Leah Umansky Recommends...

“Read the news. There are some strange things happening in the world. The New York Times is a huge part of my writing process. I rip out articles; I circle phrases from the science section, the business section, and sometimes (dare I say) the book review. I recently wrote a poem that came from an article Teddy Wayne wrote about Justin Bieber.

“Steal. Steal from the writers you like and the writers you don’t. Share their vocabulary and syntax. It’s good to shake up your nouns and verbs. (All poets steal.) Many of my poems have been appropriated from other writers like: T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Nabokov, and Rebecca Solnit.

“Join a workshop. It doesn’t matter if they are informal, or formal. Being around other writers, and getting feedback, is the best fuel to spark your creative process.”
—Leah Umansky, author of Domestic Uncertainties (BlazeVOX, 2013)