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Poetry Workshop with Sara Robinson


Sara M. Robinson

Sara M. Robinson











A few weeks ago I attended a poetry workshop at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA, with a few women from Write by the Rails. (Write by the Rails is a group of writers from the Prince William County area).

I’m not a poet by nature (although during high school I wrote a lot of angst-ridden-crap-tastic poems!) but I enjoy writing workshops and I do read and write poetry at times. I’m definitely glad that I attended because Sara Robinson’s presentation was worth it.

Sara Robinson is a professor and poet from Charlottesville, VA. Her poetry collection Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool, has been nominated in the poetry category for the 16th Annual Library of Virginia Library Awards.

Sara encourages aspiring poets to read, read, and then read some more. Of course poets should read poetry but not just the ones that resonate with you; read difficult pieces, too. She suggests:

Vintage President Obama with a copy of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland

Vintage President Obama with a copy of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland












1. T.S. Elliot’s The Wasteland, a 434-line modernist poem. This is considered one of the most important poems of the 20th Century. It’s also one of the more difficult pieces to understand. Elliot dedicated this poem to his friend and writing partner, Ezra Pound.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson












2. Emily Dickinson- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Robinson pointed out that most of Dickinson’s poems can be sung to the “Yellow Rose of Texas.”

One of my favorite Dickinson poems is “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us–don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Find more Dickinson poem’s at:

Some of Sara’s other poetry recommendations are:

Some Poetry Writing Tips:

  • Use journals- Sara utilizes several. One she uses for experiences- everyday things. One is for clippings of quotes and poems. One is for newspaper clippings. One is a journal slash diary.
  • Ask yourself- who are you writing your poetry for? Is it for Literary Journals/Academia? General Public? Or just for yourself?
  • When you write poetry, try to utilize many senses. “I put my words down inch by inch in small parts so that I can feel each one.”
  • Don’t be afraid to revise your title- titles are very important, especially in regards to poems
  • Carve out a specific time of day to write, read, blog, and basically anything else that helps you as a writer. Spend 2 hours daily doing this if possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut lines from your poems- “pretend like it costs you $100 per word to print”

Check out Sara’s website:


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  1. It was a wonderful workshop!
    Katherine Gotthardt recently posted…Studio13 Offers Holistic Health Coaching Online & In PersonMy Profile

  2. Sounds like a great workshop. I love it when people post on poetry because I really don’t have the gift for it. Any direction is appreciated, and it changes things up a bit.

    Thanks Kristy! By the way, your website is looking fantastic! (It was before, but it’s looking even better!)
    Katie Cross recently posted…Those Awkward Twentysomething Years…My Profile

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