Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What's next

As last year wound down, I wrote about the poets and people who continued to inspire me.

This year, I owe a big thank you to Sam Green, whom I met and heard speak at this year’s LitFuse workshop in Tieton, Washington.

Sam’s poetry speaks for itself. I’ve been reading The Necessity of Grace during the past month, appreciating deeply the precise language and the strong awareness of and connection to the world around him.

And it’s how he chose that world, why he chose it, that inspires me now. Sam told a story about how someone told him that if he wanted to write the kind of poems that he wanted to write, he should live the life that would allow him to write those poems.

For Sam and his wife, that meant moving to an island and building a log home and planting an orchard and setting up a printing press and living very simply.

I don’t know what it means for me. But I keep reminding myself and asking myself what kind of poems I want to write—and what kind of life, what changes in my life—I need to make to write those poems.

I haven’t gotten very far yet—I don’t have any answers, certainly none that I can articulate. But in this case, it really is the journey—the path of inquiry—that’s important, and I look forward to continuing it in 2009.

Thank you, Sam!

1 comment:

~ said...

Hi Joannie,

Thanks for this. Sam inspires me as well. I had only known him from afar and this year at Skagit, I met him for the first time. He said he was reading my book and knew who I was. I was amazed by this. He is completely immersed in poetry and in Washington state poets and I am so impressed with this and his dedication to poetry.

His classes are terrific and I'm glad he's our first poet laureate.

Happy 2009 to you! And thank you for all your openness and words of poetry on your blog. You're always a treat to read!