Inspired by blog from poet Mark Doty

Mark – I read your words with gratitude. Also what you say reminds me of what I often do with writing classes and workshops, especially with younger and/or beginning writers. When I was operating a sheep ranch in Montana years ago I was sixty miles from the nearest Vet. so I had to do most of my own “doctoring” of the animals. At first my main challenge was to get the ewes penned and then try to catch the one(s)that needed a vaccination,etc. It was really frustrating as the sheep seemed to know exactly what I was up to. It soon dawned on me that I had to develop a “sneaky” strategy…so I started looking at the ewe I did NOT want, gradually getting closer to the one I really wanted without looking at her. When I was within reach I grabbed the UNSUSPECTING ewe…the “sneaky” strategy worked…I stared at the unwanted ewe and got the one I saw out of the corner of my eye. I often work this way with my own poetry. I find that it takes some alertness and often provides surprise.
Just a thought inspired by your thoughts. You are a great poet, thanks for your work. Michael Poage (

About Michael

Born in Quantico, VA. Went to high school in southern California, BA from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, MFA (writing and literature) from the U. of Montana. MDiv from San Francisco Theological Seminary, Graduate Certificate to teach English as a Second Language. Have six books of poems published. Have given workshops/readings/or taught at Wichita St. U, Friends U., Tuzla Medressa (Bosnia), U. of Latvia, Laisma Middle School (Riga, Latvia), plus several states in the U.S. Live now in Wichita, Kansas.
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