Bookworm hosts poetry workshop June 27
"Every workshop is an opportunity to open up the exploratory world, where one can learn from themselves and experience their poetic ability," says local poet Jodie Hollander, who insists that poetry is for everyone. On Tuesday, she'll teach an open workshop at The Bookworm of Edwards to anyone interested in sparking their creativity. "Hosting this workshop is a way of highlighting a local author and a wonderful section of our store," said Bookworm owner Nicole Magistro. "Plus, who can argue with learning such a wonderful craft as poetry?" This workshop is open to all ages and skill sets — even people who are intimidated by poetry. "Everyone can work with poetry and express themselves," Hollander said. "You just have to come with an open mind and I will guide you to create work that you're proud of sharing." Hollander has been writing since childhood and was finally able to take her scribbles seriously later in life. "I have always been a writer and always been writing," she said. "In 2008, when I stopped teaching full-time, I was able to transfer careers and focus on poetry. I felt like I had been waiting for a long time to give writing a shot." There wasn't any hesitation in her career transition. "For me, the worst-case scenario was that I find another job. After diving in, it was clear to me that writing was what I was supposed to do with my life," she said. Her recent collection of poems, "My Dark Horses," focuses around her childhood of being raised by classically trained musicians. Those influences of rhythm and sound can be heard in her work. "When writing poetry, you have to incorporate music," she said. "Good poetry has to be pleasing to the ear and have a rhythm in the structure." Hollander works with students of all ages to create pleasing poetry regardless of their experience with writing. Her workshops — across the state and abroad — focus on different themes and combining artistries. Some merge writing with music or art. These combinations allow new sources of expression. "I didn't choose poetry, poetry chose me," Hollander said. "It has always felt like the right way to express myself."