Two nights ago, our local library offered a program on "found poetry". A poem is formed by the taking the words of others (properly cited) from articles, books, or any other source you choose (one suggestion was fortune cookies) and composing a poem. It was a form I was not familiar with and decided to attend.
This program was for teens, although adults were also welcome. I'm afraid it was not well-attended, as the local teens usually interested in writing were busy with other commitments. I know that the two program leaders were disappointed, but in the end, the five of us that were there had a great time "finding" poetry in the materials that were provided for us. We had a lot of personal interaction and the experience spurred me on to continue the form at home.
Recently, I spent an overnight visit at Malabar Farms (home of Louis Bromfield) with three other writers and we spent several pleasant hours reading our poems to each other, listening to suggestions, and just talking about the local lit scene (and the world) in general. This was not a formal writers group-just some friends visiting another friend who had a reading in the area. Yet, once again, I took home some invaluable advice and insight into my work and poetry in general.
It doesn't take going to a major conference, or even joining a writers group-although these are both worthwhile endeavors-to get inspiration for your poetry. Sometimes it is where you least expect it, in the one-on-one contact with others of like mind, just sharing what they know, what they hear in your poetry, and what truths they have "found" in their own.
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