What Benefits Do We Gain When We Share Poetry Together?

As a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild, I’ve recently published a couple pieces for our guild’s publication, The Redbud Post. This month’s theme for The Redbud Post is “poetry” in honor of National Poetry Month. The first piece I’d like to share today is about the sacred practice of participating in a poetry feedback group. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Just as it did last summer, poetry continues to have high stakes for me. Poetry is what keeps me up at night. Finding God through poetry has become my pearl of great price this season. And while the act of writing verse can be an intensely personal one, I believe poems can also gain value when we share them with others. Last year, God invited me to start and to facilitate several poetry feedback groups that meet virtually once a month. One of those groups is with my colleagues here in the Redbud Writers Guild…

It’s no wonder God loves to show up when we share poetry together. The Bible itself is filled with poetry, such as the entire Book of Psalms, as well as the Song of the Sea in Exodus 15 (often considered to be some of the oldest language in the entire Bible). In fact, Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we ourselves are poems when it declares, “for we are God’s handiwork (poiēma).” As someone who grew up in the church, and has also served as a pastor, I’ve discovered there’s something uniquely sacred about offering each other the gift of our verse. 

Have you ever participated in a poetry feedback group? If so, what was your experience like? If not, what are your hopes, fears, and/or questions about such a group? Feel free to read the entire article here, and let me know what you think!

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