Tag Archives: pawleys island

O, Miami Chapbook Workshop 2017

31 Oct

Spread over 8 weeks in the months of Sept. and Oct., the O, Miami “Write and Publish Your Own Chapbook” workshop explored the chapbook in all it’s forms, gave participants a chance to generate poetry with thoughtful prompts and readings, and time together to workshop poems in preparation for publication.

Literally, the moment I found out about the O, Miami Chapbook Workshop, I signed up. I have been thinking about publishing a chapbook for a long time now. I have several groups of poems that I have already written, and ideas for poems that I could write, to potentially include in several different chapbooks. This workshop helped me dedicate time and commit to making one chapbook a reality. That in itself was priceless.

Our instructor, Caroline Cabrera, did an outstanding job of leading us down a path to learning and understanding what our chapbooks could be- one major facet of our workshop was that by the end of the 8 weeks we were going to have a 12-page chapbook, printed and bound, all of our very own.

The workshop gave us the opportunity to not just generate new work, but also workshop our poems with the other poets in the group. We each workshopped three poems, one every other week. Discussions were lead by Caroline, who was an excellent moderator and helped guide us as we discussed each poem. Thankfully, we really gelled as a group and learned a lot from each other. All of this unleashed a wave of creativity and inspiration that I think we all felt – every night after class I got back home and wanted to write and read poetry all night long, my brain firing in all kinds of creative directions.

Another excellent aspect of the workshop was the ability to focus on one idea or theme in our poetry, and begin to carry that through to a finished product.¬†Beginning with the first week of the workshop, Caroline brought her personal collection of chapbooks to share with us by lending them out. Seeing how different poets approach this medium is fascinating and liberating. A chapbook is a world unto itself- a journey into the mind of each poet. I wish I had more time to read more of them ūüôā But my takeaway was that I could envision my chapbook as it’s own little world, and that has translated into a laser-like focus that I am still learning from.

There truly is nothing like holding a book of your own words in your hands. Our finished products were designed by Phil, Caroline’s husband, who took great care and creativity in laying out the covers and pages. It’s one thing to run copies of your own poetry off of your printer, but it’s a totally different experience to see them laid out, looking book-professional and official. Thank you, Phil!

Since our chapbooks are part of a series put out by O, Miami they are similar in design, but we were encouraged to embellish them in any way we want to. From seeing Caroline’s collection of chapbooks, I knew that I wanted a little color and some more tactile elements, so I included some end papers and a ribbon bookmark in mine. In several of my poems I use the phrase green-gold, so my end papers are gold vellum, and my ribbon bookmark is thin green satin. I think they look beautiful!

This workshop was one of the best experiences in my entire life. It jump-started my chapbook, which eventually is going to grow into a book-length collection of poems. That is so exciting to me!

plein air ecstatic poetry

Creek Lover – my 12 page chapbook of plein air ecstatic poetry.

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Summer Love

9 Aug

They met in the summer,
on the south end of Pawleys Island
where the waves slap high-fives
and the north wind runs free.
And on one star-filled night,
while the moon shone bright,
the green marsh fell deeply
in love with the blue sea.

You could feel it everywhere,
their love was swirling in the air.
She loved his blue intensity,
he loved her green positivity.
It was right as the tides,
so it came as no surprise,
when the dashing blue groom,
took the luminous green bride.

For the great wedding feast
came the turtles, from the east
and other privileged guests,
including the egrets from the west.
The mullets came from up north,
a procession of pelicans from down south,
and the blue creek crabs
just popped in, unannounced.

“I will love you when it storms,
and when its sunny, I will rejoice.”
“I will provide a place for you,
I will listen for your voice.”
“And whether the tides are high or low,
no matter how the wind blows,
we will ride it all together
so our precious love grows.”

As long as time will be,
every year on Pawleys,
all shall celebrate the day
the green marsh
married the blue sea.
Because Forever, the blue sea
will run his gentle fingers through her hair.
Forever, the green marsh
will whisper sweet nothings in his ear.
And when only sand and shells remain,
the air will still smell like champagne.

Weddings

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