How do you find your hive?

“Always search for your innermost nature in those you are with, as rose oil imbibes from roses.” Rumi

When you seek out friends or groups – your hive – what is it that draws you to them?

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to belong to poetry support/critique groups, whose members inspire and challenge me, who mirror and nurture my innermost creative nature. And in all of them found close, lasting friendships.

My first group came after my childhood dream of writing reawakened when I was a mom with three small children of my own. I was invited to apply to a weekend women’s artist retreat, with both visual artists and writers. From that weekend we women formed an artists’ group, meeting monthly to critique our work. It was fascinating to see how the visual artists saw our poetry on the page, helping with line breaks and white space. We poets in turn saw the poetry and rhythms in the art.

One of my current groups is the Thursday Night Poets. We tried to come up with a catchier name, but after being together for 10+ years, Thursday Night Poets stuck. The members and meeting places have changed during the 10 years, but the love of poetry and the remarkable work produced are constants. It was the Thursday Night Poets who collaborated for an exhibit of ekphrastic poetry several years ago, and we’re in the process of putting together another exhibit for later this year.

And then there are my Mountain Sister Poets.

Dee, Laurie, Sue and I met 6 years ago when the four of us attended a week-long poetry workshop, led by then NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti. We were the only four in the class and there was an immediate and spiritual connection. Sue lives in Tennessee, Dee in Hillsboro, NC, Laurie in Asheville, NC and I’m in SC. so we can’t exactly meet monthly! But within days of leaving the workshop we began emailing poems to each other to critique, and that has continued.

Starting Wednesday I’ll be in retreat with these three poets for our 5th annual gathering. Hubby once asked what we’d do if it rained for the 2 to 3 days we’re in the mountains and we couldn’t go anywhere. I thought the question a bit silly. I told him we’d do what we always did – we’d write.

We each bring poems we’ve written or worked on over the year, as well as a couple prompts apiece to generate new work. We always leave with 10 – 12 new poems started.

And with these views, inspiration is just outside our door.





Whether a poet or not, where or how do you find your hive?

Photos were taken at The Mast Farm Inn.

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