April 7, 2011, by beth
A Letter to Grownups
from the co-founder and artistic director of Polyphony HS
Some time after April 15, 2010, the deadline for submissions for this issue, I met a friend
and poet, Laura Van Prooyen, for a cup of coffee. During her days as a graduate student
Laura spent a semester studying with the poet Heather McHugh. As I spoke with Laura
about my work with Polyphony HS, she told me that morning what Heather once said
about poetry. “Poetry … Read more
September 1, 2010, by beth
One of the most important constants I have found in my time as a Polyphony HS editor has been that if the author does not know what they want to write, the final product will turn out poorly. This may seem obvious, but many a piece has come through the submission manager without meeting this criterion. Knowing what you want to write includes knowing what you want to convey to the reader, what your own strengths and weaknesses are, and … Read more
April 16, 2010, by visiblelogic
When the social networking site Twitter launched in March of 2006, teenagers received it with a resounding mixture of confusion and dismissal. “What’s the point?” and “I don’t understand it” became the most common response to Twitter-focused conversations in the cafeteria. But beyond the walls of high schools around the world, professionals—musicians, politicians, and actors—signed up to self-promote.
A longtime fan of standard blogging, I found Twitter and fell instantly in love. Many of my peers scoffed at my new … Read more
March 24, 2010, by visiblelogic
The ability to create a unique and captivating voice is essential. Voice is composed of multiple things: vocabulary, tone, sentence structure, connotation, etc. It’s how your words sound on paper. For example, say you are reading a story written in first person. As you read, you should hear the words in your head as if the narrator were talking aloud. Sometimes, it’s a voice you’ve never heard before, something the author created.
Voice can also be third-person narration. This would … Read more
March 16, 2010, by visiblelogic
My middle school education was mediocre at best. All students were treated exactly the same. There were no grades, just checks and minuses. The more advanced students did the same work as the least advanced students. I left middle school not knowing what I was good at (or had the potential to be good at), and that was the biggest problem. If I’d known I had potential as a writer, I would have started sooner.
For me, the thought process … Read more