I, as far as I knew, did not have a poetic bone in my body, although I always loved reading the stuff. Dimly, in a well-buried brain cell, I remember writing a nativity poem, in quatrains, many quatrains, for my parents. There was a drawing on the card, too. I cannot draw. But that was long, long ago and definitely far, far away.
In 1992, a miracle happened in the shape of the poet Jack [James, if you are Googling him] Penha, who arrived to teach English lit and Creative Writing, in my department. He was, and is, an internationally published writer. I was a brand new teacher not at all sure how one analysed a poem, never mind taught it. I asked whether I could attend his poetry writing semester in the hopes that if I knew what went into writing a poem, I would be able to analyse a poem. I was right.
Bonus: I discovered I had an ability to write poetry. I have been in thrall ever since. When I reached the point that I had only enough energy for one, teaching or writing, my husband said: “Okay. How about you retire from teaching.”. I suspect he had heart palpitations, as he said it.
So… I have reached that blissful stage referred to as retirement. I am now, as my mother warned me I would be, busier than I was teaching English lit in High School for twenty years.
We live in Atlanta, Georgia, where my husband teaches and I write and submit poetry and dream of chapbooks. I also keep this blog, Wordgathering, where I post poem drafts, a weekly prompt, the occasional announcements, and a weekly round-up of prompts from the cyberworld. I can be found here at my blog, on Facebook, and, not so much, on Twitter [when I remember it’s there].