Posted by: jeannineatkins | April 24, 2010

A Morning of Poetry

The Whately Cultural Council and our Friends of the Library sponsored a Poetry Workshop with Lesléa Newman this morning, and I can’t think of a better way to have spent a Saturday morning. A dozen people came from here and there: one mother and daughter, but most of us strangers to each other, at least for those first ten minutes. One woman wrote folding her pages in half: maybe to orientate herself toward thinking within the narrowed margins of a poem. The man beside me wrote short poems in a small notebook. Another man had a gorgeous big journal that looked bound in antique leather.

Lesléa, the author of Write from the Heart and dozens of other books, read a few poems or gave us poems to read, and these words from Pablo Neruda, Dennis Haseley, Joan Larkin and others served as gentle guides, reminders of great language, as we dove into our unconscious using Lesléa’s prompts. We read if we chose, and people had astute things to say. I was reminded of how much writing can happen in a short time as Lesléa instructed us to begin and keep writing in short dashes. Nothing I wrote was wonderful, but why would it be? It was clear to me though that I’d uncovered a few important seeds. It was clear I could go on and write more through the afternoon.

Here’s a picture of Carla Jean, whose typewriter-on-fire tattoo we admired, me, and Lesléa before we shoved back the tables pressed together and went back to our days, feeling richer than when we’d begun. I just stopped to take the picture of the bluets and moss on the slope before the library. Now I’m on the porch. Thinking about timing myself and going for more ten minute spurts I can tear apart and peer into at leisure. Workshops like this are fun for the company as well as reminders it can be good to shake up your habits now and then.

Thank you!



  1. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!
    –The bluets are so lovely right now, and they’re in blossom here as well.

  2. Lovely post. Sounds like a good time — you look so happy! I don’t think I’ve ever seen bluets before. SO pretty.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful morning. I love the bluets. We don’t have them here in the Deep South. They are beautiful.

  4. It was lovely as rep of our Friends of the Library to have somewhere I “had to be” and have such a wonderful time!
    Glad you are enjoying spring!

  5. It makes me smile just to see those pale patches among the green. I didn’t realize this was a northern clime thing, so I promise a blue-et close up tomorrow!

  6. Thank you for stopping by and checking out the bluets! I didn’t know they didn’t like too hot weather, so you inspired me to post a close up — tomorrow, hopefully!

  7. It sounds like a wonderful workshop!

  8. Hi, Lorraine. I hope things are going well and you can get back to doing more writing in the summer.

  9. Oh, I’m here quietly writing along…just too busy to post these days. But there’s always an extra cup of tea here for you!

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