Blog 10: Editing Workshop

Today, my twenty-fourth birthday, poetry life continues as normal. Re-reading Sean O Brien’s November for only the second time. I’m starting to enjoy his pieces more this time around. The mushroom poem is still my favourite. Anyway, that workshop is tomorrow! Today’s workshop was an editing one, really interesting evening. I tried out one of my rhyming poems, which I wrote borrowing some of W. H Auden’s rhyming scheme. Everytime I go to an editing workshop I’m reminded of Anna Leahy and Stephanie Vanderslice’s article discussing the benefits of a creative writing culture, in particular Anna Leahy says:

Students in a workshop learn from writing, which is usually done in isolation, but they also learn from interactions over time, whether that’s brainstorming ideas, receiving feedback from the instructor and peers, or offering critiques. In fact, my students comment that they learn how to revise from responding to others’ work even more than from direct feedback they receive. This process leads each student toward distinguishing her voice.

Despite my poems really benefiting from feedback from other poets, the most enjoyable part is definitely having the chance to investigate my response to others’ poetry in depth and get immediate feedback on my reading of their poem, especially seeing how other readers respond to the same piece. In this way I do get a sense of my own voice, in my reaction to a fresh poem, this can be a really enlightening part of the editing workshop.

Also, in certain conditions I find editing workshops trigger new poems, which is always exciting. This sometimes happens at poetry events also, I find myself beginning poems during a poetry reading, as if there is something infectious about being around poetry.

This workshop I began to note down some thoughts about the creation of a poem, here is a short piece celebrating poetic form:


Pressed my thoughts into the poem’s form

It dried in rhymes

a flower caught between the damp pages

of a dictionary.


Free verse celebrating form! Of course. Happy Doughnut Day to everyone. Have a doughnut on me.



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