My first poetry group meeting went very well this morning! I almost didn’t go because I was afraid of having to speak up and give feedback, but I forced myself to go because I had written something and wanted to hear what people had said. Then it hit me- the others are probably like me, and want to hear feedback as well, so I might as well go.
I was right! Most of my favorite people from my poetry class last semester were there- only five of us in total. Only a couple I remembered were big talkers, but yeah, the others were people who didn’t talk a ton, like me. However, in this new environment, we all got to shine. The pressure of speaking up in class for points was gone.
It took place downtown in kind of a dumpy-looking place that turned out to be the Poetry Center. I expected it to be in the middle of some booming area, when in reality it was part of a fenced-off building that honestly looked like a front. Skeptical, I followed the signs and walked upstairs. It was a wooden old thing that shared its hall with another business, and the paint was flaky. I went upstairs to the room. The walls were literally covered in posters for local plays, paper and wood poetry awards, newspaper clippings of reviews, and pictures of the poet laureate with various people. It was beautiful in a cluttered way, full of scratched chairs, smelling like local history. My classmates/new friends were there, and I instantly was relieved. I wish I could live in that room!
My piece was received extremely well, and I think I’m finally finding my style! I have dreams of publishing a book of poems, even if it’s just a small one-time thing. I look forward to future meetings with our little reading group. :)