January 24, 2007

Regarding Poetry Groups

I'm looking for a serious poetry group.

Poetry groups, with a critical edge, are hard to do, hard to organize, hard to lead. A fiction group is easier, as fiction is easier to consume. Everyone, on some level, gets fiction. Poetry, not so much.

Sometimes, even short pieces require a lot of explaining, and making group discussion hard. The best ones I was in, during college, passed out the next week's work the previous week. Then, readers read, think, make notes -- but this requires smart poets who are diligent, and not just whipping off easy thoughts, if it is to be beneficial. The disciplined poet takes his craft akin to diamond cutting, and works accordingly.

What I do not want/need are a bunch of poets who never submit their work, are doing it to 'express' themselves, and will pat me on the back and tell me I'm a good boy. I've been through those.

I don't want to talk about poetry. I want to do poetry.

Some are glorified support groups for wannabe poets, but some are serious about literary theory, and will be confident to look at another member's poetry critically, able to say (and receive) comments that might say "Line one, beginning, "Hickory dickory dock" misses the meter found in the last line..." or "The symbols are fuzzy, and contradict each other.." etc., as well as compliments.

Although poetry can be as serious as can be, even humorous poetry uses sensible structures, forms and styles to get the point across.

I don't want a college-age group, of a bunch of smart, but "look at me, I'm a poet" types... I want some seasoned people who are publishing, not newbies, even newbies with potential. The college kids will come around, and many may already be better at this than myself. However, a bit older crowd would make me more comfortable.

Finding a good fit personality-wise as well is important. After all, not everyone can handle Brockeim in his fullest.

No comments: