Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Read More Poetry, Starting with Sandra Beasley's New Book!

I’ve been thinking about poetry quite a bit lately, in awe of what poets do. (It certainly helped that I was recently at the Converse low-res MFA 10-day residency in South Carolina where I heard MANY amazing poets read their work, including faculty members Denise Duhamel, Albert Goldbarth, Richard Tillinghast, Suzanne Cleary, Rick Mulkey, and—our incredible visiting poet who left an entire room of people utterly mesmerized—Yona Harvey.)

Closer to home, on Sunday I went to Politics & Prose to see my friend Sandra Beasley read from her wonderful new book of poems, Count the Waves, which received a glowing review in the Washington Post today:

Beasley presents romance and desire as challenging, sometimes dangerous and fraught with emotional distance... Beasley, who lives in Washington and has published two previous poetry collections and the memoir “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life,” uses humor and surprise like a scythe, cutting to the root of a matter in ways that may make some chuckling readers think, “Did she really say that?”

And read more poetry! What takes me 300 pages to get to, these poets can cover in 14 lines. Reading poetry will help any writer learn to be more compact, think about music and rhythm and language. Reading poetry will help any human learn to feel and observe and connect with life. Plus...something else on my mind lately: reading poetry is low-cal, no-carb, and even gluten-free!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.