Friday 5-O: Looking For Love in Poetry Class

Dear Friday 5-0

I signed up for poetry workshops to meet romantic men, but I’m finding that my classes are full of all these angry chicks.  What’s the deal?

--Out of Options

Dear OoO –

You signed up for poetry workshops to meet romantic men? What were you thinking? Fiction workshops are the place to find the man of your dreams. As for the angry chicks -- they're probably angry because they were hoping for the same thing you were.

Take it from me -- someone who's been in and taught many a fiction workshop: these guys  are sensitive, thoughtful, tortured—everything you’re looking for and more. They’re always trying to strengthen their narrative voice and heighten their emotional stakes and delve more deeply into the minds of their characters--sorry, I’m getting flustered just thinking about it. And I’m a married woman!

Seriously, though, if you don’t believe me, just look at the past century or two of literature: Can you think of even one male poet with whom you’d want to be romantically entangled? Edgar Allen Poe? Addict and depressive! T.S. Eliot? Weirdo! Langston Hughes? Workaholic! Robert Pinsky? OK, admittedly, he's not bad.

Joshua Ferris. Oh yes.

But look at who you’ve got on the fiction side of the aisle: F. Scott Fitzgerald (Dreamboat). Hemingway (Total hunk). John Irving? (Babe). The list goes on. And don’t forget some of the newer arrivals on the scene: Chuck Palahniuk? Joshua Ferris? Dave Eggers? Yeah, I’ll have me some of that, please.

My point is simply this, OoO: You’re barking up the wrong literary tree. Take a fiction workshop. You’ll be in for a very, very happy ending.


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by Jane Roper

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