Whew.....today seemed to take forever to get to. I'm so glad it's here. Please stop by and say Hey to Donna at Mainly Write. She's graciously hosting this week's round-up.
One of my goals this year as a poet is to grow...to learn poetry from lots of angles. I thought I'd ask some of my favorite Teacher-Writer poets if I could interview them. Catherine Flynn of Reading to the Core is my brave test case! I'm starting out with just five questions I sent to her via e-mail that she answered.
I love learning with and from writer friends...don't you? Join our conversation...
A WORD EDGEWISE (AWE): Why poetry? Do you write in other genres?
Catherine: Naomi Shihab Nye has said, “For me, poetry has always been a way of paying attention to the world.”
|lillaby . “Picture Frame, Retro, Background.” Pixabay - 3050245, Pixabay, 2018,|
This captures the essence of poetry for me. Much of my poetry is inspired by nature and I hope that my poems make others see and appreciate the beauty found everywhere in the world. Playing with language, finding just the right words, expressing an intangible feeling in a way that makes others say, “Of course!” all make the process of writing anything, not just poetry, deeply satisfying.
AWE: How do you balance reading and writing time?
Catherine: This is the trick, isn’t it?
We all know Jane Yolen’s classic advice: “keep [your] BIC (butt in chair),” but with a full-time job, it isn’t always that simple.
AWE: What can you say about Poetry Friday?
Catherine: Not enough! The poets and teachers who participate in Poetry Friday have to be the kindest, most supportive people on the planet! The encouragement I’ve received from many poets whose work I love and admire has driven me to stretch myself as a poet in ways I couldn’t have imagined five years ago. I can honestly say I would never have written half the poems I’ve written if not for Poetry Friday.
(These resources) have all inspired and encouraged me to try new forms and write about topics I wouldn’t have otherwise. Reading PF posts each week has filled in gaps in my knowledge of poems, poets, and poetic forms and techniques. And PF posts are full of inspiration! I always come away from my weekly reading with at least one idea for a new poem. I’m also thankful to Poetry Friday for bringing me together with my the newest members of my critique group.
AWE: Tell me about revision...
Catherine: Sometimes a fix is simple, like a subject-verb agreement error. Other times it may be more complicated, such as the rhythm being off. Thanks to two Highlights Foundation Workshops with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard, I’m very aware of using “and” and “the” very sparingly, so those are the next to go.
When I’m really stumped by an elusive word or rhythm, I run the troublesome line (or lines) through my head on my way to work or while I’m doing the dishes. More often than not, I’m able to figure out a solution. Of course, there are times when whole lines have to be cut, but I’ve always found it better to get all my ideas out, then cut and shape what I have. Sometimes when a poem isn’t working, finding a new form for the idea is the answer.
AWE: What’s next for you?
Catherine: I’ve been working on a project for a couple of years that I am determined to finish this year!
Thank you, Catherine Flynn, for being my first poet-to-poet interview. I so enjoy learning about how you approach poetry and where you go to for support.
If you have follow-up questions for Catherine, please add them to the comments section. I'll bet Catherine peeks in on A Word Edgewise at some point over the weekend. But, I'm also happy to send them on to her.
Happy Poetry Friday everyone!