SOL16: Poetry Camp


It’s Tuesday and time for a slice.  I am grateful for Two Writing Teachers who provide space for us to share each week.

Where to start?  Thanks to Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell, Sylvia Tag, and Nancy Johnson for making Poetry Camp possible.  It was such an amazing experience.  I am not sure it can be duplicated as much as I want it to happen again.

The drive up from Portland with Suz Blackaby  flew by without any traffic issues  through Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle. We arrived on time to pick up Cynthia Grady and Liz Steinglass at SEATAC Airport.  Our timing was perfection.

We found a local brewpub  close to the airport for a dinner stop.  By the time we finished dinner and hopped on I-5, evening traffic was a memory. The lights of Seattle soon were in the rear view mirror.  Close to ten, we arrived in Bellingham.  Thanks to Suz, she guided us to the hotel, which after five hours of driving, I needed a navigator.

Our schedule began early on Friday and continued until Saturday evening.  How to feel special by being greeting by WWU students who had a s’more gauntlet for entering the meeting room.

And there I was in the company of  poet friends from online Robyn Hood Black, Irene Latham, Nancy Bo Flood, and April Halprin Wayland (whom I actually met with my family three years ago) along with new friends.

I wished Friday could have been two days.  If I am being honest, I wish Poetry Camp could have been three or four days.  So. Much. Information. Here’s a glimpse at ten things I brought home:

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    Have you been to WWU?  It’s a gorgeous campus.  And they have this amazing library with an emphasis on children’s poetry.
  2. 20161001_140722
    This quote by physicist Adam Frank.  It reminded me of how I use poetry at school with student research projects.
  3.  Time to talk about poetry devices such as assonance, similes, and meter.  Somewhat geeky stuff but we could have spent an entire day on the discussion.
  4. Julia Larios had us playing with a concept called olipo Her session could have been an entire day.  We tried  univocalic,  meaning to write using just the same vowel with all the words.  I am still playing with mine.
  5. Learning the phrase artisan publishing for self publishing or calling it boutique publishing.  Both Janet Wong and JoAnn Early Macken provided excellence information about this topic.
  6.  Friday night, we were all invited to Robyn Hood Black’s Poetry Maker-space at the local book store.She provided materials and walked us through an exercise to create a found poem.

    I wish I would have made the dabbing of ink darker as my chosen words don’t stand out.  This is a process that I could get lost in.  And guess who purchased books at the Friends of the Library sale this past Sunday for more playing.

  7. 20161001_085805
    Meeting members of the CYBILS Poetry Committee.  L. to R. Joy Acey, Nancy Bo Flood, moi, and Sylvia Vardell (Don’t you love Sylvia’s dress?)
  8. 20161001_140402
    Hearing different poets read their poems.  This is Eric Ode.
  9.  Meeting Violet Nesdoly and Ramona.  Both are participants in the Poetry Friday posts. Ramona and I swapped poems one time thanks to  Tabatha Yeatts.
  10. 20161001_204953
    Watching Jack Pretluskty, first Poet Laureate for Children’s Poetry perform and then receive a Poetry Camp award.  So fantastic as he rarely performs anymore.

And course, there was the session with Nikki Grimes, Jeannine Atkins, and Stephanie Hemphill on Verse Novels…another session that could have been a whole day.  Jeannine confirmed what I realized was needed in my own manuscript, the importance of three characters who help to build tension.

Plus I had a blast presenting with Greg Pincus and JoAnn Early Macken on blogging.

I could go on but will leave it here.  I know that I will think, “oh why didn’t I write about this.”

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9 Responses to SOL16: Poetry Camp

  1. Pingback: Found Poetry Makerspace Recap! |

  2. Thank you for the terrific recap, Jone – and I warned you the found poetry/mixed media thing might be addictive… ;0) It was SO great to finally meet you in person. XO

  3. Aw, thanks for the mention. It was pretty special for me to meet Poetry Fridayers like you too Jone. I agree, that this special day will be hard to duplicate.

  4. lindabaie says:

    I have loved every single post from Poetry Camp, Jone, including yours – maybe the last? It does sounds as if it could have been three or four days. I hope you’ll share with our group all about the verse novel session-would be helpful! Thanks for this!

  5. So fun to read the recaps of this joyful weekend. I love how your ten things keep expanding! And ss I expect you know, we regretted all we did not have time to cover in the verse novel workshop, so I’m happy to know one idea was just the one you needed. Three is magical, and slightly unbalanced; it can create tension and wonder about who or what is beyond and not included. Rhyme has its place (I love Janet and Sylvia”s quote from Mem Fox that “rhymers are readers”) but I’m drawn to haiku, cinquains, triplets … Good luck!

  6. maryannreilly says:

    Sounds like such a stimulating and fun camp.

  7. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski says:

    Sounds so incredible!! Thanks for sharing. Wonder if they do an east coast version?

  8. Good grief, was I the only one who didn’t make it there? Sounds like so much fun…I’m glad it went well, and I hope Janet & Sylvia plan to do another!

  9. Fran Haley says:

    I would so love to facilitate -or attend! – a poetry camp! What fun!

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