Poetry is Not Intimidating

On July 13th and 20th, I am facilitating a poetry workshop in Winneconne, WI. Its sponsored by the Museum of Writing Instruments and they have this interesting idea of combining poetry with calligraphy.

The person in charge emailed me this:

A few people at the calligraphy session were wondering if you’ll give them a subject so all can create an interesting collage or what should they know before-hand?? If the collage is the case, would they all work together on a poem? What can I tell them so they aren’t afraid to try it?

Typing up my response gave me some thoughts on the subject of writing poetry. I thought I would share my ideas and hope people will give me some input on them. So please let me know your thoughts.

Here is my response:


I was planning on letting them choose their subject, but I want them to not be nervous. This is my idea:

Let’s all write about our favorite places from our childhood. Before the session, we should think about it, maybe do a free write and describe the place using all five senses. We should include how we felt and why it was important to us. I will also allow a few minutes to do this. 

Then we will create poems about them in our session. I will go step by step.

I think this way, people will want to at least picture their favorite place. We will enjoy sharing ours and hearing from others.

My mantra will be there is no bad poetry. Just poetry that isn’t finished yet. I still go back and edit poems I have had published.

My PS to this is that the act of conveying a message in a beautiful way is poetry. What you have is a poem. But why not make it a great poem? In this act you are exploring and savoring the world and yourself.

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