This Week With Jo McDougall

Today is the official start of the Chautauqua summer, and during this upcoming week, I will be taking a workshop with poet/memoirist Jo McDougall, whose work I discovered years ago.  If minimalist writing was associated with poetry, this is how I would categorize McDougall’s work.  Using sparse lines and stark images, McDougall is able to capture both a sense of place and true human emotion in tight, precise poems.  She is from the Arkansas Delta but now lives in Kansas, and it’s apparent from her poetry that she is inspired by both her physical surroundings and the everyday person — especially those who come from working-class backgrounds.  I tend to go overboard with details in my drafts of poems (I just hate to let a good image go!), so I think it will be interesting to work with a poet who is known for her tight lines and images.

In other news, I will also be teaching a craft of fiction class at our local library.  I was planning on posting an announcement/invitation on this blog to invite local students, but the class filled up weeks ago!  I have spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on my lesson plans, so now I am ready to go.

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