For nearly 50 years now, Glenna Luschei has been writing poetry. In the late ’60s, she began publishing poetry on the Central Coast and founded her own poetry journal, Solo Press, providing local writers with an outlet that continues to this day. Over the years, Luschei has taught at Cal Poly, won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was named San Luis Obispo’s poet laureate in 2000. Just last year, she published her 30th book of poetry, a collection of more than 50 works titled The Sky is Shooting Blue Arrows. On March 7, she’ll be holding a writing workshop for aspiring poets called Ideas of March.
The workshop will be held in conjunction with an art show, Gifts of the Spirit, on display at the United Methodist Church. Participants will be able to write poetry based on these works by local artists, merging the two media of visual and written art.
“I think people will be surprised by what they create,” Luschei commented. “Some people say they can’t write poetry, but when they look at paintings they will be inspired and it will give them ideas. What this new spring weather is bringing to them, with all the blossoming, and look at the paintings and think of how their bodies and minds are stirred.”
Luschei’s own work draws heavily from the natural world and visual arts. In The Sky is Shooting Blue Arrows, she writes of the desolate landscape, adobe houses, wind-swept plains, and rich history of the American West. They’re emotional poems, packed with intimate details about one’s relationship to place, family, and the past. Luschei hopes the workshop will help inspire new writers to make these same kinds of creative connections.
“What really thrills me is how people come out with ideas that come from the very base of their souls, and it’s always a new adventure,” Luschei said. “It never gets old. I keep trying to develop my craft, to get better. This is what the craft workshop will do, [help them] realize they can keep going. They won’t lose their initial thrill and inspiration.”
Glenna Luschei’s poetry writing workshop, Ideas of March, takes place on March 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo. Admission is free and open to all who wish to attend. For more info, contact Rena Ferro at 440-4683.