The Poet’s Toolbox: What is Poetry of Witness?

The Poet’s Toolbox: What is Poetry of Witness?

Welcome back, poets! In my last post, I talked about confessional poetry—a brief history, defining characteristics, and a couple exercises to get you started writing some confessional poetry of your own. Today, I’d like to talk about poetry of witness, a mode that I’d argue is a close cousin of the confessional (with some key… Read more »

The Book Nook: The Thirty Books Challenge

The Book Nook: The Thirty Books Challenge

Today I present to you an interesting challenge: what if you only kept thirty books? I recently moved and it was exhausting. I had plenty of time before the move took place to go through things and get rid of stuff I didn’t want to bring. And I certainly availed myself of this opportunity.  But… Read more »

Cozy to Cold-Blooded: Mystery Games

Cozy to Cold-Blooded: Mystery Games

I’ve needed some extra fun in my life lately and mystery games fit the bill. To be honest, in the past I’ve found many mystery games disappointing, because they didn’t involve evidence and clues. They were board games with mystery themes. While fun, that wasn’t what I wanted.  But soon enough Carmen Sandiego swooped onto… Read more »

July 2022 Leisure Learning (and Mid-Year Recap!)

July 2022 Leisure Learning (and Mid-Year Recap!)

Hello, fellow word nerds! As some of you may have noticed, this column is relatively new for DIY MFA. The first installment came in January 2022 and since then, it has been both an honor and pleasure to share with you the most interesting literary-related projects I’ve stumbled upon. Over the months, I’ve had the… Read more »

Quotes that Have Stuck with Me

Quotes that Have Stuck with Me

Lately I have been thinking about the quotes that have lingered in my mind long after I close their respective books, plays, or poems. Every time I read something new or reread an old favorite there is always new insight to be gained or words to reflect on.  With that in mind I decided to… Read more »

Magic’s Pawn: A Classic of LGBTQ+ High Fantasy

Magic’s Pawn: A Classic of LGBTQ+ High Fantasy

Not long ago, I went hunting at my local Barnes & Noble for a high fantasy novel with an LGBTQ+ main character or plot. I’ve read a great deal of genre fiction lately that includes LGBTQ+ characters and themes, but this time, I wanted to see if I could find a fantasy novel elevating openly… Read more »

The Book Nook: Enemies to Lovers

The Book Nook: Enemies to Lovers

I’m moving. Which means that in addition to work, I’m spending a lot of my waking hours sorting and packing my possessions into boxes to keep, donate, or trash. Not surprisingly, I’m not getting a lot of reading done. But the nice thing about sorting and packing is that my mind is free to roam…. Read more »

June 2022 Leisure Learning

June 2022 Leisure Learning

It’s summmmeeerrrrtiiiiiiiiiimmmmmeeeee and reading is breeeeezy. I live in Pittsburgh and we are well into the dog days of summer. My paperbacks are acquiring the smell of sunscreen, chlorine, and just a hint of BBQ smoke. Summer reading is going well and I am finding myself replacing “just another episode” with “just a few more… Read more »

Unlocking Writer’s Block Sideways

Unlocking Writer’s Block Sideways

Writer’s block happens to every writer at some point. Creativity slows down. Your words feel like they’re stuck to your insides. If you’ve never experienced that bone-dry-whistling-wind-through-a ghost-town desiccated feeling of writer’s block, just wait. We talk about getting back into the “flow,” feeling like an idea dries up, sometimes that creativity rushes and overwhelms,… Read more »