By Rachel Nix
Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the new girl. I do poems. I’m also a bit of a road-whore and am about to pack up my car and head north. Why? I used to be a very bad writer. Like, really bad. That’s not why you go north, though.
Several years ago I met a woman named Kathryn who took a shine to me. I call her a mentor behind her back. She doesn’t care for praise. Anyhow, besides being a good friend, she’s also helped me grow into my writing – from showing me the worth of simplicity to teaching me how line breaks add definition to words, she’s taken the time to invest in me. So, I’m gonna take my ‘Bama self up to her place in Vermont for a few days and have some pie and whatnot. The moral of my rambling is mentoring is important.
Writing is part of us, but sometimes it needs to be coaxed out or encouraged. Let’s face it: writers are weird. Often enough, we’re loners. That’s fine, but I’m a firm believer in finding one’s tribe. I found mine at Pankhearst. I don’t know the whole crew of badass women yet, but I’ve learned that Kate and Evangeline are my kinda people: they have words under their fingernails and are down to help other writers do their thing.
They’re also letting me wear my little metaphorical mentor hat as Associate Editor. I’ve met some poets along the way who are a little shy of their potential for whatever reason. I love working with them. I get them. I was one of them and still am most days. Some of these writers are gonna be showing their faces on various features here soon enough and they’ll impress your pants off. Prepare yourselves.
Anyway, my point: Find your tribe. Lead them or learn from them, but be present.
And eat pie with people.
I’m totally gonna eat more-than-pie with some other rad folks, too. I’m set to crash on the couch of fellow poet Natalie Easton, have dinner with Kendall Bell of Maverick Duck Press, and get into all sorts of shenanigans with Amanda Oaks, of Words Dance. Ahem…okay, so I’m kind of a tribe-slut. No, wait. I’m poly-tribal. And off I go.
Follow the wayward mile.
Follow the distant high.
Follow the strangest tribe.