Art Feature: OKC Reflections Series by Robert Ferrier31 Dec 2017, Posted by Art in
ART FEATURE: OKC REFLECTIONS SERIES BY ROBERT FERRIER
Robert Ferrier is a retired university research administrator living in Norman. He received a BA in Journalism and an MBA from the University of Oklahoma. He has published two novels at Amazon Kindle ebooks. His photo, “Magnolia Morning,” was the cover of the Summer, 2016, Dragon Poet Review. His photo, “Sunflower,” was the cover of the Summer, 2017, Dragon Poet Review. “Diagnosis in Stasis,” was the cover of the Fall, 2012, Blood and Thunder, OU College of Medicine. His poems have appeared in, Dragon Poet Review, Red River Review, Oklahoma Today, Blood & Thunder, Crosstimbers, Westview, Mid-America Poetry Review, The Exhibitionist and Walt’s Corner of the Long Islander. In 2007 the Norman Galaxy of Writers nominated him for Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. His influences in poetry have been shaped by poets who write clear, passionate verse: Howard Nemerov, Billy Collins, Pablo Neruda, Ted Kooser, Elizabeth Bishop, Ruth Stone, and Seamus Heaney. In photography, he has developed increasing interest in abstracts.
In photography, I’ve been inspired by abstracts appearing in AbstractMagTV and OJAL. I devote equal time to poetry and photography, as I am passionate concerning both. I’m drawn to photography first. My iMac desktop computer has excellent photo editing software, and I enjoy editing as much as taking photos.
My philosophy on poetry is that it should be accessible, not a puzzle to be solved. All poetry should be written from passion, for passion fuels quality tropes. With regard to photography, I’m drawn first to color, then intriguing lines, symmetry, and an undefinable “it factor” that I feel when I view the subject matter.
My primary advice to nascent artists in any field is work from passion. Passion in fiction drives the writer to write truth, to write as if no person they’ve ever known will read the work. Otherwise, writers may hold back from offering their heart and soul. In poetry, passion is the only true fuel for original simile and metaphor, which are the heart and soul of verse. Never write verse with a cold heart. Find the passion, then write.
With regard to materials in fiction and poetry, the writer needs a computer with a good word processing program and a suitable printer. In the process of poetry and fiction, first drafts are only the first brick of the path. Let first drafts “cool,” then ruthlessly cut excess words. In good writing, “less is more.” In both poetry and fiction, read all first and second drafts aloud. This includes every word of the piece, no matter the length. Your voice will trip over unnecessary words. Cut them. Keep cutting until your voice glides over the lines like a ball bearing rolling over silk. In reading poetry to a group or video presentation, read loud enough that every person in the room can hear you. Read with passion and frequent eye contact.
As examples, please listen to my readings of The Dante Dreams at: The Dante Dreams Project/Inferno – Journal Entry: Envy. Also at: https://thexzbt.wordpress.com/the-dante-dreams-project/
In any writing—fiction or poetry—find a critique group or a trusted friend to read your work. Check your ego at the door! Try never to submit poetry or fiction to an editor or contest judge without the work having been read and critiqued by an honest, published writer. The fact that your friends “like it” is not sufficient.
About the author:
Robert Ferrier is a retired university research administrator living in Norman, OK. He received a BA in Journalism and an MBA from the University of Oklahoma. He has published a novel, The Witchery Way, at Amazon Kindle e-books at amazon.com. He has won the Norman Tree Photo contest twice. His photo, “Magnolia Morning,” was the cover of the Summer, 2016, Dragon Poetry Review. His photo, “Diagnosis in Stasis,” was the cover of the Fall, 2012, literary journal Blood and Thunder, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. His poems have appeared in Dragon Poetry Review, Oklahoma Today, Blood & Thunder, Crosstimbers, Westview, Mid-America Poetry Review, The Exhibitionist, Walt’s Corner of the Long Islander, and Red River Review. In 2007 the Norman Galaxy of Writers nominated him for Poet Laureate of Oklahoma.