I’ve never belonged to a book club before. Many (if not most) of my friends do, and sing their praises. But my own reading has always been so eclectic that I never believed anyone else would want to read what I like.

Then I gave a ‘class’ in reading poetry. We read poetry weekly, from 2 different anthologies, but we also brought in poems we ‘found’. Or poems we already loved. A couple of times, even poems we DISliked. It was WONDERFUL! There were poems of love and death; there were playful witticisms; there were social manifestos. There was Shakespeare and Auden and Mary Oliver and Natasha Trethewey and so many less famous life changers.

Six of the 10 people who were in that continuing education class wanted to keep reading poetry together, and two more wanted to join us. Because something happened when we shared poems — conversations deepened, voices became a kind of music, much like the various poetic voices we discussed.

This is a piece on that book club I wrote for much-loved journal, Nimrod International Journal. You can read about the journal (with which I’ve been lucky enough to be associated with for DECADES) at the Nimrod website. And the nudge to begin your own poetry book club is here. You’ll see more from the poetry book club, I’m sure, in the months to follow. As well as book reviews I’m doing for Nimrod. It’s the best way I know to stay prepared for poetry book club. And it’s the breath part of Tea & Breath ~