I have done a few summit events by DIY MFA and also their 3-video course and reading challenge. Every single event has been so memorable, and DIY MFA is the go-to site I come back to for advice, resources and courses.
When I got an email announcing the poetry summit, I signed up straight away.
A big theme to start off each class is that of the “origin story,” or how you came to be interested in writing. I will include that specific origin story in another post, but for now here’s my poetry “origin story”.
When I was in the early years of Primary school (around the ages of 6 0r 7 and up for those of you who are not from the UK), I can remember that our usual teacher was away at one point and we had a substitute teacher called Mrs Wainwright. With her curly salt-and-pepper hair and kind, approachable manner, she soon became one of my favourite teachers.
She taught us poetry. I can remember feeling a lift inside my heart when it was reading time. I also recall that what I first enjoyed about the poetry genre was the rhythm of the words because, even though I didn’t understand all of them, it felt like music and was relaxing. I would try to look for the story in the words and was constantly curious as to what the poem was trying to say, and why the poet may have used specific words. I remember how the words of the poems would swim around in my head and intrigue me all day.
I decided to work on a poetry book for Camp NaNoWriMo some years ago because I wanted to represent myself in poetry, my life, my likes and dislikes as well as my feelings. At the time, I was part of Inked Voices online critique group and submitted some there. They did quite well there.
Since then, I have not gone back to poetry for lack of what to add to the project and also because of working on others, but now I have done the poetry summit by DIY MFA I am inspired to go back to my poetry as I have some topics I feel I could build a poem from.
The Poetry Summit included a video a day of around 45-50 minutes and there was one that was an hour long. I found this workload manageable compared to other summits.
There was a choice of what videos to sign up to during the signup process and as I love to learn and learn as much as possible, I signed up to them all. I was sent an email to say I was in and another with my schedule.
With other DIY MFA summits, I was able to view the videos directly via their website after signing up, but for this summit, I had to enter my email on the video page then check my email with the access link. The video then opened and loaded.
I have done another course with this layer of protection, but if you haven’t do not let this put you off. It’s a quick process, and nowadays with internet security going up, it is a good thing.
Once I was in, the fun could begin. Topics and speakers from the course were:
Reading, Writing and Building a Poetic Life by Kim Addonizio
Exploring Poetic Forms by Marilyn Singer
A Writer’s Journey. From Prose to Poetry by Kim Rogers
A Poet’s Eduction by Manuela Williams
A Deep Dive into Poetry by Danielle Mitchell
Imagery and Detail by Michael Torres
The Art of Teaching Poetry by Brendan Constantine
From Page to Stage by Marcus Omri
Can You Afford Not To? The Business of Writing Poetry by And I Thought Ladies
Building a Career as a Poet and Writer by Joseph Bruchac.
I thoroughly enjoyed them all. I loved Kim Addonizio’s enthusiasm, Marilyn Singer’s wit and Kim Rogers’ journey was fascinating. I gained a very good insight into Manuela Williams’ education as a poet and I identified with her love of libraries and books and still do. Danielle Mitchell’s deep dive was informative and she explained concepts well. I identified with her more difficult start because of the difficulties I experienced due to my physical disabilities.
Imagery and detail are something I love and include a lot in my writing projects so I identified with Michael Torres’ passion for this and gained an insight into the link between art forms (graffiti and poetry).
Brendan Constantine gave an interesting presentation class on teaching poetry.
From Page to Stage was insightful. I am a fan of books that reach the stage or cinema screen and have often wondered about the process so this showed me how to get there. This is what I would one day like for my books, for them to become a film or musical.
And I Thought Ladies were fun and realistic. I already do some of what they suggest as in use social media for sharing but was fascinated by the business side and indeed the clothing side.
Joseph Bruchac has a great story to tell and I enjoyed his and Kim Rogers’ mentions of indigenous culture within their lives and writing.
I would definitely recommend the Poetry Summit and liked it so much as it is a different approach to poetry, with author stories and anecdotes as well as a very good class from all the speakers.
Highly recommended whether you have experience with poetry or not.