Saturday, October 06, 2007

Journal Writing at the Poetry Farm

I had my work cut out for me at the Poetry Farm. And I loved it! However, between rising early, hoeing grape vines, helping with dinner and clean-up and, of course, devoting a good block of time to writing poetry, that left only tiny windows of opportunity to note experiences in a journal.

The Poetry Farm is a writers' colony and organic fruit and vegetable farm located in southeast Wisconsin where I spent an unforgettable two-week residency in September.

Back to journaling. Never fear. The list is here. Not laundry lists of errands or things to do, but a bullet-point rundown of memories and prompts to fuel future journal entries and blog posts.

I listed what types of organic produce was grown on the farm. Such as Red Swenson grapes. What books I read. Never realized that Twelfth Night was one of Shakespeare's best and funniest comedies. Which places I visited and people I met. Found Seattle transplants in a hip, little coffee house in Evansville, Wis., and chatted up Australian and New Yorker artists during a local fall open house arts tour featuring four or five towns in the area, including Stoughton, Wis. I kept notes, random images and approaches for food poems, later written and tweaked. And at the end of the day, the night sky replaced Chicago TV, billboards, radio and electronic media, with both my refractor telescope and journal scribblings noting the elegant movements of Mars, Venus and the moon. ◦

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