I rejoined my old writing group this week, after an absence of a year due to being over committed time-wise. It was so good to be back with old friends, sharing our home-written poems and prose, in a gentle and supportive setting. We take turns to facilitate the group, which has been going for many years- it was founded by Larry Butler and Kay Carmichael and we used to meet in Kay’s kitchen in Bank Street.
This group has helped me to find my voice, with much encouragement from the others. We usually bring a copy for everyone, read it aloud then the author stays quiet while the rest of the group are talking about it. We follow a format asking : what it is about; then what we find striking about each piece; then ways we may change it if it was our poem; the author responds to comments at the end.
We spend time writing on a prompt from whoever is leading that week. Someone also prepares a new writer to bring to introduce to the group. Tonight we heard about William Stafford, and I was inspired by his journalling for many many years of his life.I recommend his poems to everyone.
Some time when the river is ice ask me
what mistakes I made …