Michelle writes poetry?!

When my college adviser said that my "Creative Writing: Fiction" and "Creative Writing: Non-Fiction" credits would not transfer to Eastern Washington University unless I also took "Creative Writing: Poetry" I'm pretty sure my vision went a little red. (It's English 291 and 292 which is really Poetry and Fiction. Apparently Non-Fiction is a fake class that I took for no legitimate credit. I could ask EWU if it transfered; I didn't bother)

A poetry class? I'll be honest: my first thought was along the lines of "eww, fuck that." I'm not a poetry snob--I just dislike reader response criticism, interpretation and that entire concept called symbolism. I didn't want to take poetry, damn it. I knew at some point in my college future I'd have to take poetry (and British and American literature) but I just wasn't ready.

Thankfully, North Idaho College has a stellar English department in my experience. The teacher (whom I have seen in passing, and met briefly in my last 2.5 years wandering the hallways) was incredibly disarming and polite. So I dragged myself to my first poetry class (and saw that a friend was also taking the class: she ended up being the reason I didn't drop it entirely) and I stayed. And fumed, and seriously was nothing but angry, frothing-face for a good month straight.

And then we started writing poetry, instead of just reading (and responding, ugh) it. I was forced to experience poetry, to read the work of others. To appreciate and be surprised by the work of my classmates. And there some moments where I was seriously "What the hell am I reading" for hours. And hours. And I'd send my friend a message: "OMG did you read that poem" and get the "WTF I know, right?" and we'd laugh. And then we'd talk to the poet, who gave us some insight about what the poem really was saying, and we'd change our minds--and look forward to the next.

I learned how to read poems better; not to stumble or pause at the end of a line or line-break.

I can't post the other poems from this class since they're currently being reviewed by online poetry publications and rejected!

Once they're all rejected I can post them on the website.