Friday, April 24, 2009

Why not to workshop, part 2

This is really about why not to expect to get much from a workshop and is meant for those who have gone to more than two. The real reason is that if you're paying attention and maturing as a poet then workshops won't offer much. End of story. Because they operate at the lowest common denominator you will have to find your growth elsewhere. I learned after two or three workshops that I should never go expecting to get something, expecting to be given something. Thus, my next step was to plan exactly what I wanted to get as opposed to what might be offered. This relieved me from paying too much attention and allowed me to focus upon what I wanted. Of course, it didn't work that well and I was disappointed although I never left without gaining something tangible, usually from a lecture by a visiting writer; this was not enough alone to justify the expense. I also found myself unhappy putting up with those participants who made up the lower half that reduced the common denominator. They were honest,decent and tried hard. But they were not poets.
My next move made all the difference in the world. It will be detailed in my next post.
So long for now.

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