Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Poetic Past (and Present)

Something not too many people know about me is that my publication history began with poetry. As a teenager, I saw my poems published not only in my high school's literary magazine, but also in journals I found--yes, that's right--in Writer's Market. (Clearly my odd passion for literary market research started early!)

But I didn't sense that poetry was where my future rested. I loved prose. I wanted to write prose. I was writing prose. Poetry receded, except in the college classes where I read (and wrote academic essays [prose!] about) Blake and Baudelaire.

As an MFA student I read a lot more poetry (and met a few very talented practicing poets). I still didn't think poetry was my "thing," but after awhile I started to wonder. A bit.

And now, occupied all day with my full-time university office job, maintaining a semblance of a freelance life with a few article and review assignments and waiting for a couple of accepted stories to appear in print (or online), I am turning to poetry. I am trying to shake things up, especially where my fiction writing is concerned (to say that new work has plateaued is to be too kind to myself). I am trying to learn some new skills that I may apply elsewhere.

I am taking a poetry class. Online. My first homework assignment is due by July 17.

So I am trying to benefit from the structure and inspiration of a class and from the skills and expertise of the instructor who is leading us. I am trying, still, to grow as a writer.

Even if, in a way, I'm going back twenty-something years, all the way to my bylines' beginnings.

Wish me luck.

4 comments:

Ellen "EJ" Sackett, said...

Hi Erika,

I'm glad to have stumbled upon your blog and Web site. You've got a phenomenal amount of useful information here. Thank you for putting this together. I find your observations interesting as well as informative. Good luck with the poetry class. All best ~ ej

Erika Dreifus said...

Thanks so much for your comment, EJ, and for the good wishes for the class!

Suzanne said...

Hi Erika,

Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying your journey as a writer. I love to write poetry, but it's something I just do every once in a while. I took a couple of classes years ago, learned alot, and really enjoyed them.

Wishing you much joy with the poetry class.

~Suzanne

Erika Dreifus said...

Thank you so much, Suzanne. I appreciate that!