better than I have been before.

A magazine as good as THE LINEUP has the same effect. If you haven't read it yet, you might want to take a look at this issue. It's a good idea, done really well. It might make you want to rush back to your desk and get to work.

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