How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?
My work enters the world in myriad ways. Sometimes I am sitting in an airport and I hear something over the loudspeaker—While maintenance deals with an avionics problem …—so I get out my notebook and jot that down, then continue writing what occurs to me. Or my yoga instructor says “please refrain from efforting.” Efforting? So I go home and try to write a poem about efforting, or lack thereof. I also belong to two writing groups. They’re not critique groups; we generate new work using writing prompts—set a timer for 20 minutes, share aloud what we’ve written. These groups have been very helpful for increasing productivity and striving to make my work more enticing/lively/entertaining (having an instant audience will do that to you). When a poem feels like it’s getting closer to being finished but I’m not sure, I often send it to a poet friend for suggestions. They’ll catch the unclear/fuzzy places, along with spelling and grammatical errors. So yes, depending on the kindness of (once) strangers has been essential since the beginning.