Lately, I've been trying to get back into the local poetry scene. There really isn't a scene, unless you're a young adult & into slam. But I was able to reconnect with a group that meets at a bookstore downtown (Crazy Wisdom) every other week. This month, even though they traditionally have no events scheduled for August, one of the informal leaders is going to convene the group. So I'm looking forward to that. It's a good mix of experience levels so the critique is useful.
Last night, I went back to a group that meets once a month at a bookstore just a couple of miles away from me. I hadn't been there since February & before that more than I remember. Part of this was due to my writer's block, part of it to the creative writing course I'd taken since September, which caused a scheduling conflict. Well, last night was really good, really fun. I took "Existentialism
" (which they all seemed to like, to my amazement) & "Near Miss
", whereupon I got some really incisive feedback. It was nice to see everyone again; it truly had been too long.
One of my former classmates from the creative writing class, Diane, put me in touch with the leader of another group that meets on a side of town I rarely visit but could probably make by bus. Diane talked her up & highly recommended her. Unfortunately, she charges for every session. I've never been part of a poetry group that did this, unless it was an official class. So I'm hesitant. I don't have the funds for that--I'd rather take that money & spend it on a subscription to Poetry
. But the woman very graciously offered to waive the fee for one of her upcoming groups, so I will at least take her up on that & observe her teaching style.
Diane lamented the dearth of writing groups in the area specifically devoted to poetry. It's made me even think of resurrecting Thirteen Blackbirds. But I'm still not out of my writer's block. Also, most of my instructional materials were lost in the Great Flash Flood of 2009. In the meantime, I'm reading a lot more poetry & bought Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town
for behind-the-scenes discussion of how poems become.