Friday, March 16, 2012

"We are here to encourage each other"

Dear Mary, 

It's funny that when I read Hemingway or Frost I think, "I can't do that," yet when I read you or Jean Rhys, I think, "But maybe I can do that." It's not that your technique is any less brilliant or what you have to say any less profound; it's just that when I read you, I feel like I have something to say in response, and permission to say it. I've carried A Poetry Handbook with me for months at a time, studied and shared it. I like what you say about workshops: "We are here to encourage each other, but not to encourage bad writing." I try for that, thinking of you, as I'm sure other do, too. In that alone you've given us, and poetry, a great legacy. 

Karen Schoemer

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