I returned Tuesday to part two of the Ekphrastic poetry event with Lansing Poet Laureate Dennis Hinrichsen. Being in a workshop brought back memories of my Pacific classes. Nothing beats the writing, reading, and responding with other people who share your passion for poems.
The truth is, I lost mine. I knew I used to be able to write, to respond, but at some time before my diagnosis, I lost my practice of writing and reading, and then I lost my faith, mostly in my abilities, but also in other people. Depression convinces me that no one cares about what I'm doing/making/thinking, and then I don't either. And thankfully (sarcasm here), Bipolar II let's me relive this over and over. And who doesn't love an epic struggle against the darkness?
It's hard to dig back out.
But the workshop reminded me that all poetry, even incomplete poetry, offers the important process of critical thinking. My brain ends up working differently than when I'm home doing the mundane. When listening to someone read, I begin making connections to poems I've written or read. Other poets verbiage or themes conjure personal memories. I begin problem solving for missing narrative or how to crystalize the imagery.
Hinrichsen is a really laid-back and approachable poet. He made me feel comfortable while asking me step outside my typical process (see my previous post). And the words I strung together surprised me.
You can find his latest collection Skin Music here.