I returned from the Poetry and Prose Getaway in Cape May last night, and I already want to go back. I spent the weekend immersed in words, writing 4 or 5 new poems and revising several others, spending time with some of my favorite East Coasters, including this one who always inspires me with her writing energy. In addition to workshopping, creating new drafts, discussing poetry and revising, I had the privilege of attending one of the most entertaining and moving readings I have ever seen. Paul Lisicky began with excerpts from his forthcoming novel, but also (in the spirit of the weekend, which asks writers to create and share brand new work) read a new essay about his friend’s battle with cancer that had the audience riveted, especially when the lightning began to flash behind him as a backdrop to the words. Poet Mark Doty followed with a wonderful reading of new poems and old, along with a selection from his book Dog Years. Hearing him read his work brought it to life in a wholly different way than reading it on the page, and I am thankful for that.
As always, I left exhausted but exhilarated by three whole days spent immersed in words – writing them, reading them, discussing and dissecting them. I will be returning to the ocean and the words next year.