Thursday, September 22, 2011

colrain makes the poet grow stronger

this last weekend was remarkable. and by remarkable i mean, i had the outstanding good fortune to attend the colrain poetry manuscript conference when it traveled west (because everyone needs a respite from new england now and then).

and by outstanding good fortune i mean, whoa: to workshop in a locale that i had forgotten i loved so very much (move away from the place you have always known, and when you return, wait for it to take your breath away in a completely unexpected way).  and to actually remember why it is that i write poetry: to harness my imagination, to have the space to tell my story.

truth be told, it has been months since i have had to space to write a poem.  life happens. trying to freelance happens (the blessing and curse of having liberal arts degrees: paying for them).  what was missing, that euphoria after finishing a piece that you didn't know was there, behind all the worries, and feeding of dogs, and blah blah (or joys!) of the day-to-day.

but this weekend, i remembered.  what i want, and why, to really write.

the faculty, poets and editors jeffrey levine, ellen dore watson, and joan houlihan, carmen giménez smith, and richard greenfield, were brilliant, receptive, and basically well, just so integral in reminding all of us what we have the tools to do.  why we want to carry on.  how to write and write and write well (whether we believe in ourselves or not).

here is what i think recent mfa graduates:  if you are in a slump, or feel like you are just slothing about without a way to recall the words you loved so much, treat yourself.  go to a day class, a local workshop, an area retreat or conference.  even a reading.  find a way back to the fire.

when was the last time you wrote something you loved, in a space that you loved?