Saturday, August 22, 2015

Poetry Group Update: Planning for Fall

One of the magical things about having a poetry group is sharing with my fellow poets. The Steeple Street Poets will celebrate its fourth anniversary next month and I have the satisfaction of knowing a good thing when I see it. Our group has grown, adding new members each month, and the energy and enthusiasm has swelled as the group has gotten larger. We have a core membership, perhaps ten to twelve poets, with other people jumping in when they have free time. Since the Cape is a seasonal place, there are also poets who join us in the summer months but head home when cold weather is on the horizon.

Our August meeting was a time for meet and greet, as well as for planning out the coming year. Our group is unique in that we alternate leaders each month and have different subjects introduced. In the past, we have worked on persona poems, line breaks, titles that work, etc. For the fall, we have some interesting projects to tackle. Often, we’ll be asked to bring in poems to workshop that fit the theme for that month.

In September, poetry member Kathleen Casey will talk about her time taking a workshop with Robert Pinsky on "how do you read a poem." She will take notes to share with us about her experience. Next, in October, dancers Samm Carlton and Karen Klein will explore poetry of movement and expression. They may introduce prompts for us to work with during the meeting.

I will be leading the group in November with poems relating to fairy tales. This is a subject dear to my heart. In fact, I have a section of fairy tale poems in my book Dream of the Antique Dealer’s Daughter entitled “Once Upon A Time.” My hope is that poets will bring in poems either reworking fairy tales or somehow referencing them in their poems. I plan to bring in examples by famous poets (for example, Olga Broumas and Anne Sexton) to share with the group.

In December, co-founder James Kershner will ask us to write poems of origin (where we come from). He was fortunate to attend a writing conference at Wild Acres in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, this summer where he was asked to write an origin poem.
His poem was descriptive, funny and heartbreaking. I already have ideas for mine.

In the end, it’s all about feeling comfortable reading our poems together, doing an honest critique, and forging a community of like-minded poets.