Carol Deering has shared a poem and a summary of her extensive poetry background with us this month. Poets discuss the “audience”, and sometimes write with the audience in mind. More often we write with the words and subject at the forefront and hope that the audience will broaden. As you will see, Carol has had diverse audiences and settings for her poetry. Even those things that stimulate her writing (nature – past and present) must serve as her audience. If only we could be a silent stone in her path silently waiting for her words.
Writing or reading poetry slows me down and lets me see the beauty and grace in the twister, and the twister in the beauty and grace. I scribble feelings to find words and images that help me understand humanity.
Shortly before my husband and I moved to Wyoming I interviewed poet Richard Hugo, who had impressed me greatly the night before when he walked out on stage, stood beside the lectern, and recited “Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg” to a devoted audience. In the interview, he was warm and genuine, and I’ve carried that feeling ever since. I’m also eternally grateful to Naomi Shihab Nye for reviving my journal writing.
I’m a founding member of West Thumb Poets, six of us who live scattered across western Wyoming (including one who’s crossed the line into Montana) and who’ve been meeting tri-quarterly for a dozen years. We critique each others’ poems, and recently we’ve begun an annual poetry reading at Yellowstone’s Lake Hotel sunroom. I also belong to the newly formed Westword Writers in Riverton. Friendship with writers is invaluable.
The summer of 2012 the Wyoming Department of Education asked me to put together a reading of writers in my community (at the Central Wyoming College Sinks Canyon Center) for teachers of writing. Everyone remembers that night as magical. I felt so empowered that this will be my second April of pulling together a county series of writing, reading, and diversity events (at libraries, schools, and colleges) under the heading “One County/Many Voices.” It has been slow-going, but I believe each year it will grow.
I was a Wyoming Arts Council Literature Fellowship winner in poetry, and my former chapbook (now bulging into a book) was a contest finalist. I was selected by the Bear Lodge Writers for a quiet writer’s residency at Devils Tower. I’ve attended a great many workshops, and rarely have I come away without something of value.
I’m inspired by listening to music (tone, rhythm, flute, and tenor sax); the awe of nature (animals, plants, the moon, sounds, and scents); staring at paintings (expressionism, impressionism, post-impressionism, primitive, surreal, Brazilian); the West, so open (clear view of mountains) that it stimulates powerful images (fire, horses, and ancient civilization); and people (especially children) who are true to themselves. Lately, I’ve returned to photography, with its possibilities of focus and cropping; somehow that informs my writing.
I’m a free-verse poet who plays with rhythm and oddball rhymes. That makes me a free-verse rhythmical rhyming oddball.
Last night, and before, the wind
wrapped a ribbon around and
around our house, a noisy
process, rapping and wrapping.
Tonight it’s silent, and sleeping
is truly a gift. But, look!
Now he’s polished the sky
obsidian. If you could run
your finger around the horizon,
it would sing like a bowl.
originally published in Riversongs, September 2012.
4/1/2014 01:39:51 am
Carol's a true wordsmith, a poet extraordinaire! Even her interviews are poetic. She thinks, relates to, finds, and shares poetry with her whole being and in everything. What a delight she is; what a blessing she is!
4/2/2014 09:40:05 am
Echo, I must be a reflection of you! Thanks for everything!
Janet S. Meury
4/1/2014 09:05:44 am
Carol is one of my top favorite poets. Fortunately, she's also a close friend, so I continue to hope that some of her lithe and supple ways with words, along with her always surprising and delightful juxtapositions, will eventually rub off on my own poetry.
4/2/2014 09:44:04 am
Dear Janet, our long-running friendship has sustained and thrilled me so much! Thank you for being you and for writing "surprising and delightful" poems yourself. You are a treasure!
4/2/2014 12:54:29 am
A beautiful, well-constructed poem of subtle sounds.
4/2/2014 09:45:22 am
Thanks, Bill, for your "beautiful, well-constructed" comment! :)
4/3/2014 12:38:50 am
Carol, how wonderful to read your poetry and feel nature in this way..proud to be your friend!
4/4/2014 12:09:15 am
Hi, Patti (can't seem to pull away from childhood names!). Thanks so much for your comment! All our yesterdays keep rolling over into today ~ and I'm extremely proud to be YOUR friend. Cheers!
5/18/2014 05:59:31 am
Succinct, and beautiful. The Wyoming wind should blush!
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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.