When I followed a whim and signed up for an Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) workshop a decade ago, something akin to a personal miracle happened. After twenty-five years of using literary, technical, and marketing writing as a means to achieving academic and professional advancement, I rediscovered creative writing, something I had loved as a child but forgotten in my push to enter the adult world.
Once the gates were open, torrents of expression gushed forth in all genres as I wrote in my weekly writing groups. For ten years now, I have ventured with my fellow writers over and over into uncharted creative terrain, making discoveries and sharing surprises as we go. It has been a joyful, inspiring journey, and I have often been astonished at the words that have ended up on my pages.
The poems in this collection represent my attempts to understand deeper truths than I am able to perceive when distracted by the bustle of daily life. With its distilled, condensed language, poetry helps me awaken to greater awareness, clarify what’s most important, and crystalize moments of wisdom and healing. The subject matter varies, but all of my poems are profoundly personal reflections of my struggles and insights, as well as my awe and wonder at the world around me.
Pat Schneider, founder of the AWA method, and author of How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice, puts it succinctly:
Writing . . . is where we humans most make our own minds visible to ourselves and others. There, on the faint lines of our pages, we can take down our masks…. In writing, we see, sometimes with fear and trembling, who we have been, who we really are, and . . . who we might become.(p. 99)
Over the years, poetry has allowed me to explore and express my idiosyncratic understanding of who I have been, who I am presently, and who I hope to someday become. The poems in this book are the fruits of that ongoing creative adventure.