Back from the Tupelo Truchas Poetry Conference
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my many years as a student. As much as I love leading a classroom, I sometimes miss the vulnerability, excitement, and growth that comes with being a student, how the student can feel herself changing and developing with each semester, how her teachers become essential figures in the story of how she became a poet. It has been years since I was a student in workshop, my poems scrutinized and critiqued.
So, on a whim, I decided to attend the Tupelo Truchas Poetry Conference, located halfway between Santa Fe and Taos. It didn’t hurt that the Conference was being held in one of my favorite places in the world (how I love that part of New Mexico, how I love hatch green chile), in a beautiful adobe space near the Sangre Cristo Mountains.
Ahead of the Conference, I received a packet with preparations I was expected to make: four books to read, drafts to draft, self-reflective notes to make. The materials were well-prepared and gave me plenty of ideas for my own teaching, including exercises in close reading, imitation, and revision.
Once I arrived in Truchas, I met many terrific people, all dedicated to the development of their craft. The workshop were rigorous but generous (Veronica Golos and Lauren Camp are not only outstanding poets but are also terrific teachers), the group readings engaging, and the company excellent. I am so happy that I decided to attend the Conference. And although I no longer have the privilege of being a full-time student, it was wonderful to reenter that space for a time, that moment just after you’ve read your poem aloud, when you wait to hear what your classmates will have to say.