Essays / Faculty

Teresa Carson on the Writing Process

“Poetry begins in trivial metaphors, pretty metaphors, “grace” metaphors, and goes on to the profoundest thinking that we have. Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another. People say, “Why don’t you say what you mean?” We never do that, do we, being all of us too much poets. We like to talk in parables and in hints and in indirections — whether from diffidence or some other instinct.”

-Robert Frost, “Education by Poetry”, speech delivered at Amherst College and subsequently revised for publication in the Amherst Graduates’ Quarterly (February 1931).


I tend to work on projects; therefore individual poems are connected to a larger subject/theme—e.g. a sideshow traveling through the Midwest at the height of the Civil War.

“In essence, my writing process resembles a popcorn popper…”

There is usually a long gestation/research period, which always feels way too long, before I start writing the poems but once things get going I work on multiple poems at once. In essence, my writing process resembles a popcorn popper: first nothing seems to happen then there’s a pop here, a pop there then there’s explosive popping for a few minutes then back to a pop here, a pop there then back to nothing.

CHECK OUT Teresa’s website

LEARN MORE about Teresa and The Frost Place

APPLY to the Conference on Poetry and Teaching

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