The Socially Awkward Poet

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Last week I got the lovely surprise of being tagged in a Poetry Chain by one of my favorite poets, Hannah Gosselin. The challenge was simple: 1) Write five poems in five days. 2) Nominate five new poets to join the chain.

Writing five poems was the easy part. Nominating five poets proved to be the bigger challenge. The chain took place on Facebook and therefore all tagged poets had to be on Facebook and my friend.  Ironically, I tend to be very anti-social when it comes to social networking. My circle is quite small with a few select friends. Some are people I’ve know all my life, some are from work, and others are extended family.

Most of connections I have with other writers are through my blog and my Facebook page, (very different from a profile). In addition, I attend a small writer’s group. Like many writers, I’m a textbook introvert. Talking to people is hard for me and being around other people incites awkward behavior. Can’t help it – I am uncomfortable and no amount of “immersion therapy” solves that issue. Truth be told, I don’t want to change who I am anyway!

Despite my social ineptitude, I still decided to jump in on the challenge. This year in particular, I’ve been working on expanding my involvement in poetry communities online. One place where I’ve found a strong sense of comraderie is on Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest.

When I checked out the Poetry Chain group page, I saw a list of names that were largely familiar to me and that instantly put me at ease. Even if I couldn’t find five people to nominate, I knew this group wouldn’t give me the evil eye for failing to complete that aspect of the chain challenge.

Just as I expected, this group of poets showed me amazing acceptance and encouragement. I can’t begin to say how lucky I am to have stumbled into this amazing community. As a poet who is working on refining her voice in haiku, I can count on this community to keep me motivated and inspired.

Despite my initial introvert fears, I actually did find five people to nominate. I hit up a friend from the Poetic Asides community, family, and friends from my writer’s group. It turns out, I’m not as isolated as I thought. My circle is surprisingly big and full of incredibly kind and talented people.

While I find comfort in solitude, I’m also finding a different kind of comfort from interacting with a group of poets.  The creative energy keeps those words flowing and provides a safe place to experiment with poetic forms and style.

The last year has shown me that while I may be a socially awkward poet, I am definitely not alone.

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p.s. I will post the poems I wrote for the chain later this week.

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c.b.w. 2015

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