This past Friday, gazillions of tourists spread out around downtown Sedona. They resembled ants on the prowl. Meanwhile, my friend Linda and I headed over to the Sedona Arts Center for a free poetry workshop. followed by readings by guest instructor/reader Sherwin Bitsui.. The soft-spoken and humble poet shared some insights about his use of imagery, including juxtaposition of opposing images within his verse. Figuring that Sherwin would have special insights about earth-imagery, his having grown up on the Navajo reservation north of Holbrook, we were informed about his family and tribe’s customs and observations of nature.

He had us workshop attendees to a short exercise with words involving sounds. I found this quite challenging, since I am more visually-inclined. I stuck to the here and now of what I heard within and outside of the classroom. My verse was the tersest among the five of us in the class.

The Sedona Arts Center built a “Poetry Corner”, about 10×10 feet, in a cove near the parking lot in back of the main gallery. The art barn behind it houses a theater space and extra visual exhibition space. When we visited the latter gallery, we were treated with a world-class display of pleine air paintings by Arizona artists. That was a treat!

We stayed and listened to Sherman read from two of his books: Flood Song (a  National Book Award), and Shape Shift. All I can say is, never underestimate the power of a poet reading his own work.

What a great day it turned out to be.

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