From the diary: “October 7, 1981
“Today after school, 2:15-3:15, the Poetry Workshop was in Rm 106. I attended and enjoyed it immensely. … The instructors handed out two photos to each person and we were supposed to write … I wrote 3 poems.”
Maureen Hurley and Zara Altair were the poet-teachers. They were part of the California Poets-in-the-Schools Program. I remember being dubious. Poetry? How dull. Dull! There’s a certain kind of topic that oppresses like cathedral tunes. I hadn’t read poetry since oh the verse utterances of the Patchwork Girl? Not that I hadn’t written a few poems. I already knew that every line didn’t have to rhyme. A teacher had introduced me to the mystifying poetry of Richard Brautigan (years later to become a favorite!). Yet … I’m supposed to stay after school? Mrs Ford, the advanced comp teacher who was giving me hell that semester, offered extra credit, and I was pushing for a Creative Writing Class so I had to demonstrate to the administration that I wouldn’t scorn what was offered.
This class changed my life.
It changed my life.