Thursday, February 27, 2014

An Introduction

The Johns Creek Poetry Group was established in 2008 by Dr. Robert Lynn, John Ottley and me--Dr. Steven Shields.  Although we have developed an extensive email list in the years since we formed, and have tried to communicate both internally and externally on Facebook, we have lacked an easy-to-find spot where writing can be posted and shared.  It's my hope that this is that spot.

The group began as a way of extending our craft in poetry writing.  As would a poetry workshop, we decided to share our poems with one another and spend our time together critiquing them for form, craft and meaning issues.  A famous writer once declared that poems are never finished, only abandoned.  We hoped in those early days to see at least a few of our poems through to abandon, hopefully in published form.

Because it was convenient for us, we chose to meet more-or-less monthly at the Spruill Oaks library in Johns Creek.  I say "more or less" because all three of us are members (two of us Past Presidents) of the larger Georgia Poetry Society.  We decided to meet on months that did not conflict with GPS quarterly meetings in January, April, July and October.  Eventually we took December off for the holiday and then decided to hold a local poetry festival in November.  This past year was our fifth annual poetry festival for the Johns Creek community.

The group has been led until recently by the very able Dr. Lynn, who has chosen to relocate to his home state of Oklahoma with wife Bonnie.  I have assumed a position of interim leader of the group.

This blog may be no more than a way to communicate news to our group in a central and efficient way, although I hope it can include the posting of poems for online critique.  Before anyone frets about how that might constitute "publication" for some outlets, let me say that the final revised version differs so much from early critiqued versions that it may be entirely new.  Most reasonable journals value critique and don't get fussy about where it occurs.  If they do, they're probably searching for reasons to reject, rather than read and consider, your work anyway.

Do wish us luck.  More posts will follow as soon as there is news to communicate.