Tag Archives: Megan Kaminski

My Love Story: Poetry Edition

14 Sep

Announcements: 

Bonnie Brown’s Book Reviews posted her thoughts on Minutes Before Sunset, stating, “This was a book I slowly fell in love with. When I first picked it up, I wasn’t instantly hooked on it but as the pages ticked by I realized I was falling further and further in love with the story and characters. Until it became one of those books that you think, ‘okay, just a few more pages before work…….’. Then you look up at the clock and realize your already supposed to be at work and your still in your jammies… reading the book…~Oops~It’s one of those books.” But you can read more of her love story by clicking here.

My Love Story: Poetry Edition

I’ve been receiving a handful of messages and emails about my interactive poetry series on Wattpad, so I thought I would address my poems a little bit more today. But – first – I am so grateful that you’re enjoying my latest endeavor, and I look forward to sharing more in the near future. Many of you have asked me about my poetry – mainly regarding my voice and subject matter – and I am here to announce one thing: I will be explaining the poems during my YouTube posts, and you can expect the first post later this week. That being said, today I’m telling a story. (Because I’m still a story-teller) and that story is my love story with poetry.

When we met:

Strangely enough, it was a college breakup that brought us together. My brief breakup with fiction writing. It was the second semester of my freshman year, but during my previous semester at KU, I had taken a fiction-writing course that I was extremely dissatisfied with. So dissatisfied that I decided to reject studying fiction altogether. I was only comfortable with this because I felt like I knew enough about fiction that I could study it on my own. So I turned my attention to genres I wasn’t familiar with. I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone, and I signed up for poetry. (I would later return to studying fiction and also screenwriting as well.)

Our first date:

Oddly enough, it wasn’t in the classroom. It was outside of the classroom. Over winter break, I had picked up a few poetry books, and I was reading “Sailing Around an Open Room” by Billy Collins on one of my favorite benches in the Wescoe building. That’s when a class was released, and a woman ran up to me only to sit down SUPER close to me. (If you know me, I’m not a very touchy person, so this sort of scared me.) It turned out she was a poetry professor, and she was hoping I had signed up for her class. I hadn’t. I had signed up for another class because it worked with my schedule. She was disappointed but very glad that I was studying poetry. Her smile was the first moment I started to feel less nervous about it.

How we held hands:

Poetry Writing I by poet Megan Kaminski was the course I took, and she was kind and thoughtful and encouraging and never scary. And that was perfect because I was still sort of terrified. I had never written a poem in my life, and Kaminski promised she was okay with that. I found out that there were quite a few students in the classroom like me, and I still wonder if they giggle at our first poems as much as I giggle at mine. (I also shudder.) But we started reading poetry, and we started talking about poetry, and we started writing poetry, and we discovered so much about one another.

Oh, yes, we kissed:

I wish I could remember if it was snowing that day, but all I remember is how the poem affected my insides. It was “Sleeping with the Dictionary” by Harryette Mullen that got me. And if you read the poem, you will understand what I mean when I say I was “Aroused by myriad possibilities” that poetry gave, and I wanted to explore them as much as I could.

picture from incite faith.com

picture from incite faith.com

And soon, we fell in love:

Somewhere in that exploring I fell in love. I like to say “we” but I have yet to understand whether or not poetry can love one back. Still, I stayed, and I took more courses after that. I even attended Poetry Writing II twice. (Thank goodness KU counted both of them as credits.) And I was able to meet C.A. Conrad and talk to Evie Shockley and my class had lunch with two other poets we read about and my teacher was a poet and it was wonderful. Everything was wonderful.

Kristine

Kristine and I on her 20th birthday.

But it broke my heart:

If you’ve been with me since the beginning, then, you will remember this post – Inspiration Meet: Kristine Andersen – On October 7, 2012, my college roommate, Kristine Andersen, passed away, but you might not have known that we had taken our first class together that semester. It was my senior year, and she had just switched over to an English major, and I was helping her with her writing when she decided to join one of my poetry classes. We sat right next to each other in class, but after she died, I was terrified – so terrified – of returning to that poetry class.

And I had to heal my heart:

When I finally found the strength to return to school, I will never forget how my class still placed her chair in the circle after she died. Her chair remained there. And we continued to learn, and we continued to write, and our poetry was published later that semester in Kristine’s name, and the collection sits on my desk, and I think about her a lot – her writing and her life – and I try not to remember that this October will be two years since she passed, but I make myself remember because that is how we cope – by facing it. By writing about it. By feeling it once again. So I write a poem.

Eventually, I loved again:

I write many poems now, but it has only been recently that I have begun sharing them openly. I believe “Regretful Memories” being accepted by LALUNA Magazine has given me the additional strength and support that I needed, but this website has also given me love and courage. Writing is a journey, and we’re always learning and exploring new possibilities in order to channel our passion so we can share it fully with the world.

Poetry is one of the many ways I hope to help the world with because poetry has helped my world.

I think that is why I call it love.

~SAT

Relax & Read: Megan Kaminski

9 Mar

March 10th, 8:45 p.m. Update: Megan Kaminski’s most recent publication, Desiring Map, can be found by clicking here.  tn9781938055010

1 p.m. Update: My Facebook Author Page now has a cover photo. Check it out here

When I decided to attend the University of Kansas, I was really excited to meet inspiring professors and students. I knew I wanted to get my bachelor’s in English, but I was unaware I could have an emphasis on creative writing. Of course, when I learned this, I practically jumped through the ceiling with excitement (seriously—I think I hit my head), and I signed up.

Immediately, I threw myself into a fiction course, because, as many of you know, I write YA sci-fi/fantasy. But—much to my dismay at the time—the University of Kansas requires students to take two different kinds of writing. I was REALLY concerned about this, because I didn’t want to join a writing course I didn’t know anything about. I was afraid it’d affect my GPA, and, considering how much students pay at universities, this was a huge concern. But I had no choice, so I looked at what they had to offer: nonfiction, screenwriting, poetry, and playwriting.

imagesSo what did I take?

I enrolled in Poetry Writing I with Professor Megan Kaminski, and my writing life has never been the same.

She has taught me everything I know about poetry, and she has inspired me to chase knowledge beyond what classroom time allows us to explore. Through this website, I even advocate studying poetry, because the genre has taught me how to truly embrace the lyrical beauty of language in and out of fiction. For me, fiction is where I disappear into fantastical worlds I create, but poetry causes me to embrace the reality of what’s fantastical around me.

I give Kaminski all the credit for revealing this beautiful world to me.

Megan Kaminski has six chapbooks out, and through Dusie Press, you can even read directly from her chapbook, collection. This year, her most recent piece, This Place (Dusie Press, 2013), was published, and it’s available through her publisher and directly from her. She’s even on Goodreads and Directory of Poets & Writers.

Megan Kaminski's chapbook, collection.

Megan Kaminski’s chapbook, collection.

Not only has she accomplished so much, but she has given opportunity to other writers. Through the University of Kansas, Kaminski sponsors The Siren, a national online literary journal for students to share their work. She also leads the Creative Writing Exchange Program and the Undergraduate Reading Series that I got to participate in.

I have the utmost joy being taught by such a talented and inspiring woman. She’s an example of all I hope to be: accomplished while striving to create opportunities for other writers and their futures. 

I really encourage all of you to check her out and learn from her story. Any of the links above will send you to more information.

~SAT

Click here and go straight to her website.

Click here and go straight to her website.

SS: Reading Event

1 Feb

On February 6, I’m delighted to announce I’ll be participating in KU’s Undergraduate Reading Series. I’ll be reading my nonfiction and poetry.

“The Undergraduate Reading Series showcases exceptional student work from the University of Kansas in a variety of genres…The KU Undergraduate Reading Series kicks off the spring semester with an evening of dazzling student work! Come join us for an evening filled with engrossing poetry, fiction, and short plays. Our February event features the following talented undergraduate writers:

Katherine Hoven
Nadia Imafidon
Shannon Thompson
Justin Wheatley
& more TBA”

If you’re in Kansas this upcoming Wednesday (Feb. 6th), I’d love to see some of you there (and meet!) but I understand many of you don’t live in Kansas or have free time. Both of these links have information: Facebook event & GoodReads event.

Special thanks to poet, Megan Kaminski, for making all of this possible. Read her interview on the Poetry Foundation here.

~SAT

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