Creative writing in Lancaster

Here’s a poem fragment that merits reflection on a spring Sunday. It’s Franz Wright, reflecting on his baptism

That insane asshole is dead
I drowned him
and he’s not coming back.

I’m trying to write more like him—spare and contemplative yet rich and bristling with action.

Today I met up with Susan Pogorzelski (20orsomething on Twitter) and Lynn Holmgren at Square One Coffee for our first real meeting as an admittedly small writing group. We each write in different genres and modes, and we each have somewhat different ideas of what we’d like to get out of the group, which keeps it fun, interesting, and flexible.

Writers chair by Andrew Wyeth

The simplicity and solitude of the act of writing (as captured here by Andrew Wyeth) doesn’t always lend itself to community and networks.

In my networking locally, I’ve met relatively few creative writers. The ones I’ve met who make their homes in Lancaster include Chet Williamson, Kelly Watson, Linda Espenshade, Timothy Rezendes, Jessica Smucker Falcon, and Garrett Faber. Just last week I had the pleasure of meeting Kerry Sherin Wright, who runs Franklin & Marshall’s Philadelphia Alumni Writers House. It’s a priority of mine to meet Betsy Hurley of the Lancaster Literary Guild. Please, tell me what Lancaster writers I haven’t met and need to. Extra points for poets. And if you’re a writer and I just don’t know it, smack me upside the head.

I’m confident that there is a respectable number of creative writers producing creative works here in Lancaster County. We seem to be the least well-networked of the artists in the area, particularly when compared to musicians and visual artists.

This afternoon, Susan offered a line from Shel Silverstein as a writing prompt: “I’m afraid I got too close.” I don’t particularly enjoy sharing early drafts, but in the spirit of sharing and openness, here is my very rough draft inspired by the prompt.

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