Richard Feldman Interviews Miriam Sagan About Her Blog Miriam’s Well: Part 1

My husband Rich has been brainstorming with my about this blog ever since it started. He said he had some questions, so I was thrilled to answer them. Part 2 coming later this week!

1.  How did the blog originally fit into your mission statement, and how has that changed?
I’m charmed that you even know I have a mission statement! I picked this up from my work with personal coaching.

–To engage with as many people as possible in creative projects
–To put poetry in unexpected places where it will expand the viewer’s perceptions
–To use metaphor as a way to create connection, community, and a sense of relationship with the world
–To focus on the ephemeral, sustainable, and inexpensive

I think basically the blog still functions the way it was originally intended to. However, at the start there was a learning curve about web presence and presentation. But I do need to focus on that again and again, as in the re-design last autumn.

It also gives me a way to be creative and share writing every single day, no matter what else is going o in my life.

2.  Looking at your current list of categories, which one would you have found the most surprising when you started the blog?
I feel little out of touch with the categories. Baba Yaga and Patti Smith are the blog’s goddesses or guardians or totems, but those areas aren’t that active. Not exactly a category, but I was very surprised by the number of international contributors—that is in large part due to the ever increasingly active haiku community. So I’m surprised at how much the haiku and tanka section has grown.
3.  What do you think is the biggest current gap in the blog’s coverage?
Millennial writers. I need more voices that are different than mine. I’d love more younger perspectives. I’ve had several fantastic contributing bloggers—Bibi Deitz and Michaela Kahn to name just two—who have a lot of readers. But I’d love more from the even younger generation. You’ll note my millennial contributors are often family members—nieces, nephews, daughter—who I’ve begged material from.


My greatest support comes from my on-going contributors and readers. I’ve been prpud to publish so many terrific writers, and enjoy their growth and careers.
Miriam’s Well is ALWAYS looking for poetry, short fiction, art, and musings, particularly as related to our categories and in the area of haiku and other forms derived from the Japanese. If you are interested in being a guest blogger at any time, write me at msagan1035@aol.
The Well also runs a series of interviews for poets who have published at least one book or chapbook. Contact me if you are interested in doing an interview.
Miriam’s Well welcomes announcements of art openings, poetry readings, and community evens. Do keep in touch, follow the blog, and best of all—comment!

1000 Posts

WordPress informs me that I’ve posted 1000 times on this blog! While I never had a specific goal in mind, this feels like a time to note!
Sometimes blogging has been easy and effortless–a bubble in the stream. Sometimes it has felt dull, or a chore…but rarely. I’ve been blogging now for over two years, and the bottom line is that it allows me to feel creative each and every day, no matter what else is going on.
THank you for reading!

Is This Blog Too Much of A Mishmash?

I’ve been thinking about this blog–well, I always think about it, but this is a specific question. I’ve been given some standard common sense advice to limit the focus. But I find I don’t really want to. That is, this isn’t just a poetry blog, it isn’t just a personal diary type blog, and despite its many valued contributors, not a magazine.
I can’t help but have goals, though. I want more traffic, more contributors…and by mid-autumn I hope to have a somewhat better look with a way to post each contributor’s byline simply.
But I like my mishmash. Every day I say–whatever happens today is the blog. It might be a poem sent from thousands of miles away. Or sneakers thrown over a telephone wire here on Santa Fe’s westside.
One suggestion is to create more than one blog. I keep hearing how the web is niched. Any opinions? I’d love to know what you think as readers, writers, and fellow bloggers. Tell me!

FAQ’s About Miriam’s Well

FAQ’s About This Blog

1. What is the meaning of the name Miriam’s Well?
It comes from Midrash, or Biblical commentary. When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, a well of water appeared each evening wherever they made camp. It was associated with the prophetess Miriam, and disappeared with her death. It was an endless source of refreshment.
Of course, my name is also Miriam!

2. What is the mission of the blog?
Basically to publish poetry (mine and yours) and to follow the creative process where it leads. The focus is on writing and art from Santa Fe–but I also welcome work from beyond. I’m blogging about my forays into land art and about various travels, often in search of inspiration.

3. Why Baba Yaga and Patti Smith as two themes?
Well, they are my heroines. Baba Yaga is a scary Slavic witch–but admirable for her compact “green” house on chicken legs. Patti Smith isn’t the only great rock and roller to emerge from my home state of New Jersey, but she was a beacon for many writers of my generation.

4. Who are the contributors? And how can I get interviewed?
I’m entering my fortieth year as a small press publisher (started with an underground magazine in high school) where I published my friends. I still do–particularly as many are very accomplished and well known writers (or about to be!). The blog publishes a lot of student work, and a lot of work contributed by those just passing by. I publish much of what is submitted. Please send me
To get interviewed–if you are a poet with a book, drop me a note.

5. Has all this blogging cut into your writing time?
Weirdly not. I’m writing poems at my usual rate and working on numerous projects–books and text installations. I recently reviewed the blog and in about 10 months worth there was only one prose entry that wanted to be a poem.The blog seems to give me more energy than it takes…then again, maybe I’ve just cut down on housework. Things do look a little dusty.

Miriam’s Well is on Vacation

I have really been enjoying blogging here for almost five months. Thanks so much to readers, contributors, and commentators! I’m about to go on a vacation and take a break–so expect no new posts from May 29 until June 6.
After that, it should be blog as usual, with an emphasis on Patti Smith. I’m looking for contributions on what Patti Smith has meant to you, responses to the new book JUST KIDS, etc. I’m glad to interview you on this subject, too.
Hopefully I’ll also be blogging this summer from a writer’s residency in Iceland. And in the upcoming months highlighting work from writing workshops at the Georgia O’K Museum, THE LAND/An Art Site in Mountainair, Site Santa Fe, and possibly Mabel Dodge Luhan in Taos.
And always looking for work that meets the themes of Miriam’s Well. And your ideas and suggestions! Keep in touch.