Coming in to GWN this afternoon I am very optimistic for this poetry workshop, just like I was last year. This poetry workshop is all about narrative writing, which is great since most of my writing is narrative to begin with.
I walk in with my mentor Kate by my side, and she’s ready to take on the day with me. We’re there on time so we get a seat nice and close near the front (right where I can see the speaker up close!) and go over our packets while we wait for everything to get started. In the background, I hear a lot of chitter-chatter from the other mentees and mentors and I can see all the excitement flowing through the room. I remember that today is also when the new mentor-mentee matches will be made, and my excitement shoots through the roof along with everyone else’s.
I notice a table and some candles in the front, and before I’m even able to question it, GWN Program Coordinator Anusha and GWN Intern Monica pop out of the shadows and make their way to the front. They’re ever-so-stylish in their fortuneteller gear, and the silver bells just put the icing on the cake! I find myself thinking I love this even more than last year’s match announcements (or maybe it’s just the rhyming and props!). Anusha tells the matching mentees and mentors to stand up so they can see who their match is. Each time a pair is announced, I can’t help but smile: last year, I did the same thing and it was even more exciting then.
Soon after the names have been called, everyone scatters to finally meet up and talk with their new mentor/mentee and the noise level increases along with the activity. I chit-chat with my mentor while we wait for the main event: the craft talk author. Camille Rankine is amazing: she reads some of her poetry, and tells us what it means to be a poet and the struggles she’s faced with poetry as a main career. It’s great to hear from a confident, published poet about her experiences and I can’t wait to get to writing for myself!
Camille wraps up, and we pull away and write our narrative poems. We get into groups and select a random prompt we get from a box full of our own ideas from earlier in the workshop. Our prompt is about a girl who is buried alive but is trying to break free. In my version, she’s actually crazy and in an asylum, imagining what had happened to her, but everyone else has a different interpretation – it’s amazing how many different directions you can go in with just a few words! I had so much fun at the Narrative Poetry workshop. GWN never fails to surprise us with the new activities and twists they have each year.