Squaw Valley Poetry Workshop - Day 3

I am going to let you in on a little secret: I am done with the poem for tomorrow! Yay! I found some quiet time this afternoon while Jahanara reportedly pranced around the village with her father and godmother. The poem is done, and once again, it was not what I was expecting.

This morning during workshop, I read the poem I wrote last night titled Jahanara, Age 2, Squaw Valley, June 2014. The workshop staff poet was Matthew Zapruder, whose style of leading the discussion was awesome. I was so amazed by a comment he made about my poem - I am going to paraphrase now, but he said, "This poet has a great understanding of language." I think my grin has never been wider. A lot of good and helpful things were said and I had the pleasure to hear 12 other poets read their work, including Matthew. An amazing thing happens when so many people are writing and forming a community over an extended period of time - there is inevitably a degree of resonance, for instance, one other poet and I used the word "salve" in our poems today.

In the afternoon, there was a craft talk by C.D. Wright. She took questions at the end and in response to one of them said, "Accessibility is not a high priority in poetry," a statement I have wrestled with all evening.

Tomorrow's poem is titled Cooked Until Golden Brown.

Just want to send off a quick thank you to my tribe - the people who have read my poems and given me input before each workshop - Afia, Sana, Hera, and of course, Rebecca.

I should mention that I have been exceptionally happy here - the kind of happiness that shows on my face when I am having an ordinary conversation with my sister via FaceTime. The kind of happiness that sends me into moments of extreme gratitude and reflection during which I remind myself how lucky I am. I feel full with this happiness. I am in the mountains with my family and in the company of poets. The weather is lovely, nippy at night and sunny during the day. I am here to write a poem every day. Doesn't it sound a little miraculous? This is the kind of happiness that makes me contract inward and pray, offer thanks.

Also, I made daal chawal in our studio tonight. It was yummy. 

I think I will finally get a good night's rest. Until tomorrow.

Photos by Rebecca McCue