Every Wednesday at 11 a.m. I have a two hour and forty-five minute poetry workshop with thirteen other students. We spend the first hour of every class discussing a book assigned to us weekly by the professor. Then we workshop seven poems, each student turning in a piece to be discussed every other class. Pretty simple.
This week something happened. We were workshopping a student’s poem. It was about something (I’ll just omit everything explicit about everyone and anything in this class) and followed a similar pattern to some other poems this particular student had turned in for critiquing. People started talking about the poem in the customary manner, which is pretty much everyone suggesting different cuts, extensions, and changes that need to be made.
Then something happened. I’ll preface this by saying that, without great exception, pretty much every student turns in the same poem every week. Subject matter and stuff alter a little bit, but approach and word choice and style all seem pretty constant.