My Poetic Past (and Present)

Something not too many people know about me is that my publication history began with poetry. As a teenager, I saw my poems published not only in my high school’s literary magazine, but also in journals I found–yes, that’s right–in Writer’s Market. (Clearly my odd passion for literary market research started early!)

But I didn’t sense that poetry was where my future rested. I loved prose. I wanted to write prose. I was writing prose. Poetry receded, except in the college classes where I read (and wrote academic essays [prose!] about) Blake and Baudelaire.

As an MFA student I read a lot more poetry (and met a few very talented practicing poets). I still didn’t think poetry was my “thing,” but after awhile I started to wonder. A bit.

And now, occupied all day with my full-time university office job, maintaining a semblance of a freelance life with a few article and review assignments and waiting for a couple of accepted stories to appear in print (or online), I am turning to poetry. I am trying to shake things up, especially where my fiction writing is concerned (to say that new work has plateaued is to be too kind to myself). I am trying to learn some new skills that I may apply elsewhere.

I am taking a poetry class. Online. My first homework assignment is due by July 17.

So I am trying to benefit from the structure and inspiration of a class and from the skills and expertise of the instructor who is leading us. I am trying, still, to grow as a writer.

Even if, in a way, I’m going back twenty-something years, all the way to my bylines’ beginnings.

Wish me luck.

4 thoughts on “My Poetic Past (and Present)

  1. Ellen "EJ" Sackett, says:

    Hi Erika,

    I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog and Web site. You’ve got a phenomenal amount of useful information here. Thank you for putting this together. I find your observations interesting as well as informative. Good luck with the poetry class. All best ~ ej

  2. Erika Dreifus says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, EJ, and for the good wishes for the class!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Hi Erika,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your journey as a writer. I love to write poetry, but it’s something I just do every once in a while. I took a couple of classes years ago, learned alot, and really enjoyed them.

    Wishing you much joy with the poetry class.


  4. Erika Dreifus says:

    Thank you so much, Suzanne. I appreciate that!

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