Episode 456: Therapy for Poets: On Reading and Writing Poetry — Interview with Danielle Mitchell
Today, Lori is interviewing Danielle Mitchell. They’ll be talking about the methodology of writing and reading poetry.
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In this episode Danielle Mitchell and Lori discuss:
- Adding emotional stakes to poems to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
- The magic of tapping into things you don’t understand.
- Her process for annotating poems and poetry collections.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
About Danielle Mitchell
Danielle Mitchell (she/her) is an intersectional feminist, poet, and teaching artist. She is the Founding Director of The Poetry Lab, an online learning platform that rallies in service of working-class writers around the globe. Danielle is the author of Makes the Daughter-in-Law Cry, winner of the Clockwise Chapbook Prize (Tebot Bach, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Vinyl, Four Way Review, Transom, New Orleans Review, Nailed Magazine and others. Danielle has received scholarships to travel to Patmos Island, Greece to study poetry, as well as grants from Poets & Writers and the Ashaki M. Jackson No Barriers Grant from the Women Who Submit. She is the inaugural winner of the Editor’s Prize from Mary Magazine and the Editor’s Choice Award from The Mas Tequila Review. She has performed on stages all over Southern California including the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Danielle holds bachelor’s degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies and Creative Writing from the University of Redlands and is an alumna of the Community of Writers. She is currently working on a manuscript of poems about misogyny and the Internet.
The Poetry Lab
The Poetry Lab is a community learning space for creative writers. We are dedicated to mentoring and encouraging poets and writers to craft their learning journeys through non-traditional means. We are based in the Greater Los Angeles area, but most of our workshops and classes are now held online via Zoom. A creative journey itself, The Poetry Lab was co-founded by friends Markus D. Manley and Danielle Mitchell.
Originally housed inside Markus’ co-work space, Work Evolution Laboratories, in Downtown Long Beach, California, The Poetry Lab started as a bi-monthly generative workshop. We offered folx a chance to learn new skills, elements of craft, and techniques for submitting their work for publication. This collaborative community space offered writers something rare: a chance to learn in a relaxed setting, away from the stern trappings of Academia, and a space to gather in community outside of the open mic limelight. As our classes grew, we began inviting visiting teaching artists to lead workshops on topics like ekphrasis, image and metaphor, silence, new and invented forms. Eventually, our members also became Poetry Lab instructors. From the beginning, we have followed a collaborative model, celebrating diversity and the unique gifts that every writer brings to the table.
For Markus, it was always about nurturing the creative spirit. He dedicated his life’s work to arts and tech collaborations all over Long Beach. He was known in the community as the guy who would do whatever he could to help others thrive. It was this spirit that drove Danielle, a budding community organizer herself, to take the leap to bring this vision of The Poetry Lab to life.
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