Updated: Aug 18
I sometimes hear fiction writers claim to be incapable of reading and reviewing poetry. The reverse happens occasionally, but never to the same extent. This begs the obvious question - why? What is it about poetry?
There are many misconceptions about writing in verse:
It has to rhyme
Each line must begin with a capital letter
It must be grammatically correct
I'm delighted to inform you that none of these things is true.
Poetry is about description and visualization and the texture of language. You've probably been writing it unknowingly.
I had the great honor of serving as the HWA's scholarship coordinator for 2023. Recently, I received news that the Dark Poetry selection committee was not selecting a winner this year due to an insufficient number of applicants. This leads me to the first point I want to make:
Funds are available to support the development of poets.
The second point is this:
Poetry mechanics can assist in writing vivid, gripping, tantalizing scenes in your fiction.
Why are so few people taking advantage of the multitude of opportunities out there given the rewards that can be reaped?
I think it's a combination of not knowing about them and being intimidated by them. As someone who writes both poetry and prose fiction, I hope to be a small part in changing that.
So let me declare right here and now that YOU ARE A POET.
Now, next steps.
Why not explore one of these great virtual opportunities? While some of these workshops focus specifically on poetry, others focus on speculative fiction writing technique, which can strengthen your verse game too!
And should you need monies to support your poetic development, may I kindly suggest that you investigate scholarship opportunities through the HWA in 2024? Those are always accessible here.
Consider this the cross-functional training you never knew you needed. And post your own recommendations below!