Creating Community

I suppose there are poets who don’t need contact with a community of other writers, but I’m not one, and most of the poets I know aren’t either.

It’s not even that I need community, or contact, or want it; but I’m better if I know it’s there.   Not happier, just better — like knowing that you could take a trip tomorrow to somewhere nice, even if you don’t take it.

The point is, community is not a random thing, like people from different towns who happen to meet one night on an accidental street corner.  If it works, it’s because it is institutionalized, known, anticipated:  THERE, like a tree or a mountain seen out the window.

It takes a lot of activity to make a community, a lot of intense, planned activity to make something so casual and open and inviting that everyone can participate.

Steve Kuusisto and I created an award this year to honor people who are creating that sense of community here in Syracuse and Central new York.  Steve and I are co-editors / publishers of Nine Mile Magazine and Books (and this blog, and the podcasts).  The award is “For significant contributions to the art of writing and poetry.”