Poetry Workshops and Writing Groups–guest blog post by Terez Peipins

terezAs a poet, you are probably looking for support, suggestions, and some advice about getting your work published. When you decide you’re ready to share your work and join a writing group, keep a few points in mind. Poets can be a sensitive lot so try to put that aside as much as possible and be open to suggestions. In other words, develop a thick skin and don’t take everything to heart. The mere fact of having a reader to look at your work can be a godsend. At other times it can lead you astray. Criticism can be hard to evaluate whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, so think over every suggestion other poets make carefully. You are the creator of the work and the final judge.

I was lucky. The first poetry group I joined was run by two San Francisco poets who had moved to Spain. I was terrified to share my work and that was one of the reasons I never chose the route of academic creative writing. On top of that, I had been involved in a relationship with a writer who was very critical of everything I wrote. So to actually join a group took a lot of courage.

There was only one other woman in the workshop; she restored medieval manuscripts and was a gentle soul. Every session started with a relaxing glass of wine and ended with some prompts for more writing. The two poets who ran the workshop were full of praise and long comments on my poems which was exactly what I needed. That gave me confidence and their suggestions helped me get my first chapbook published. The only problem came at the end of the workshop. One of the poets said my style of poetry was not in favor and it would be hard to publish. Thankfully, I didn’t listen; in fact I protested. One of my objectives was to get my work out to the public. If I had taken that advice, I might never have been published. Believing in yourself and your work is the lesson I learned.

Next, I tried an online writing group since I was still living abroad. This was definitely a mixed bag. I had some good suggestions particularly from one participant who was the one I turned to for any suggestions. There is usually a kindred soul in any group.

What stuck in my mind from my short-lived time in the workshop was a line in a poem I wrote in a poem called “Mediterranean”. In that line I wrote about the freedom to die by being trampled by a bull. Well, that led to protests and readers saying how offended they were by the allusion to bullfighting and how they couldn’t possibly read further. The reaction shocked me. I didn’t let them censor my work, nor should you. A writer has freedom, albeit within reason. In retrospect, I feel a certain pride that something I wrote could generate such passion.

These days, I am involved in yet another poetry workshop. It’s funny how the word has become a verb and yes, that is what happens. Poems are work shopped, line by line. Obviously, the positive aspect of getting good feedback outweighs the negatives or I wouldn’t continue. After each meeting I go over the suggestions I’ve received and find many of them helpful to fine tune my writing.

One of the negatives of writing groups in poetry there are often members who don’t understand what a poem is. It is obviously far more than a collection of words and though I may struggle coming up with a definition, most of us can recognize a poem immediately. I have found many writers of prose who think they are writing poems when in fact, the work resembles a flash fiction piece more than a poem. That isn’t an issue unless this writer gives you suggestions to pad out you poem with more words and explanations. This has happened to me more than once. I don’t want my poem to be indecipherable yet I don’t want to lose any magic of sound or rhythm it might possess. Watch out for feedback that wants more and more explanations. You don’t want your poem to be converted into something else.

My final advice is to listen to critiques, but the final decision is always yours. Polish it and write the best you can while keeping the integrity of your poem.


Do you have something say about poetry? An essay on being a poet, tips for poets, or poetry you love? TrishHopkinson.com is now accepting pitches for guest blog posts. 

Contact me here if you are interested! 

102316-peipinsThe poetry, fiction, and essays of Terez Peipins have appeared in publications both in the United States and abroad including Anak Sastra, Barcelona Ink, The Barcelona Review, The Buffalo News, Conte, The Kentucky Review, Melusine, and Pedestal, among many others. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry. Her novel, The Shadow of Silver Birch is published by Black Rose Writing.  She won the 2016 Natasha Trethewey Prize in poetry from the Atlanta Writers Club.


FREE Poetry contest, $100+ in prizes, and interview–The Fitzgerald Museum, DEADLINE: Nov. 11, 2016

fitgeraldcontestThis poetry contest is sponsored by 501c3 nonprofit The Fitzgerald Museum, which operates out of the last extant house the Fitzgeralds lived in as a family during their lives.

Before he became a famous novelist, before he met the intrepid Zelda Sayre, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a poetic lyricist writing for Princeton University’s Triangle Club. It was his failure to get his poems published in magazines that led him to give up writing poetry and turn to novels.

To mark Fitzgerald’s humble beginnings in poetry, the Museum hosts an annual Poetry Contest. CASH PRIZES in the $100s of dollars are awarded to the top three poems in the following categories: High School, College, and Other. Specific prize amounts are yet to be determined.

I wondered how and why this poetry contest came to be, so I asked museum director Will Thompson a few questions to find out. See my interview with Thompson and a link to their contest guidelines below.

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about The Fitzgerald Museum.

THOMPSON: The Fitzgerald Museum operates out of the last extant house the Fitzgeralds lived in as a family during their lives. Construction of the home was completed c. 1910, and the Fitzgeralds lived here from the fall of 1931 through the spring of 1932. In the late ’30s, the home was divided into a boarding house, and remained such until 1986 when it was saved from demolition by local residents Julian and Leslie McPhillips.

There is no other place in the world a lay person can visit to learn of Scott and Zelda’s legacy. Julian McPhillips, a Princeton graduate, co-founded the Museum on the grounds that, though Scott and Zelda never bought a home nor settled down, they deserved one.
Twenty-nine years later, the Museum is an attraction loved and cherished by both tourists the world over, and our local community. The Jazz Age lives on between our walls, as does the Great Depression that followed.

HOPKINSON: How/why did this poetry contest come to be?

THOMPSON: The Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Contest began in 2013 when one of our most ardent volunteers (who asks to remain anonymous), brought the idea to me in hopes that the contest would compliment our annual Short Story Contest. The volunteer had seen books in our research library that contained the poems of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and she subsequently learned that Fitzgerald’s first passion was poetry. Being an accomplished poet, the volunteer offered to put up substantial cash prizes for the contest–all that was left after that was to draw up the guidelines.

HOPKINSON: What type of poems are you looking for; is there a theme?

THOMPSON: The guidelines stipulate that submissions must capture “any aspect of Scott and Zelda’s lives, works, passions, ambitions, desires, failures, etc.” Basically, when you’re dealing with Scott and Zelda, they had their artistic fingers in so many pies and their lives ran such an amazing gamut from high and mighty to meek and lowly that we felt we needed to just blow off the doors and say, “Here are Scott and Zelda, poets. Have at it.”

HOPKINSON: Who are some of your favorite poets?

THOMPSON: Personally, I’m a Romantic pastorlist when it comes to poetry. Yeats–especially his early stuff. I could eat Wordsworth from sun-up to sun-down. And I like the poetry of modern songwriters, arguably Romantics themselves, like Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, and Andrew Bird.

HOPKINSON: Where can poets send submissions?

THOMPSON: Poems must include the cover page posted on our website (http://www.thefitzgeraldmuseum.org/contests2.html), and must be received prior to 11:59 p.m. on November 11.

HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

THOMPSON: For more information about the contest, email thefitzgeraldmuseum@gmail.com.

F. Scott Fitzgerald courtesy of The Fitzgerald Museum

F. Scott Fitzgerald courtesy of The Fitzgerald Museum

Click here to read contest guidelines.

DEADLINE: November 11, 2016 


PRIZES: CASH PRIZES in the $100s of dollars are awarded to the top three poems in the following categories: High School, College, and Other. Specific prize amounts are yet to be determined.

NOTES: Subject matter must capture some aspect of Scott and Zelda’s lives, works, passions, ambitions, desires, failures. . .etc.

FORMS: poetry


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If I Was Your Nemesis, poem by Shloka Shankar (IF I Poetry and Prose Series)

If you read one thing today… this engaging poem by friend and fellow poet Shloka Shankar up on Silver Birch Press this month.

Silver Birch Press

magritteIf I Was Your Nemesis
by Shloka Shankar

If I was your nemesis,
you’d see me every day

in a cloud shaped
like your confession.

Or see my reflection
when you stand up straight

and preen before the mirror.
If I was your nemesis,

you would worship me
where the softness of your cheek

meets the cool side of a pillow;
robbing you of a good night’s sleep

as I pitch my tent
in your subconscious.

IMAGE:“The Future of Statues” by René Magritte (1937).

shloka-shankarABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Shloka Shankar
is a freelance writer from Bangalore, India. She loves experimenting with Japanese short forms of poetry, as well as found/remixed pieces. She enjoys singing and creating abstract art/mixed media in her free time. Her work has most recently appeared in Failed Haiku, Red Bird, NOON, Erstwhile, The Ham Free Press, and other publications. She is the founding editor of…

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NO FEE Submission call & interview–Lunch Ticket, DEADLINE: Oct 31, 2016

I really can’t say enough great things about the staff at Lunch Ticket. They are kind, responsive, and organized. They are a twice-yearly literary and art journal published by the MFA community of Antioch University of Los Angeles, a program that is devoted to the education of literary artists, community engagement, and the pursuit of social justice. They are currently seeking submissions of Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Flash Prose (any genre), Young Adult (13+), Literary Translation & Multi-Lingual Texts, and Visual Art (painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, performance, and video).

Click here to read my interview with Editor-in-Chief Arielle Silver.


Lunch Ticket submission guidelines.

DEADLINE: October 31, 2016



FORMS:  poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, flash prose (any genre), young adult (13+), literary translation & multi-lingual texts, and visual art (painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, performance, and video)

DUOTROPE: https://duotrope.com/listing/13810 (includes interview with the editors)




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17 FREE Poetry Contests (5 for high schoolers)–DEADLINES: Oct. 31, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2017


Below are the details for 17 free poetry contests in the order of the upcoming deadlines in October 2016 – January 2017. The contests are listed in order of deadline and in two sections: 1) open to most, 2) open to specific region, age, have a theme, etc. (including 5 contests for high schoolers).

Also listed are links to other sites who list creative writing contests on a regular basis.

FREE Contests open to most

Print Express Haiku Competition

DEADLINE: October 31, 2016


FORMS: Haiku

PRIZE: 100 pounds Amazon gift card and publication online

Jane Lumley Prize
DEADLINE: November 1, 2016


PRIZE: $300, publication, & Duotrope subscription

FORMS: poetry 

Scarborough Fair Creative Writing Contest
DEADLINE: November 30, 2016


FORMS: poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction

PRIZE: Prizes of C$150 will be awarded to the winner in each of the three genres (fiction and nonfiction short stories, poetry, and flash fiction). Fiction and nonfiction compete together within the short story genre.

FREE Contests open to specific region, age, themed, etc.

Eric Gregory Awards

DEADLINE: October 31, 2016


NOTES: Collection of poems, published or unpublished, by a poet under the age of 30. Must be a British subject by birth but not a national of Eire or any of the British Dominions or Colonies, and must ordinarily be resident in the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland

FORMS: Collection of poems

PRIZE: Total prize 20,000 pounds (average per poet has been 4,000 pounds, though exact amount not guaranteed)

Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: October 31, 2016


NOTES: Must be a Sophomore or Junior high school girl

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: Top prize of $200, publication in Cargoes (Hollins’ student literary magazine), as well as expenses paid to the summer creative writing program

Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Prizes in Nonfiction and Poetry

DEADLINE: November 1, 2016


NOTES: Theme of the experiences of being Muslim in America, do not have to identify as Muslim to enter

FORMS: nonfiction and poetry

PRIZE: Two $500 prizes will be awarded (one in each genre), and the two winners will be published in the Oakland Arts Review / 2nd Prize $300 (one in each genre) and possible publication in OAR

New York Encounter

DEADLINE: November 1, 2016


NOTES: Theme “Reality as Never Betrayed Me.”

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: $300, $200, and $100

The Vermont Writers’ Prize

DEADLINE: November 1, 2016


NOTES: Story, essay, or poem that celebrates the state of Vermont

FORMS: story, essay, or poem

PRIZE: $1,500

Neltje Blanchan/Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Awards

DEADLINE: November 14, 2016


NOTES: Wyoming residents only. The Neltje Blanchan Award is for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script that is informed by a relationship with the natural world. The Frank Nelson Doubleday Award is open-theme, but only women writers may enter.

FORMS: poems, fiction, nonfiction, essays, drama

PRIZE: $1,000 each for the Blanchan and Doubleday awards

Flo Gault Student Poetry Prize

DEADLINE: November 15, 2016


NOTES: Full-time Kentucky undergraduates only.

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: $500, broadside and online publication

Arts & Letters Awards

DEADLINE: November 15, 2016


NOTES: Residents of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador only.

FORMS: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, and French language

PRIZE: C$350 – C$1,000

Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students

DEADLINE: November 27, 2016


NOTES: Entrants must be high school juniors during the 2016-17 academic year

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: 1st Prize $500, 2nd Prize $250, 3rd Prize $100; winners published online

Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

DEADLINE: November 30, 2016


NOTES: Entrants must high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world.

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: Full scholarship to The Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop, an intensive two-week summer seminar for motivated writers aged 16-18

Lyric Magazine’s College Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: December 1, 2016


NOTES: Must be a college student in the US or Canada to enter

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: $500

The H.S. Poetry Prize

DEADLINE: December 1, 2016


NOTES: Must be a Sophomore or Junior high school girl in New England

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: $500

The Society of Classical Poets – 2017 Poetry Competition

DEADLINE: December 31, 2016


NOTES: “The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society, and at least one poem must be in the Issues of Our Age theme.” Read guidelines carefully. No age restrictions.

FORMS: poetry

PRIZE: First place $500, High School Prize: $100, Translation Prize: $100, Hudson Valley, New York Poetry Prize: $100

NFSPS 2016 College Undergraduate Poetry Competition

DEADLINE: Submit between December 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017


NOTES: “Undergraduates working toward a degree in an accredited U.S. college or university during the contest submission period are eligible to enter the CUP Competition.”

FORMS: 10 previously unpublished poems

PRIZE: $500, chapbook publication, 75 printed chapbooks, $300 traveling stipend

Other Contest List Links





NO FEE Submission call & editor interview–Into the Void, READING PERIOD: Oct. 25 – Dec. 25, 2016

Into the Void is an all-inclusive lit mag based in Dublin, Ireland and is “a nonprofit print and digital literary magazine dedicated to providing a platform for fantastic fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from all over the world.” They are committed to giving writers and artists of all experience levels an opportunity. The issues come in print or digital format, are affordably priced, and have gorgeous cover art. They open for submissions on October 25 and the deadline is December 25, 2016.


They are currently also running a poetry contest judged by Heath Brougher of Five 2 One Magazine. The contest has a reasonable entry fee of $3/poem and cash prizes of €150, €50, and €25 + publication. The deadline for the contest is November 30, 2016. Winners will be announced by December 21, 2016. (Gotta love a fast contest!)

I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Into the Void editor Philip Elliot a few questions to find out. See my interview with Elliot and a link to their submission guidelines below.

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Into the Void.

ELLIOT: Into the Void is a nonprofit print and digital literary magazine based in Dublin, Ireland dedicated to providing a platform for fantastic fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from all over the world. We accept work of all styles and strive to publish that which we feel is honest, heartfelt, and screaming to be seen. We adore beautiful and unique styles of writing but clarity is a must. We are committed to giving writers and artists of all experience levels an opportunity–it’s all about the work.

HOPKINSON: How/why was Into the Void originally started?

ELLIOT: I was travelling around Australia solo doing a lot of soul-searching when I made the decision to throw myself into this writing business headfirst and not come up for air until I had the base of a career built. I committed to pursuing my dream of a writing career and writing a novel and then, almost immediately, a literary magazine seemed like the perfect next step to take. I could read great writing every day and learn all the while; what’s not to like? On a deeper level, Into the Void was started because I know how much amazing writing and art exists in the world yet unseen, and, because art of all forms is my absolute favourite thing about this thing we call life, the ability to gather it together and put it on paper to get back out into the world framed inside and under the banner of a magazine is one of the most fulfilling thing I have ever or will ever do and continue to do. I also love the idea of building a community of writers and artists. I remember everyone who gets published in Into the Void, and a lot who don’t, and I like following their careers and seeing what they achieve. It’s so fun when I’m reading a lit mag and I come across a name I recognise. I’m like, ‘Oh, I know her! I read the story she submitted to Into the Void!’ That happens more often than you might think. Finally, I know what it’s like when one starts writing and yearns to receive that first acceptance letter but looks out at the sea of lit mags and feels overwhelmed, and Into the Void is very much a place for writers and artists of all levels. Experience is not necessary, only Passion, Truth, and a Voice of your own.

HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?

ELLIOT: Work that screams off the page, that grabs my head and drags me into the paragraph. Words that sway and dance, sentences that crouch and leap. Paintings that breathe, photographs that speak. Characters that aren’t characters at all but living people that threaten to ignore the writer and turn their heads and talk to me. Conflicts that hurt, dialogue that bristles with tension, funny misunderstandings, cathartic realisations. Settings that have a smell, food that has a taste, objects that I can feel in my hands, colours that light up my brain. Poems that kick me in the chest, short stories that slap me in the face, nonfiction that points at something and shouts, ‘Look at this!’ Most of all, work that means something to you.

HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?

ELLIOT: There’s so many and it grows every day so I’ll limit this to seven (in no particular order) just because of how weird it is to limit anything to seven.

1. The Moth. Probably my favourite magazine. This Irish mag is the first I ever bought and I largely based Into the Void on its design. This is an old-school, print-only mag and one of the best in the world.
2. Yellow Chair Review. Such nice people. Great poems. Super fast response times. Opportunities for all.
3. Subprimal Poetry Art. Accepted poets record themselves reciting their poem and original music is composed specifically for your poem to be played under your recital. That is amazing. Plus $20 per poem.
4. Sea Foam Mag. The little seahorse logo perhaps has something to do with this, but what a beautifully simple magazine. Great stuff in here.
5. Doll Hospital Journal. This is a really important one because it publishes work exclusively on an intersectional focus on mental health. It’s a judgement-free safe space.
6. Jellyfish Magazine. (I have a thing for marine themes.) This online poetry journal is really something.
7. concīs. Unique and truly exceptional short poems to be found here, with audio recitals. Plus, if you choose to give up your contributor payment to charity, the magazine will match the donation.

HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?

ELLIOT: Our Submittable, which you can find here along with our guidelines.

HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

ELLIOT: intothevoidmag@gmail.com or through our Facebook page.

Click here to read submission guidelines.

DEADLINE: December 25, 2016


PAYMENT: None – “We are unable to pay writers in cash at the present time because running a literary magazine is immensely difficult financially (help us out–buy an issue!), however, every contributor accepted for publication will receive a copy of the magazine in both print and digital. Contributors will also have the opportunity to be featured as part of our ‘Interviews with Our Contributors’ section. We are extremely loyal to our contributors and love building supportive relationships with them in their careers. We nominate our best contributors for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.”

FORMS: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, visual art

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The Nuts and Bolts of Poetry Readings–guest blog post by Margaret R. Sáraco

After working long hours on perfecting and publishing your poetry, you are invited to participate in a poetry reading. If you have never done one before you may be unsure how to proceed. This article is designed to bridge the gap between writing and reading your poetry aloud.


Living in New Jersey, I have the good fortune to participate in the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Foundation’s “Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain” workshop series for local teachers and attending many of their festivals. Whenever I read my poetry, I recall a message from the foundation: “Connecting with poems as an aural/oral art allows participants to re-experience the joy of being read aloud to, engage in meaningful conversations with like-minded colleagues, and re-discover how important personal connection is in experiencing poetry as a living art form.” http://www.dodgepoetry.org/schools/spring-fountain/.

Poetry is supposed to be read aloud.

Actor’s Advice

How do you create a poetry performance? Truly, an individual choice, but if you are seeking direction, the two main hints I can offer is to 1) know your audience, and 2) be prepared.

Before you choose your poems, have a conversation with the organizer about who will be attending the reading and do some homework on the background of the organization and the venue. Determine the purpose of the reading, as well. For instance, is this a fundraiser, community event, contest reading, etc. Now, imagine that you are the producer, director, stage manager, and performer. How will you design your reading? Are you going to alternate ballad and upbeat poems? Do you want to build to a crescendo and then conclude with quieter poems? Do you want to include humor or present a more somber reading? Have extra poems ready in case your reading is going faster than intended or the audience requests an encore.

Practice your reading in front of family or friends paying close attention to elocution and time, if there is a time limit. Ask for feedback. Poets often paint images with words. Leave the audience enough time to visual those images. Play around with the order of the poetry. It may be appropriate to read another poet’s poem during your reading. There are many reasons to read someone else’s poetry. For instance, if you wrote a response to a poem with a poem, you may want to share the original. Make sure you credit the author whose work you are reading.

Once you have chosen the order of poems, make notes on them to prepare yourself for tricky pronunciation passages or phrases. Sticky notes can be very handy. Mark poems to be read reading directly from one of your books or magazines. Alternately, you can have paper copies with enlarged type so you can read them more easily. Otherwise, jot down the list of poems on another sheet of paper so you don’t lose track of your order.

Decide in advance if you will memorize and recite rather than read your poetry. Some poets prefer to read some of their poems and recite others. Other poets include commentaries between poems, setting the audience up for the upcoming piece or helping them transition between poems. And yet other artists, do not make any side remarks. Any of these can be effective. What appeals to you?

The Day of the Reading

Familiarize yourself with the space before you read. If you are travelling out-of-town, arrive at the site early. Check the acoustics. Practice reading and do a sound check with the microphone if you are using one. Inquire whether it will be a body microphone or a hand-held. Check to see if there is enough light for you to read your poetry. Ask for adjustments before the reading begins.

Bring your published work to sell if you have it. Also, have a short bio handy in case someone needs to introduce you. Usually, you are asked ahead of time, but if you are not, be prepared!

Invite family and friends to your reading; a supportive audience is always calming.

Most people experience moments of panic, better known as stage fright. Maintaining a normal routine the day of the event is helpful. If you know how to do breathing and vocal exercises, do them. Bring a bottle of water with you to the reading in case you get dry mouth, a byproduct of nerves.

Clothing can be an issue. Wear something stylish which makes you feel good. If you are using a body mic, make sure any jewelry is not getting in the way.

When you are introduced, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. The audience is excited to hear your work.

Live and Recorded Poetry Readings

Go to poetry reading and poetry festivals. Seek them out. Just like live concerts and theater, the experience of live art forms is vastly different then recorded ones.

However, in lieu of live readings, I would suggest visiting YouTube where you can listen to and watch many past Dodge Poetry Festival readings that have been uploaded https://www.youtube.com/user/grdodge/videos. I have attended the following readings, some of which are available on YouTube.

I have been mesmerized by Kurtis Lamkin’s “Condoleeza” and “The Kwelia Birds” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJTM8K0MtNU. Saddened by Taha Muhammad Ali’s “Revenge” which he read in Arabic and then was re-read by Peter Cole, his American translator, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4fpjDUl1vk. Moved by Lucille Clifton’s concise and transitory poetry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHJz8lxYaSA. Delighted by Coleman Bark’s reading–well-known poet and Rumi translator–with the Paul Winter Consort.

Won’t you join this illustrious tradition?

Interest Piqued?

How do you find a place to read poetry? There are several ways to locate potential readings. Start with your town library, bookstores, adult schools, local colleges, cafes, etc. may have opportunities. Sign up for poetry workshops. Keep an eye out for fliers in town. Check out contests where participating in a public reading is a condition of winning. Sign up for open mic nights. Think about all the different types of communities you belong to and make an effort to find out about any literature readings. Get a group of poets or artists together and stage your own reading. The more people involved, the bigger the audience! Finally, the Internet and social media have been a good resource as well for many people. Search to your delight. Always do your homework and make sure that the reading is what feels right for you.

Remember, writers, write–poets read and listen to poetry.

Do you have something say about poetry? An essay on being a poet, tips for poets, or poetry you love? TrishHopkinson.com is now accepting pitches for guest blog posts. 

Contact me here if you are interested! 

101616-saraco-img_0150Margaret R. Sáraco’s poetry has appeared in “Shalom: The Jewish Peace Newsletter,” Free Verse Literary Magazine, Poet’s Online, anthologies Just Bite Me, Passing and Italians and the Arts. Featured readings include, “The Art and Poetry of Teaching,” “Welcome the Sabbath Bride with Poetry and Song,” “Poetry U: An Evening of Spoken Word,” and the JCC MetroWest Poetry Series. Margaret is also a math teacher and union activist in Montclair, New Jersey. Her poetry reading skills come from her work in theater, schooled in the art of oral presentation and theatrical performance, and twenty-one years in education. Also, she has presented at a variety of arts and education conferences. https://margaretsaraco.wordpress.com/