Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Flash’

My Writing Community

A fat issue of Poetry Flash, the literary journal and calendar out of Berkeley, CA, arrives in the mail. I’m pleased to see that the listing for our upcoming Mendocino Coast Writers Conference made it in.

I have a special fondness for Poetry Flash, from when I lived in the Bay Area and was responsible for submitting announcements for the Waverley Writers readings in Palo Alto. As I skim the “Some Information” column by editor Joyce Jenkins, I smile as I see familiar names: writers I have met and worked with, writers whose work is familiar from readings or books.  Poetry Flash now has an extensive online presence, but its purpose is still the same: to build community through literature.

I browse one of the lead stories, an interview with Nigerian poet and novelist Chris Abani, and am struck by a comment he makes: “You shouldn’t try to write with any kind of community in mind. You should just write. And if you strike the right balance in your work, a community will assemble around it, and the community will be something you never expected.”

This is what I never expected: that I would feel so connected to a community of writers, here on the Mendocino Coast, in the Bay Area, and even throughout the world who share my joy in the uses of language.