Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Writer's block does not exist (Part 3)

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Step three: writing your drafts

First draft (punctuation optional).

"Have you ever rolled down your windows to smell the aroma of an organic orange plantation on a summer night? Dreaming the ecstasy of citric acid delight rolling down your throat as samba rhytms pulsate to you soul. Spit seeds in muddy favelas; hoping they mature. Waiting for orchards to grow."

That's my poem. For the record, the next step is not to go to a writer's group and ask for help ( We'll discuss writers' groups in another section).

Questions I now ask: What is the rhythm of my poem and does a particular line structure encourage it? Are punctuations necessary? Is formal, colloquial, patois or any other dialect appropriate for this work? Should I correct my misspellings?

My answers? Second draft:

Have you ever rolled
down your windows to smell
the aroma of an organic
orange
plantation
on a summer night?

Dreaming
the ecstasy of citric
acid delight rolling
down your throat as
samba rhythms pulsate to you soul.

Spit seeds
in muddy favelas; hoping
they mature.

Waiting for orchards to grow.

For the record, writing this article, and these poems is all one complete stream of consciousness. I obviously will make edits before I post, but as I write, I am simply following the rhythm of the poem in front of me.

Initially, I was hoping to write in couplets, however, this free form feels more natural. I'm keeping the punctuation in, and decided to maintain semi-formal language.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Dane Swan

Dane Swan is a Bermuda-raised, Toronto-based internationally published poet, writer and musician. His first collection, Bending the Continuum was launched by Guernica Editions in the Spring of 2011.

Go to Dane Swan’s Author Page