Robert Vasquez, author of Braille for the Heart (Momotombo Press), on the importance of revision, editing and workshop.
Not surprisingly, the best reason for anyone to take a creative writing workshop is to expose him- or herself to the heated, at times painful comments offered by mentors and friends (and these should be friends in the truest sense and not enablers: The workshop should never adhere to the Zenith Chamber of Commerce’s motto: “Don’t knock! Boost!”). And such harsh criticism should always be concerned with what’s on the page, not with authors’ personalities or the latest “schools of poetry.” Therefore, each workshop participant should be free to eavesdrop, a wonderful gift even if the recipient can’t initially appreciate it as he or she winces or groans–and resists the urge to defend his or her work.
I love reading posts like this where the opinions are based on personal/professional experience with the desire to improve the state of poetry for everyone; poets and audience. Palabra.
Some poems from Braille for the Heart, along with information on ordering the chapbook, can be found here.