I'm barely slipping in here to talk to you this month. Summer has hit hard, with our weather being in the triple digits daily. That makes for a joyful time for me! Sun, fun, sun, and more fun.
Last month I taught you the structure of a Tanka poem. I loved your feedback, and enjoyed reading your work! Very, very nice. If you are brave enough to allow me to post them, let me know, I'd love to!
So, you've been telling me you'd really love to write poetry, and work towards publication. But, you feel no one will take you seriously because you haven't had any formal training. You asked if I took classes before starting my career. The short answer is no. I have not attended any 'Residency MFA Programs.' I don't hold a MFA (Masters in Fine Arts). I hold a Masters in Healthcare Administation. However I've been reading, and writing poetry since I was very young. As I grew older, I also read books on 'How to write poetry', have worked with other poets and writers in groups, and attended writing conferences.
Many, many poets have never had any formal training. I found an interesting article interviewing various poets, asking their option on this issue. My personal opinion is NO, you don't need formal training. Writing poetry is a natural born art. I feel if you write what's in your heart, and it's your passion, and you are true to yourself in what you write; meaning you are writing what YOU want to write, not what you think people want to read or hear, you're on the right track. I have read many works from schooled poets, that never touched on any of my senses, and I have read poetry from writers that don't even know they are writers, can't spell, use terrible grammar, and yet their poems are epic! So do yourself a favor, if you want to write, write! Because if you feel it, others will too. Take a look at this article '27 Writers on Whether or Not to Get Your MFA'. You're going to find that even those with an MFA don't think you need it.
Here's a poem I wrote last year for you.
To The Artist
And since when did others
around you become the expert
on your life, or how you work your craft?
They haven't, so carry on.
So get busy and fulfill your passion.
Wishing you the best until next time!