Abriana Jetté, The Art and Craft of Poetry Writing teacher, on the rhythms of teaching vs. writing
Part of teaching online writing courses through the Center is a focus on community-building. In response to a question Elizabeth Ayres posed to all Center teachers, Abriana Jetté (The Art and Craft of Poetry Writing) shared with her colleagues some insights into both her teaching and creative processes.
EA: What excites you, turns you on, makes you grin from ear to ear about your Center class? Where is the joy for you in the teaching? Is there any relationship between the pleasure you feel teaching and the pleasure you feel when you’re writing?
AJ: Everything turns me on. Focus long enough on a pile of laundry and a story will come forth, the rhythm already created in the swishing of the water in the machine. I love that this class draws readers to poems that deserve to be read, but, as the poets are emerging writers, are not as widely distributed as they should be.
There’s a big difference for me in teaching than in writing. Writing is a spiritual process for me, when I write I am listening to something and someone other than my direct self, and during the semester, when I am teaching more than 150 students, it is difficult for me to get in that zone. Sure, I scribble down lines, and once in a while something good might come out of me, but teaching occupies my consciousness. I want to ensure that when my students and I part they are confident in their newly acquired knowledge; further, that they are kinder, more empathetic human beings.
Writers, does spirituality factor into your creative process?