Today BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog features my essay, “The Seven Gifts: What Poetry Offers Prose Writers.” Enjoy!
By Emily K. Michael
As a writing teacher, I spend more time defending poetry than prose. When I tell my students, “We’ll be doing poetry today,” I hear groans and sighs. And when I share that I write poetry, people say, ‘I always had trouble with poetry.” Or even, “I never really liked poetry.” Only the occasional bright-eyed student preempts the discussion by asking, “Are we writing any poetry this year?”
I’ve never heard people react to prose in the same way. While most students don’t rush to write essays, they also don’t reflexively jerk away from prose. I’d like to navigate this reticence, to lead essayists and memoirists to the unruly garden where poetry writers wander.
Why should you take this walk with me, the avid poet? Because you’ll hear the black-capped chickadees and chimney swifts, smell the lavender and sage, find the world blooming and decaying all at…
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