When I left New England, I left behind my writing gang, a hard thing to do. But I meant to live in Ireland and those poets would be happy to visit me. However, I landed in Colorado, partly to be a daily part of my only grandson’s life, and partly because a novel I’d written was in the hands of an East Coast agent, and I was concerned that being across the ocean would complicate any chance of publishing the novel. Who would have thought that an agent could sleep through the entire six months of the contract?
Without looking too far into the future, I decided that if I was here, I could take advantage of the proximity of Naropa University, a scant twenty minutes from my new home. Soon I was in Boulder for a week-long poetry class with Allison Adelle Hedge Coke and that has made all the difference. Our assignment was to write poetry under the influence of an issue. My issue was our food supply, and the result was, eventually, a poetry collection, The Great Hunger.
A more immediate result happened during the evening of a poetry reading. During a break, waiting to go back into the hall, a woman in line and I struck up a conversation, and when she heard that I was a writer new to Colorado, she invited me to a group she attended in Denver. And I went and we were a fit and that woman, a poet named Cyndeth Allison, is one of my closest friends. Who says poetry makes nothing happen?