A Literary Weekend

Katie Gilbert poetry

It’s been a crazy week after a pretty rough month in October. Still, this morning I’m feeling content - as if everything has finally settled down.

I spent my weekend doing some of my favorite things. Starting with Wordstock!

Wordstock 2017

I woke up early, grabbed coffee and breakfast on the road, and miraculously found free parking in Downtown Portland. Showing up early definitely helped because, unlike other years at this event, I avoided almost all the lines.

First, I heard John Freeman, Erika L. Sanchez, Javier Zamora, and Mathew Zapruda give a talk that was titled,’Border Crossing. Poetry and Place.’ All four were eloquent and read some beautiful writing. Yet, what I loved most were their discussions on form in poetry. Javier, especially, gave some great advice. He said that the form has to be honest. It has to be what your poem calls for.

The second poetry talk that day mentioned form as well. One of the women remarked that form gives her a template to work within. It helps her structure her thoughts. Another mentioned that form also helps her turn down the volume on her extreme feelings when writing.

All are great points I’m considering while continuing to work on my own collection. I’d love to take a deep dive into form. Right now, I focus on free verse poems and let enjambments and rhythm rule the shape of my poems. It would be great to see what accepted forms could do for some of my future poems this month.

Speaking of which, today is a big day for me. I woke up after a wonderful night out to a some good news. A poem I wrote back in August was published in Buck Off Magazine!

Buck Off Magazine Volume 8

This is my first published poem and it means a lot to me. I can’t believe I finally have a piece of my writing out there in the world.

After a summer of beginning work on this collection and taking courses to gain confidence as a writer, I’m finally feeling confident enough to call myself “a poet.”

There are some truly amazing works in this volume. I read the whole thing this morning over a cup of coffee in bed and was floored by some of these writers. Definitely check it out and let me know in the comments what you think!