Columbus State Writers’ Conference (Part II)

Sayuri Ayers Cols State Writers Conf

Sayuri Ayers facilitating a workshop at The Columbus State Writers’ Conference

The second session I attended at The Columbus State Writers’ Conference was “Bootleg MFA.” In this workshop facilitator Sayuri Ayers explained the three main reasons one would want to get a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree: 1) to immerse oneself in the writing community, 2) to improve one’s craft, and 3) to get published. She showed how all of these goals could be met through other means: She offered us excellent handouts with listings of local writers’ groups, self-help books for writers, and online resources to help poets organize and track submissions, contest entries, etc. Then Sayuri gave us some clever and thought-provoking prompts and we set to work writing a couple of quick poems. I enjoyed the exercises and felt good that I gave them a shot. One set of prompts instructed us to, “ … Describe someone we know well in terms of the weather as experienced on a memorable day with that person.” In other words, describe someone as personified by weather. For this exercise I recalled a fall camping trip with my friend Jodie, and extended the metaphor to Jodie personified as an autumn tree:

Sunlight caresses
the highlights
of Jodie’s hair
with glints of gold and
brown.

Her golden leaves float
to the warm earth
while she stands
steadfast and tall,

unwavering

in the cool night.

The Columbus State Writers’ Conference also featured a keynote presentation by local writer Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, vendors and book signings, and a poetry slam. Overall I was impressed with what the event had to offer. It didn’t seem as well attended as I’d expected; then again the Ohioana Book Festival may have taken away from it. I would have enjoyed staying the entire day at the Writers’ Conference but really wanted to check out Ohioana too. I do hope these two festivals are not scheduled on the same day in future years.

Up next: the Ohioana Book Festival.

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One Response to Columbus State Writers’ Conference (Part II)

  1. Pingback: Ohioana Book Festival | Seven Word Itch

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