Plainville, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Even the most avid poetry readers probably haven’t heard of Pit Pinegar.
The Plainville poet hasn’t achieved celebrity status yet, but she’s well on her way to achieving that goal.
One book of poetry, ‘Nine Years Between Two Poems,’ was published in 1996 and a second book is due out shortly.
Pinegar started writing poetry in high school. But she didn’t know anyone else who wrote poetry, so she viewed it as an unpopular field.
Pinegar is pleased that poetry is becoming a more popular medium, both with teens and adults.
Not only are more people reading poetry, but many decide to write their own.
“This,” Pinegar said, “is really interesting because it means that people are becoming dissatisfied with their current ways of communication.”
The coffeehouses opening in the area are a good way for poets to reach audiences, Pinegar said.
Slam poetry a new trend in coffeehouse poetry readings is becoming increasingly popular with both poets and audiences.
“A sloppy poet who is a good performer can go far with slam poetry,” Pinegar said, “but a gifted poet who is an outstanding performer can add a whole new dimension to the poem.”
In addition to poetry, Pinegar writes short-stories and non-fiction. She’s written two unpublished novels.
“I write mostly from personal experience, but never about the same experience twice.”
When it comes to life experiences to write about, Pinegar has plenty. She has dealt, in many literary forms, with attention deficit disorder, a condition that afflicts her daughter, Amanda.
“This is a topic I don’t think I’ll ever exhaust,” said Pinegar.
If she does deplete this topic, her five-year residence in Saudi Arabia should generate plenty of subject matter. Apparently, living there has already influenced her writing.
“It gave me a sense of geography that I hadn’t had in my writing before.”
According to Pinegar, her subjects naturally lend themselves to one type of writing or another. Many lend themselves to poetry rather than novels or short stories, she said, because of the freedom poets have with words.
“Because of the language used in poetry, people can write concretely about abstractions,”she said.
Symbolism is one way poets write “concretely about abstractions,” she said, but incorporating symbolism isn’t always easy for an author.
“Symbolism, for me, usually comes in the second draft of a poem, or later,” said Pinegar. Authors can use symbolism spontaneously in their original drafts, Pinegar said, but often they don’t notice it until later.
Pinegar admits using symbolism in her poems without realizing it. “And then, when someone reads the poem and says, ‘I like the way you used symbolism here,’ I have to decide whether to admit I didn’t know it was there, or to take credit for it.”
Pinegar found she could keep writing poetry even after she married and started a family.
“It’s one of the few literary forms that benefits from being picked up and put down,” she said. “When I was raising my children I only had five-minute blocks of time to myself, so poetry was the easiest thing to write.”
Pinegar knows how hard it is to perfect a poem.
How many drafts does she write? “About 100, lots and lots,” she said with a laugh.
But, she added, “Any serious poet will have in excess of 10 drafts of a poem.”
Pinegar said she can now be picky about the exact words and phrases she uses in her poems because computers make revisions much easier.
When Pinegar is writing a poem she expects nothing from it.
“I have no ambitions for my poems until they’re finished. While I’m writing them I don’t think about publishers or my audience at all.”
That’s a good attitude to have because even previously published poets can have a hard time finding a publisher to print their books.
“Each book of poems,” said Pinegar, “stands alone and has to prove itself.”
‘Nine Years Between Two Poems’ is available at Millrace Bookstore in Farmington.
Courtney Pendleton is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.