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OpenLinkNight ~  Week 82Life can take some pretty surprising turns.

Four years ago I would never have considered myself a writer of any sort; this despite the fact that a major part of the work that I did back then was to write and deliver at least one sermon every week. Part of the skill of preaching is to make your words interesting for the congregation and to try to present well-known ideas in new ways, which is pretty much what poetry is about too.

Then I started writing poems; not very good ones in my opinion, but poems nonetheless. It wasn’t that I was trying to write poems; the words just started appearing in my mind and demanded to be written down in a form that I recognised as poetry. But still I would not have called myself a writer or a poet.

A little before Christmas 2011 I started my poetry blog – Rumours of Rhyme – and linked my first poem here. I told that story last time I tended bar, so I won’t bore you with it now … smiles.

Over the intervening months I have written poems in response to many of the prompts given by the team here. I have also attended both a local writers’ group and a poetry evening class at Edinburgh University. As a result of all of this, I think I can sometimes produce a reasonable poem; my wife even said, “his stuff is pretty good.” But still, to call myself a poet …

… except that a couple of weeks ago I did exactly that. I was at the Grassmarket Community Project centre in Edinburgh, ostensibly to offer moral support to a friend who was interested in helping at an art group there. Her interview turned out to be a members/volunteers induction – and I was invited to attend, even though I had not planned to be there at all. When the induction information pack was handed out, there on the front was a timetable of the various activity groups that the centre hosts. Beside “Creative Writing” were the letters tbc. It turned out that there was a demand for a creative writing group, but there was no-one to lead it, so it wasn’t going to happen.

“Oh,” I said. “That’s interesting, because I’m a poet. I also help with an on-line poetry community. Maybe I might be what you’re looking for?”

After some more discussion – and ten days to think about it – I find myself planning for the launch/relaunch of the creative writing group at the Grassmarket Community Project.

Maybe I am a writer and a poet after all … smiles

What interesting and unexpected opportunities have come your way as a result of your love of poetry? Do you attend a creative writing group? How does that work for you? Maybe you lead such a group? Do you have any tips for someone starting one up for the first time?

My name is Tony Maude and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the weekly smörgåsbord of poetry that is Open Link Night at dVerse.

If you are new here, let me tell you how it works; for the regulars, here’s a handy reminder:

  • Write a poem and post it to your webpage.
  • Click on the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name and direct url/web address to your poem
  • There you will also find the list of those participating this week. You might want to refresh this occasionally or check back in as there are people joining over the next 33 hours.
  • If it’s your first time here, please leave a comment to say so. That makes it much easier for us to find you and encourage you by visiting your site.
  • Read other poets that have linked. Let them know what you thought, how the poem moved you, what you think of their style, what caught your attention. The not-so-secret formula to receiving more comments on your blog is to read and comment on the linked poems. Please don’t forget to return the favour of those who have visited and commented on your work.
  • Encourage others to participate through social media, promote your own piece and others.
  • Have fun meeting and engaging with your fellow poets.