At Whitman College, nothing but good things. The writing workshop on Friday started off a little clunky, because I don’t think people quite knew what to expect. I completely get that! But after some exercises–I felt I could give them some ideas and perspectives that can help them as writers. I have no idea “how writers write,” but I can talk about my own processes–and I was very happy to see how quickly the students caught on and got to the nuts and bolts of writing as craft. I was so grateful! Afterward, Everett took me out for some incredibly yummy French food. Again, I run into my thoughts of affordability, and equality. And no, they are not resolved. However, people who create food, like poetry, often approach their work with attention to craft and detail, and economics aside, that craft can be tasted, and appreciated.
Besides–my very presence here reinforces economic disparity. I mean, who has means to go to private college and take a workshop in queer writing? But I keep writing, and writing lets me travel and meet people, and I feel, if not actually entitled to be doing it, passionately in love with it to the point that pushes it beyond personal debate. I write because I do. And when I read and speak with students, what these people are doing, building, considering, dreaming about. Well, again, that goes beyond right and wrong to me. It is simply something I am driven to do–and I am so very, very grateful.
And besides–who’s to say that this won’t help the world in the long run. A girl can dream, right? Understanding is not usually a bad thing, and the people I am sharing with now will be the ones who, very soon, will be making decisions that impact all of us. I’d like to think, and hope, that they remember a little bit of our time together.
And so, after the reading last night, for quite some time, I continued speaking with students and community members who came to the reading (which was free! yay!). I listened. I shared. We traded stories. We laughed and hugged. I did my very best last night. And I felt I got that, and more, in return. Thank you, Whitman.