After over fifty years of offering writing classes, the School of the Arts in Rhinelander is now officially over. I believe I am not alone in feeling lost as to where to turn for my annual “poetry fix.” Those of us who live in the northern part of the state especially appreciated the opportunity to learn from experienced master poets including Ellen Kort, , Angela Voras-Hill and Mary Sue Koeppel. SOA was also a chance to connect with other poets and form friendships.
Yes, WFOP does hold two conferences a year, but we know that less than half the members can attend due to distance and expense.
So now what? Let’s see if WFOP can “step up to the plate” (to use a tired metaphor) and develop regional poetry events that can at least partially fill the void left by the demise of SOA. There are established gatherings and readings already taking place in many areas, but we can do more. If your region already hosts regular readings, perhaps theses could be expanded to include hands-on writing opportunities taught by the featured poets. The local community college may be a good partner in offering writing classes. If you are interested in helping plan workshops, critique groups or mini-conferences in your area, please contact your regional VP. There are regional budgets as well as mini-grants available to get started. Let’s do what we can to make poetry available to a wider audience.
WFOP President Elect