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,
Old man! I need from you
only a tardy slip.
I am late for poetry.
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.
Photo by Jim Sneddon, Creative Commons license via Flickr. Post by Will Willingham.
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Maureen Doallas says
michelle ortega says
I am excited for this! How do members “connect” on Wednesdays to share our responses, through personal blog posts? (This is the first time I am participating). Thank you for the info!
Will Willingham says
Would love to have you join us, Michelle. We’ll post here on Wednesdays on one section of the book, starting April 3 with Section 1.
You’re free to interact with others in the comments and/or post something to your own blog.
For those who post on their blogs, usually we’ve just had them drop their link in the comments, but perhaps we’ll work our way up to a Linky. 🙂
michelle ortega says
L.L. Barkat says
i am glad poetry found you 🙂
(and i love that old man poem; so fun to see part of it here again)
Elizabeth W. Marshall says
So excited about the book club. Another great idea from you guys. ( I would say ya’ll but thinly veiling my southernness just for you). 🙂 Really looking forward to doing this book with a group. Can’t wait for April.
Will Willingham says
Go ahead and say ya’ll, Elizabeth. I might let slip a “you’se guys” or “folks” to take the Southern heat off you. 🙂
Glad to know you’ll be joining us. I think we’ll have a great time.
Jen Rose says
I bought this book months ago but haven’t read it yet. good motivation! Looking forward to jumping in. 🙂
Debi Swim says
Just ordered the book. I’m looking forward to a month of being “poemcrazy”.
AJ Wagoner says
I’d love to join, unfortunately I cannot get the book at this present moment. :-/