Join us for our new book club, poemcrazy, beginning April 3
There’s a story that goes around about how, on a night when I had planned to spin lines at a Twitter Poetry Party, I instead drove through myriad winding country roads tracking an elderly gentleman who had bounced off the side of an eighteen-wheeler on a blustery winter day in central Minnesota. As the rural legend has it, upon realizing the manhunt would delay my return, I called out from an open car window in impatience,
Not having read nearly enough poetry by that time (just a year ago), I didn’t know that a poet who was soon to become a favorite had written
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when…
Pablo Neruda’s words about poetry’s search for a soul have never felt more apt to me. As much as I may have been late for poetry, it has seemed to me that the abstraction of poetry in some way animated itself long enough to find me, though I don’t know where it came from, or how, or when. And when it arrived it animated me in turn.
These lines from Neruda open Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s poemcrazy: freeing your life with words and spread the backdrop for this delightful book about playing with words. Wooldridge shares stories and poems and exercises that will permit you to play and see how the words might open you. In the introduction, she writes that
It’s impossible to teach anyone to write a poem. But we can set up circumstances in which poems are likely to happen. We can create a field in and around us that’s fertile territory for poems. Playing with words, we can get to the place where poems come from. We can write and make discoveries about who we are and who we might become whether or not we truly commit ourselves to becoming poets.
April is National Poetry Month. We believe in the power of words and the power of play, and we believe both can help people become who they really are. All throughout National Poetry Month, we’ll be passing out tickets to help you play with words, starting with our new book club on poemcrazy. We will read the book together, and share our thoughts, stories, and poems on Wednesdays during the month, beginning on April 3, with Section 1: Following Words. Rumor has it that Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge may even stop by some of our discussions.
So, listen. Poetry has arrived at the station in search of you. Don’t be late. Make sure you have your ticket, and get on board the poemcrazy train with us.
Order your copy of poemcrazy.