Hi, I'm Erica. I like old dresses and villanelles.
I started writing poems in a Lisa Frank notebook. I was 14.
Like many teen girls, I wrote poems not because I cared about poetry. On the contrary: I didn't care one fig about poetry. It was a vent, emotional gratification, a place to hide my ever-growing teen longing.
Later I began to read poems by authors ranging from Shel Silverstein to John Donne. I grew red-faced, embarrassed by the emotional urgency of my poems.
The bunny ballerina notebook went in a drawer; for many years it did not come out.
In my perceived need for sophistication, I took the pen back up in college. For a while it was all cloves and Ginsberg and Moleskine notebooks. I was writing poems, but again for the wrong reasons. I was writing to prove I could, to get a stamp of approval from a professor. To be in on something, whether it was blank verse or Dadaism. To get someone to read me as well-read, savvy, "cool"--oh how I hungered for it--when I felt more adrift than ever. In short, I was insufferable.
Now I write to navigate the space in between: trying to chart a place of emotional honesty, using whatever tools I can find. This class seems like a great way to break free of one's comfort zone, to try new things, to figure out what works and what doesn't.