Although I must admit to some disappointment in my craft workshop on The Lyric, I think I was able to glean some very helpful bits of information to apply to my future writing. We read through this eye-opening essay by poet Elisa Gabbert called "The Moves: Common Maneuvers in Contemporary Poetry" in The Monkey & the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics, which I know I will be returning to again. This essay calls out 21 common "moves" used in the practice of contemporary poetry, of which we are all guilty. But guilt is not the idea. These "moves" aren't wrong except when they're abused in the name of bad poems. The object of this exercise was to become self-aware. By being aware of your own use of Gabbert's "moves," you are better able to use them with intent and understanding rather than as props to mask a lack of substance.
But the best bits of the Conference were the truly lovely people I met. During my first full day, I became friends with a small group who became like my Conference family: Bryanna Tidmarsh, Eileen Kinch, and Owen Grey, along with my good friend (and boss) Jehanne Dubrow. I am sad that it may be a year until I see them again. I certainly hope it is not.
|Me, Eileen, Bryanna, and Owen at the Picnic on our last day|