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  • Writer's pictureNoah Cain

Each Word a Seed


Massive marketing budget.

In the poetry workshop I ran at Rainbow Trout Music Festival this past weekend, I encouraged participants to imagine their writing being read by someone who holds them in unconditional positive regard.


When you think about your work being read, picture a loved one sitting on a beach running their fingers through the warm sand. It is always nice to read what you’ve been working on, they think as they read. And every once in a while, as they read, their sifting fingers will find something beautiful—a shell or a stone, a line or a phrase—that they will put in their pocket and treasure and keep forever.


In the workshop, I led participants in an exercise I developed that explores single words as the seeds of poems. They came up with some amazing stuff.


At the end, I asked each participant to share one phrase that they were proud of with me at the close of the exercise. The week following the festival, I took those phrases and played around with them, making slight changes to wording and tense so they would work grammatically.


I had a lot of fun doing the workshop and it made me excited to get back into the classroom this year.

The collective poem.

Beautiful day for a workshop.

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