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.