Hi everyone, my name is Kristen, one of the new fall interns for 2015. I was forwarded an internship opportunity with the Poetry Project by a professor I had taken the semester previously. My now graduated self though, “hmm it would look good on my graduate school resume.” After meeting with the director of the program and assistant director I found something a little more than added fluff to my resume. As I drove home I began to wonder what these workshops meant to the community. Sure, it is a place to improve your writing and even learn a few things about authors, but what else does the Poetry Project have to offer? Well, not only can you learn how to write, you learn about yourself. Poetry is subjective, you may read a poem and have a completely different emotional response than the person next to you.
I started Binghamton University as a psychology major. I detested the program, not because of the professors or the students, but because I had no idea I was actually pretty creative. When I transferred into the English program (I had no idea what other major to choose) I decided a creative writing course would be the “easiest,” course to pass. Instead, I found something more- myself. Now that sounds cliché, but my first professor made me keep a journal. My first thought was “I need to track my every movement, really?” My first entry was “I had a salad for lunch, and I hate journals.” The following week was hell, I wrote every single thing that went wrong down, and suddenly felt relieved. That same week I handed her my journal and she handed it back and said “turn them into poems,” may I add I looked at her like she was insane (how could I write a poem about a flat tire and spilling coffee on myself). What I found upon reflection of this journal was that my life was actually poetry worthy: my mother’s illness, the pressure I felt to succeed and the lack of happiness I actually portrayed every day.
When you sit down and write whatever words are lingering on your lips, you are documenting your very state of emotion. Poetry is like creating a diary. You may be thinking, “Well not everyone can write poetry, it isn’t that easy.” My friends! It is! Sit down, let whatever is weighing on your brain seep through your fingertips. What you will discover is that, you are in fact creative enough to put whatever is on your mind into a stanza that will flow into something beautiful. Learning the mechanics of writing will happen after, just put it on paper.
If you are thinking that poetry, or any writing for that matter isn’t for you, I can assure you that it is. There is a writer in everyone. Write what you know, see and feel, and you too will be given the gift that poetry has to offer. What has poetry given you?