April’s already here and I haven’t blogged or published, but I have been writing. One of my monthly poetry groups has resurrected itself, albeit online, and I’m near completion of another Poetry School course called Writing Emotion: Contemporary Confessional Poetry.

image courtesy of The Poetry School

Facilitated by Rebecca Tamás, author of the poetry collection WITCH, a blend of feminist exploration and occult expression published by Penned in the Margins, this course invites us to give breath and bone to some difficult stuff, to give it a voice. Over five fortnightly assignments and reading the likes of Sylvia Plath, Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire, we are challenged to tackle experiences and feelings through the safety of prompts, such as masks, spells and play. The emphasis, however, is on an outward view; to share intimacies the reader can connect with and relate to, so they experience our emotion as their own.

It’s not surprising that with recent events, the poems I’ve produced reference the invasion of Ukraine and climate change (both wars involving humankind and no winners), one of which was my first specular, a challenge in itself, but a satisfying one. I have been surprised though with where the prompts have taken me, for example, what starts off as a poem about the man in the moon morphs into something else entirely, weaving in elements from my past I thought I’d tidied, which is the power of confessional poetry I guess, catharsis at its best.