Karen Call from Tucson, Arizona, tells us about her poetry journey.
Some months I only write one poem. It’s the poem I send in an envelope to four other poets; it’s our round robin. If you know a few other poets, I can’t think of a better motivator to keep writing poems than a round robin by snail mail.
I go through periods when I write a poem a day. When we travel I don’t write as much. When we are home, I go for a walk and then write. I have a calendar of inspirational quotes that I’ve had for twenty years. I write about the day’s quote, what I saw on my walk, or what I see out my window or what’s on my mind.
I don’t always write a poem; sometimes it’s an essay. I start my pieces in longhand in ink on yellow, lined pads, writing straight across the page. I leave empty lines between my words for changes. When I think I’ve got something, I take my messy sheets to the computer and type the lines. That helps me see if I have a poem nugget or an essay. If I do have a poem nugget, I work with the words, condense them, and look for better ones. I leave it for a day or two, coming back to improve it and create line breaks.
I’ve had poems published in chapbooks and in on-line magazines. One editor said my poem was exactly what she wanted. Joy!
I belong to the Wyoming and Arizona Poetry Societies and attend workshops. I buy books of poems and the craft of writing poetry, and I use the library. I read poems alone and aloud with my husband. Poems read aloud take on new meaning.
We like poems because there is so much in so few words.
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.