Friday, October 10, 2014

Lucky, Lucky Me!

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend David Harrison’s “Poetry for the Delight of It” workshop, organized by the Highlights Foundation. I’m happy to report that I found not only the poetry but the entire experience delightful. From my ride from the airport to the tour of the Highlights for Children offices to the comfy couches where we discussed poetry to the massive fireplace on the patio where we roasted s’mores, every detail was taken care of so that I didn’t have to think about anything but poetry. And the food—oh, my! We were spoiled. During breaks and in the evenings, we retired to our own cozy cabins with rocking chairs on the porches and plenty of wonderful books to read—a writer’s heaven!

David Harrison (a Guest Teaching Author in 2012) led group discussions with a reassuring blend of wit, humor, explanation, and examples. He supplied writing prompts that resulted in humorous and heartfelt poems, and he provided perceptive, encouraging critiques of our work. Poets Jane Yolen and Kenn Nesbitt visited via Skype to share their own tips and examples. Boyds Mills Press Senior Editor Rebecca Davis participated in a session about editorial and marketing practices, and Executive Editor Liz Van Doren joined us for dinner.

Lucky me! I’m still floating.

Here’s a poem I wrote there, inspired by one of David’s prompts, about waking up early:
Catbird screeches up the morning.
Acorns drop to mark the minutes.
Knock! Woodpeckers count the hours.
Crickets sing me back to sleep.
Another lucky surprise: I got to meet and hang out with our longtime friend Linda Baie, who wrote about connecting the experience to writing in one of her blog posts. What fun!

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


  1. Wow! This sounds like a fantastic day!!

  2. Yes, it was fantasic--and it was actually four days. I loved every minute!

  3. Thanks for the mention JoAnn. Loved being with you & everyone! What a heavenly place. The poem tells much-goodness dawn to dusk!

  4. JoAnn ~ so much day tucked into four short lines!

    I want to join you next time--what fun!

  5. Hi, Linda! Yes, we certainly had a congenial group. April, wouldn't that be fun? I'd definitely love to go back!

  6. Sounds exciting few days for you! Awesome!

  7. This week sounds like a nourishing dream for us, & nourishing reality for those who attended such as you.

    I'm thinking to get back to writing now, with your line -

    "Acorns drop to mark the minutes"

    I look forward to following the link to Linda's post later.

    Appreciations for your sharing JoAnn.

  8. I've been to several Highlight's Workshops and hope to go to a poetry workshop there one day. It's a magical place. Glad you had such a great time.

  9. Hi, JoAnn,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your poem and post. Thanks again for joining us at this year's workshop. It's a wonderful place to work and join in friendship.

  10. Thanks, everyone, for your comments! Jan, yes, those acorns are ticking away! David, friendship was definitely another bonus!

  11. I'm behind on blog reading, but want to say how jealous this post makes me--of both the terrific workshop experience and your opportunity to meet our online friend Linda in person. But I'm so glad for you, JA!


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