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Reading Recs from Amber Flora Thomas

Amber Flora Thomas
Amber Flora Thomas

Amber Flora Thomas will lead the poetry workshop at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Squire Summer Writing Residency, July 23-26, at East Carolina University, in Greenville.

This workshop will provide space and time for participants to generate new poems, evaluate existing poems, and engage with tool building activities and discussions to inspire revision and more writing. Our time will be divided between the critique of existing poems and the crafting of new poems. The environment in this workshop is one of support and encouragement, welcoming self-expression and development for writers at all levels. Participants will submit three poems in advance of the workshop (see below), all of which should not have been in a workshop elsewhere. Please be prepared to write during and outside workshop sessions, using writing prompts designed to help you “stumble to the door” and find those poems, no matter what.

Here are three books recommended by Amber, followed by a note from her about each:

The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Writing Poetry by Richard Hugo
Hugo’s short collection of essays has been a staple of young poets for over thirty years. No matter how many times I read this work, it always manages to remind me of why I write poetry. And, I find in these pages how thick the mystery and magic still is, even after writing in this form for more than twenty years.

The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Dorianne Laux and Kim Addonizio
This is an excellent text for beginning and experienced writers seeking new approaches and entry places for the poem. It provides useful lessons, readings, and many helpful writing exercises, which I have been using my classes for ten years now.

Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Essays by Jane Hirshfield
If you didn’t know the spiritual power of engaging in the act of creating the poem, then this book will help guide you toward a more intimate experience of poem. Hirshfield shares a vision of poetry that proves both spiritual and profound in helping the reader see the poem as a place that blends the outside experiences with the deepest places in our psyches.

The Squire Summer Writing Residency offers an intensive course in a chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry), with ten hour-and-a-half sessions over the four days of the program. Registrants work in-depth on their own manuscript samples, as well as their colleagues’, while also studying the principles of the genre with their instructor. Other features include faculty readings, panel discussions, and open mic sessions for residents.

Registration is open through July 8. Register now!