I attended Poets-at-Work for ten years, every Saturday, come rain, snow, sleet or hail (as the post office says) and even if we’d had snow, sleet or hail I still would have been there! So many Saturdays, so many memories, it’s difficult to choose for this little story.
Do I write about the indelible friendships I made inside those orange walls? Should I talk about how I’ve learned to look at my own work objectively and will often hear my comrades’ voices in my head as I revise my work at home? Maybe I’ll confide how I’ve kept years of poems – even ones that have been published in my three collections — with my fellow workshopper’s notes so I might reminisce, remember comments they’ve made that still help with new poems – my favorite one being, “What would it be like if you took out the last line!!”
Even though I no longer attend WAW I can still feel each person’s presence, and know that although I’m not there, they still care about my work. Every Saturday morning from 10-noon, I knew I was bringing my brand new poem to a group of writers who were committed to helping the poem be its best; they were there for me, as I was for them. I loved how we knew one another through our work – our words. Nothing can compare to that particular experience of closeness.