So my first workshop in Geneseo was Fiction with Gentry in the spring semester of last year. This only being my second workshop and a diversion from the structure and content of my first one, I can’t help but feel like a fish out of water, especially when I see the poetry coming out of more experienced poets in the class.
But I can’t help but notice that fiction is trailing into every piece of poetry I write. I recognize that poetry is more of a fluid subject between fiction and cnf, kind of a meeting point between the two and I appreciate that. But the fiction characters I write, especially in my last semester, have been worming their way into my poems lately. I guess this can be seen as a natural thing, but I feel like I may be stuck in the fiction mind-set versus the poetry one.
I guess my question is this: How do you create characters in your poem when you’re writing about experiences that haven’t happened to you? Do you focus more on content and shape your speakers around that, or do you have a set character in mind? One with experiences you’ve invented and can build off of? Or is it okay to simply say, hey you can do both?