Writers can find inspiration in any season, but isn’t there something special about spring? Just like the little purple crocus we found yesterday at Whaletail, which was pushing its way out of a nest of dead leaves, I am feeling a new burst of energy in my writing.
I’m also inspired by the words of others. Dan Gerber, a poet I discovered on Rattle, recently said: “I write poems because it’s my way of paying attention to the life of the worlds in and around me.”
And what better time to pay attention to the world around you than in spring? Particularly the natural world, which provides an endless source of inspiration for poets. And on this note, I just learned that my poem, “A Widow on Chester Street,” earned first place in the Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award Contest sponsored by the N.C. Poetry Society and that recognizes poems of any form, any style, on the theme of American heritage, brotherhood/sisterhood, or nature. The contest this year was judged by the poet Lola Haskins. My poem will be published in the May 2016 edition of Pinesong.
I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my friend, muse, and fellow poet, Mary Barnard, who painstakingly advised me throughout the writing and pushed me gently every step of the way. I’m also grateful to my writing group, which continues to provide continuous support, be it encouragement to submit…submit…submit (thank you Michele!), the occasional writerly field trip, and a sounding board for the good, the bad, and the ugly phases of my own work.
This little network would not have been possible without the foundation provided by the Central Carolina Community College’s Creative Writing Program. Through this unique program, I’ve taken many classes and made countless new friends.And our program is doing some exciting things these days. This spring I’m indulging myself with two treats—a six-week short story class titled “Where Stories Come From” taught by the celebrated writing teacher and author Ruth Moose, and this Saturday I’ll be taking a one-day workshop (with my beloved) on haiku and Japanese water color taught by master poet Tom Dow. Art and poetry—what could be better?