Nearly two years ago I began working on my MFA in poetry at the low residency program at Antioch Los Angeles. Every semester has an additional project. This semester is the 25 page critical paper. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to improve my own poems by delving into the issue of mystery and obscurity.
So I’ve been working on this, both from a research perspective but also from a craft view. How do we maintain both clarity and ambiguity? Are there specific exercises that help? I admit I love a how-to program. 13 Weeks to a 10K? You bet! How to Raise the Perfect Dog? Yes, I need to do that! That’s what I hoped to do with mystery in poetry. Write a Great Poem in 21 Steps? I’m not quite there but I do have some ideas.
I have gathered some poems that I think represent mystery at its best. I have also accumulated a number of amazing writing exercises developed by other poets. These exercises explore writing from the subconscious as well as writing with strong imagery and metaphor. I want to share these and also discuss how specific poetic techniques can strengthen a poem.
Are you a poet? Join me Sunday April 7, at Fireside Books in Palmer to help unravel the mystery of what makes a poem magical. What brings us back time and time again to a well-loved poem? I want to hear your ideas on what makes a poem magical. Bring a favorite poem or writing exercise. Or both. What could be better than a Sunday afternoon writing and talking about poetry? Register today! (Be sure to scroll down for the Palmer workshop).
LeMay was born in and moved to Buffalo, New York ’s Alaska where she has lived since 1978. Her poetry has been published online and in a
number of literary journals including Passager, Bluestem, Pilgrimage, Lummox,
and Sugar Mule. She is currently an MFA candidate at Matanuska Valley , Antioch University . Los