I'm headed off to the Dodge Poetry Festival tomorrow for a four day intensive immersion into the world of words. The last Dodge, 2 years ago, was also my first. I had been hesitant to go. I was someone who dabbled in poetry. I thought I would be out of place among published writers and MFA students; that everywhere I went, people would point their fingers and say 'wannabe'.
I took the plunge and went, not knowing where I was going or what it would be like. And I'm not a spontaneous kind of gal.
What I experienced was a kind of homecoming. I walked around the straw-strewn mud (it had been raining for days!) for three days, awestruck by the comraderie of poets from far flung places.
I met one lovely poet who I had only 'known' from an internet poetry board we both frequented. We immediately recognized one another as friends. I met another fellow poet who shared both my love of words and my love of baseball. We have corresponded over the past two years and I hope to meet up with him this year.
Attending Dodge in '04 turned out to be a watershed event in my life. I went there seeing myself as someone who wrote poetry in the margins of her life. I came home a poet and writer. In the past two years, I have looked at writing as a craft to be practiced, polished, honed. I have approached it as a discipline, making time to write nearly every day. In the past 2 years, I have completed 2 novels and started a 3rd one.
A poetry friend made me a lovely pendant (she is also a collage artist). One side reads 'Once in a Blue Muse'; the other side 'poet'.
If you are at the Dodge, look for me. I'll be the one wearing the 'poet' badge.