The following is adapted from my essay in my application to become Oshkosh’s Poet Laureate
Poetry is perhaps the most accessible forms of creative writing. Any writer benefits by at least dabbling in poetry. It teaches us to write succinctly and with images. It creates communication that is more than a sum of its parts.
From the high school kid writing rap lyrics to the husband trying to express his feelings, to the mother inspiring her daughter, poetry is important to so many people. I would like to share the message that everyone should write a poem. A common message, but I also think we should encourage people to take a second look at their poem. True poetry begins in taking away words and rearranging the remaining ones.
I believe poetry does not need to be shared. But a special connection is made when it is. Especially when it is spoken aloud.
I have shared some of my poetry. But I also shared some poems from residents of Oshkosh that passed away, but had an impact on me. Carl Schulz, Dorothy Maxwell, and Paul Christy. They only shared their poems with family and friends, but they inspired people. They never published a chapbook, but their role as a poet was an important influence on those around them.