|the way cut and paste used to be|
1. ordering gifts
2. preparing holiday cards
3. wrapping presents
4. planning holiday menus
5. stringing popcorn
6. baking cookies
7. etc, etc, etc
What I was doing is this: Going through my file folder labeled 'handouts.' Cutting poems and poet bios out. Arranging them on a piece of paper. Taping them down. Jotting down notes and attributions. Makin' copies (anyone else remember that skit from Saturday Night Live?).
This is a little labor of love I have going on. When I see a poem that I think is (a) wonderful, (b) interesting, (c) particularly well-crafted, (d) about to take off the top of my head, (e) stirring something inside for me that I need to write about, or (f) all of the above, I print it out and drop it in my handouts file. After I have a handful of poems gathered up, I take out the scissors and tape, and start cutting and pasting. Literally. I know there must be an electronic way to do this, but I love the old, analog method -- it makes me feel close to the paper and the poems. After I've cut and pasted all the poems and bios, I make a few copies. Then I send the handout to two of my poetry buddies. The idea is to read these poems, study them, learn from them, and use them as jumping-off points for new, original work.
[A note about copyright: I've done some research and I think I'm in the clear with copyright laws/fair use, since the handouts are intended for educational purposes and provide no economic gain to me.]
I learned the handout concept from my excellent former teacher, Deborah Keenan. Up until now, I've sent out only a few handouts to only a few people. But I would like to offer the handouts to anyone who wants one. Maybe you are a teacher that would like to use them in class. Maybe you're always looking for new (or new-to-you) poets to read and study. Maybe you are just a person who would like to have a few poems sprinkled into your days from time to time, or to learn a little bit of poetry. If you'd like a copy of the handouts, send me a message at mollycspencer (at) gmail (dot) com and I will send one to you each time I make one (which is, so far, about once a quarter). The stamp's on me.
Hooray for spreading the poems, hooray for poetry!