Friday, July 17, 2020

Wee-Source: 'Floating' a Poetry Across the World Idea

This week's Poetry Friday is being hosted by Jan at Bookseedstudio. She has invited us to engage with the theme "Float".









Last week I shared Wee-Sources about writing in community. Thank you to the weaders who shared their writing resources as well!

This week I float the idea of a Wee-Source of writing in a KIND community.

















I got an email this week that has made me 'float' inside...

Over the last few years I've made four 10 Steps to Writing...Poetry Videos. (see the side bar here →)

In these videos I walk viewers through a 10 Step process for writing a particular poetry form. At the end of each video I invite viewers to send me their poems. Occasionally I hear from budding poets, usually kids, sharing their poems. It is always a delight.

This week I heard from R.B. (a complete stranger) who shared his limerick after watching my 10 Steps to Writing Limericks.

Based on the subject matter of his limerick, I'm guessing R.B. is an adult:





















 R.B. indicates that this is his 2nd Limerick, but I have no recollection or record of receiving his first. Either way, R.B.'s random email made my week!

The other part of R.B.'s sharing that makes me so happy is that he is on a journey with poetry. His limerick is not perfect, but he tried a new form and shared it with another person, me!

I, too, am on a journey with my writing. And as I have shared, writing in community is always better than writing alone. Receiving R.B.'s email got me thinking about writing groups. A few years ago I was in search of a community in the form of a poetry critique group. I was invited (or I asked - I can't remember which) to join an online poetry critique group made up of "a supportive community of people who write verse for children" (their words).

Upon reading their introductory email I thought to myself, "This will be so great! I've found MY people!"








After outlining the general membership participation requirements, I was asked to complete TEN (🚩!) questions about my education/publication/dedication to children's poetry, including samples.

But as I did so, I thought to myself, "This will be so great! I've found MY people!"







 
I was then told that my application would be reviewed by the "Membership Committee". (Really? A membership committee for a supportive community of people who write verse for children? Ok.)

After a month, I got an email saying, "I'm sorry to report you didn't make it in."







 
Upon reading my rejection, I thought to myself, "This is so not great. I feel terrible. But, I will keep writing and looking for MY people..."







 

A year or so later, I got another email from this group saying that a slot had opened and I could apply again.

I thought to myself, "This still might be great. I might have found MY people...maybe?"

Cautiously optimistic, I again completed the TEN (🚩!) questions and included my sample poetry so, again, they could be reviewed by the "Membership Committee".

A month later, I again got an email saying, "I'm sorry to report you didn't make it in." AGAIN!







 

Upon reading my SECOND rejection from this group - with no clear indication of WHY I was not good enough - I thought to myself, "I SUCK! I want to quit writing poetry for children! I want to quit writing poetry for anybody! I want to quit writing!"











 Mind you this group is not part of a publication or an educational institution. They are a critique group. An exclusive critique group that employs a nameless/faceless "Membership Committee" to deem writers (me!) not good enough with zero feedback to as to WHY my answers/poetry samples didn't make the cut.

I never want anyone to feel how this group made me feel.

Eventually I dried my eyes, took a deep breath, and continued to write.









And since that time I am happy to report that I have published my poetry - lots of times! I've gone on to have success without this group.









But I'd like to have success WITH a group.
A DIFFERENT group.
A KIND group.
An INCLUSIVE group.
A group for ANYONE on their writing journey, from any location, with any experience.  
I want to lift other writers up and root for their success while they do the same for me.

That is why I am 'floating' the creation of a
Poetry Across the World Critique Group.
There is no membership committee, just kind and welcoming participants who want to give and get feedback on their poetry.


















And by critique I mean read and respond using the OREO method* to other's poetry. It is a minimum once a month commitment to submit one poem and write a response to one poem via email. If you'd like to write and respond to more in any given month, you will be able to. But at a minimum, it is 1 for 1, once a month. No judgement. No mean comments. Just a global cheerleading squad for you and your poetry writing.

*the OREO method:
 Chocolate wafer: tell poet something you really like about their poem - what's unique? which image or word(s)/phrase(s) work well? 
Stuff in middle: tell poet something to improve in their poem - what doesn't make sense? suggestion of something to leave out or add in? Said KINDLY.
Chocolate wafer: tell poet something else positive about their poem - what else will encourage and empower the poet to move forward and improve?

If you are interested in joining and/or want more information, please email me at
bridget(at)bridgetmagee(dot)com by 31 August. I will coordinate the participants, distribute the email list and get the ball rolling for a September start.

Will you walk through the door of community and opportunity to join me? I hope so!
Smidgey hopes so too...












Today's poem is a reworked version of a poem I shared a few years ago about sowing the seeds of love:
Seeds sown

among poets,

soon-to-be poets,

and poetry friends

are cultivated in 
honesty,
love,

and kindness

allowing skills,
confidence,
and a poetry community

to flourish

and blossom
across the world.
©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Bridget, I am so sorry you had that experience...twice! Yuck. I'm not able to join your PAWC Group, but it sounds lovely. Here's to growing poems and friendships.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. :)

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  2. Bridget, your experience with that group is horrible! Your poetry group sounds amazing. I’m interested in learning more about it. I’ll email you. Thank you.

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    1. Yay! I'm excited to have you, Amy! I look forward to your email. We'll get things going in September... :)

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  3. Bridget, I am totally feeling the hug of this post. Yes, a community of writers is vital. We all help each other get better. What an amazing offer you make.

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    1. Thanks, Linda for showing your support every week in our PF community. :)

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  4. Bridget, when groups become exclusive instead of inclusive, then there is bound to be negativity involved. It is so unfortunate that this has happened to you but look at where this experience has brought you. Kudos to you for your generosity in creating a new community of collegial writers. I would love to join but the move has been juggling too many balls. Maybe, I can circle back after I am settled in Virginia.

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    1. Thank you, Carol for your kindness. And good luck with all that you have going on. If you would like to join our PAWC group after the dust settles with your move, you are more than welcome.

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  5. Bridget, you were probably better off not joining that group. It doesn't sound supportive at all. Keep writing, you are amazing!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! You are amazingly kind. I appreciate your supportive words. :)

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  6. Bridget, I, too, am disheartened by selection committees and the pretentions we sometimes find in the writing world... go YOU for creating an inclusive, inspiring space for striving writers. So glad you didn't let those rejections stop you from proceeding down the path. xo

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    1. Thanks, Irene! Yes, every set back can be a catalyst for a step forward. I appreciate you and your contribution to the writing world. :)

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  7. What a drag your experience was, Bridget! I love that you turned it into something good. I'll give your group a go :-)

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    1. Yay! Thank you, Tabatha! It will be awesome to have you join the fun. We'll get things going in September. :)

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  8. Hi Bridget, I admire how you've turned this experience around, Kudos to you. And I'd like to try your inclusive poetry group too!

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    1. Yippee! That's wonderful news, Michelle! You made my heart happy. :)

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  9. Bridget, your experience reminds me of a conversation I had yesterday with a friend about her daughter's experience with "rushing" a sorority and being declined twice. Ugh. How great that you've turned that experience into something positive! I'd love to participate!

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    1. Yay! So glad you are going to join the international party. I'll get info out toward the end of August. Thank you, Molly!

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  10. Go Bridget! I know that your group will be a great place for all poets who join you in this endeavor. Perhaps some day I will be inspired toward poetry again and join you.

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    1. I hope that day is sooner than later, Loretta! You are welcome to join the global good time whenever you are ready. :)

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