Monday, March 15, 2010

A Devoted Community of Writers

by Cathy Gibbons

Jennifer Pashley asked me to write about my experience at the Downtown’s Writer's Center. First, I’d like to say, "Thank you DWC PRO!"

I started the DWC PRO poetry program in the fall of 2008 not knowing quite what expect. I applied to the program because I wanted to be challenged to learn more about writing in ways that would push my work forward. It was a surprise to find a place in my hometown that was affordable, offered classes with highly educated and diverse writers and was not too complicated to weave into my busy schedule of work and family responsibilities. All of those things proved to be true.

What I also found is a devoted community of fellow writers, as well as experienced writer/teachers willing to give their knowledge and time to us. Working with the same group of poets throughout the program in critique and craft classes is especially appreciated. It is a delight to have an informed and trusted group of readers familiar with each other’s work.

At the risk of sounding a little hokey, I’ve had a lot of fun at the DWC. The mix of personalities has created spirited and intersting conversations. That’s my kind of fun. I’ve been challenged to think more deeply and to peel back the layers to find what is true in my poems – and I’ve learned new (to me) approaches and techniques to help me get there.

We are working now on our manuscripts, the crowning project of the 2-year program. It isn’t easy but I’m further along in the process than I might have been on my own. I’m looking forward to seeing what my classmates have put together. We are so different but we’ve been through it together and their poems will be like old friends

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