In March of 2014, Lynn G. Carlson of Cheyenne and Susan Vittitow Mark (also of Cheyenne) launched the Writing Wyoming, blog. (Susan is WyoPoets’ Webmaster.) Lynn attended our April workshop in Casper. My impression was that we were thrilled to have her husband, Mike, and her attend and become one of our fold. What follows shows that she approved of us, too. We are glad that Lynn has offered insights into how she came to poetry and her personal experience with the dried vegetation of the highway.
It’s been eight years since I dived into creative writing. It’s only been a year and a half since I worked up the courage to write a poem. I’ve always thought of poetry as the perfume of the writing genres, and I’m more of a toilet water kind of a gal. I was intimidated by poetry.
I took a poetry and creative nonfiction class at Laramie County Community College (with poet/professor Kristin Abraham). The class lured me in by the creative nonfiction part of it—a genre with which I’m pretty comfortable. Frankly, I was just hoping not to make a fool of myself in the poetry part of the class. What I discovered is that writing poetry is all about language and imagery, and I love both. With Kristin’s writing prompts leading the way, plenty of poems popped out, much to my relief and delight.
Not long after I finished the LCCC class, an image squirmed into my head and announced that it belonged in a poem. That poem grew and became “Generosities” which received an honorable mention in the free verse category in the recent Wyoming Writers, Inc. contest. If I stay open and flexible, the words that arrive let me know to which genre they belong. I’m thrilled to have added poetry to the list of options.
Mike, my husband, and I joined WyoPoets this spring and attended Echo Klaproth’s workshop in Casper. We found the folks there to be warm and welcoming. Incredible poetry floated around the room, too—so inspiring!
I don’t call myself a poet, fiction writer, or memoirist. I’m not much into labels. I like to think of myself as a person with a writing life. I am grateful beyond measure to have it.
Here, WyoPoets asks its members to summarize their writing lives, poetry backgrounds and inspirations. We hope that if you are not a member you will think about joining. If you are a member, this is a chance to learn how other WyoPoets’ members get their poetry onto paper. Submissions receive only minor edits. Each poet’s voice clearly shines through. If you would like to share your poetry experiences, email Myra L. Peak for details.