I found a mentor, hooray! And in probably the last place you would expect.
Yes, reddit! I headed onto the r/poetry subreddit, which, for the uneducated, are categories. I made a post under the [poetry help] tag, explaining the project, telling them who I was, and finally asking for a mentor-ship. I was excited and nervous, hesitant yet sure that yes, yes this is how I would find my mentor. So I hit the big old blue submit button, and I waited.
My heart leaped as I saw the orange light beside my username – (1) New Comment. I scurried and very nearly killed my computer rushing to see what it was. However, waves of excitement were soon replaced by waves of disappointment. PoetryBot had graced my post with an automated comment.
All well. I closed the tab for a while and went off to do other things. Soon, however, I was back on reddit, praying for a response from a human or maybe just a semi-sentient robot.
What if I don’t find a mentor, master Skywalker?
And lo and behold, four new comments!
“Simon Cowell smiling? I thought it was just legend!”
I had three people offering to mentor me online, all very experienced with poetry, as well as one person offering feedback on a part time basis. I was so excited – I hadn’t really expected to get anything!
While all three of my potential mentors seemed great, one of them definitely stood out. Username PoetessBay, she boasts some amazing qualifications. She is a published poet, having two books of poems published and out in the world. She is also an editor for a poetry magazine – and a moderator on the poetry subreddit to boot! I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor short of Hemingway descending from the clouds.
So we have been talking over email. We are currently talking about form and different styles of poetry, and we’re looking at different poems to enforce these. I look forward to writing some poetry soon, but I want to know as much about as I can first. My mentor, who’s name is Bayleigh has shared some of her work with me, including a poem called Thin which you can read in it’s entirety here, an excerpt of which I will exit with:
Really, my ship, the body,
came into the fire before
the pain of it made sense,
before the wood became
heavy with flame and flame