June 6, 2007

Lawrence Ferlinghetti on Poetry Workshops

This is from Poets & Writers magazine, March-April 2007, from an (insipid) interview by Julia Older (who seemed more interested in showing off her vapid background).

Q: "...what do you think of workshops?"

Ferlinghetti: "... So the poetry workshop serves a wonderful purpose for lost souls trying to find themselves in poetry. But if you're in a big city, you don't need it. I think it's better for poets to stay away from poetry workshops..."

Q: "And do you think a poet can learn a lot just by reading poetry?"

Ferlinghetti: "Yes, it's much better just to read it. And then I think -- can you imagine Keats or Shelley going to a poetry workshop?"

Unfortunately, poets who go to workshops but don't go to poetry readings won't be reading this Blog -- maybe those of you who do both can help spread the word.

5 comments:

Tim Verhaegen said...

You are so funny Dan. Might I have inspired this post? I think great things happen at poetry workshops. I think terrible things happen at poetry workshops. Last night was wonderful. 25 readers!!! I can't wait to hear your take on all the readers, especially the feature.

Anonymous said...

Dan - I must confess to being a workshop junkie - and I'll tell you why. When I began writing poetry, which was not too many years ago, I hadn't a clue what I was doing. I began to rely on the ear of others to tell me what was wrong with the poem. Then I began reading poems, and then of course the MFA course work - all of that really helped me to establish a voice. But I still rely on the goodness of others to catch those nasty little mistakes that we all make, and some of mine have been doozies. I also rely on them to tell me when something seems authentic or false, when there's a shift in tone, when there are grammatical errors, etc. It's selfish of me - but these are my editors; I intend (and do) send out most of my work, so I don't want to embarrass myself. So, that's my defense.
Mimi

Dan Wilcox said...

"Beware of advice. Even this."
-- John Steinbeck

Sallow Siserary said...

Synaptical nictations, stranger.
I notice you cover a lot of art events as well as poetry in your blog. I was just wondering if you make art as well, and if so, have you ever combined the two to create an event? Or would that sully the integrity of the pieces?

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