Get loud.


Kalapaki Beach, Kauai.  Photo Credit: Catherine Keefe

…voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.

Meredith Monk, composer, singer, director, choreographer.

According to Monk’s biography, she “creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words.


Why speak of “feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words” in a class devoted to arranging words for purpose?  To do something –  in this case arrange words for a purpose – you must first understand the end game, or at least one interpretation of the end game.

And this writing game begins with the most rudimentary element: voice.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word voice calls to us from past centuries, from many cultures:

“sound made by the human mouth,” from Old French voiz,
from Latin vocem (nom. vox) “voice, sound, utterance, cry, call, speech, sentence, language, word,” related to vocare “to call,”
from PIE root *wekw- “give vocal utterance, speak”
(cf. Sanskrit vakti “speaks, says,” vacas- “word;”
Avestan vac- “speak, say;”
Greek eipon (aorist) “spoke, said,” epos “word;”
Old Prussian wackis “cry;”
German er-wähnen “to mention”).

What will you raise your voice about?  Maybe you already have a few ideas. Maybe not. But you will.
How will your voice be heard?

Practically speaking, through your blog.
How can you ensure that your words are inviting to other readers?

1. Write thoughtfully.  Include outside references.
2. Present your work carefully, easy on the eye.  To that end, please select your blog theme from one of these options:

Forever.  Manifest.  Pilcrow.
Selecta by Obox. Sight by WPShower.
Twenty Ten. Twenty Twelve.
Wu Wei. Yoko by Elmastudio.

Thank you for attention.  Now, what is it you want to say?

About Catherine Keefe

Catherine Keefe is the founding and managing editor of *dirtcakes* a journal of poetry, creative nonfiction, art and photography. Her creative nonfiction essays, interviews and book reviews have appeared nationally. She teaches undergraduates how to Write About Literature, or Write Creative Nonfiction, or Compose Self at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s