Sharon Yencharis

I have been writing poetry since I was 8 years old and wrote my first song when I was 10. I studied poetry deeply in grad school (5 years! Zoiks!) and understand the mechanics of it well. There are underlying rules involved with form poetry as opposed to free verse and most people wouldn't even know a form is being used in most cases unless they are reading a poem that rhymes. I compare writing poetry using form to technology in that it's like coding using human language (as opposed to computer languages like C++, Java, Python, etc). Poetry is distilled and on purpose. It's a difficult thing to pull off but when it happens well, it makes the reader’s heart sing even if they don't know it's a Sestina or that the writer chose to use 7 syllables per line to push their creativity to the edge. Amazing things happen with pressure.

I dabble in poetry now and then, as I do with other art forms I love. I have only had 2 poems published outside of college and grad school publications. (Spending time submitting to poetry journals will happen when I retire from tech, as will working towards becoming a professional pool player. We shall see.) One was in Alpinist Magazine called "Peak." I wrote this for Steph Davis after reading her article in that magazine about her free solo ascent in Colorado. She is an incredible climber. The second is the one below. I entered that poem Lilian into the Penumbra Poetry Contest sponsored by the Tallahassee Writers Association and placed first in this somewhat recent competition. It is published in The Seven Hills Review Volume 26 and you can purchase it here.