“A Lifelong Apprenticeship”

 Katherine Cirino has, in her words, been “scribbling verse for half a lifetime now.” 

 She has done so ever since her discovery of the Beat poets back when she was still a student in high school.  Her early writings were expressions of typical teenage angst.  While she had been lauded for her talent at the time by her peers, she soon learned that truly great poetry was comprised of more than just whining and self pity.   She also learned that even great poetry will rarely suffice in paying the bills and putting food on the table.  

Since high school, Katherine has worked approximately two dozen odd jobs in order to make ends meet.  She asserts that she has yet to find a job that she truly enjoys.  All she has asked for thus far is a relatively stress-free occupation that allows her to devote most of her mental energy to her literary endeavors. 

Much of our conversation focused upon Katherine’s artistic education, or what she calls her “lifelong apprenticeship.”  She states that while she has had little formal schooling in literature, she is able to assert that she has “studied under the best.”  How exactly does this work? 

As an autodidact, she has read the works written by, and on, thousands of different poets, both good and bad, some well known and many obscure.   “These thousands of writers,” Katherine says, “are only the tip of the iceberg.  There are tens of thousands more out there ranging from mediocre to brilliant.  Regardless of their talent, they each have the ability to make their voices heard.”  This is through the ease of self-publishing via multimedia. 

Her task is the same as theirs, and that is to be recognized.   

I ask her what her expectations are regarding her much hoped for acknowledgement within the poetry community.  She says that her expectations are realistic, by which she means low.  She has a love for what she does, however, and it is this passion that has saved her from discouragement and disappointment. 

“The time available in which to write is very small, a few decades at best.  The good news is that I have an eternity in which to be recognized.  Even posthumous fame is better than obscurity.” 

This last, I suppose, is as apt a mantra as any…

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One Response to ““A Lifelong Apprenticeship””

  1. Ashley Rabe Says:

    I enjoyed getting to know your subject here. However, I was a bit confused and felt like a picked it up mid-story. Make sure you are writing for someone who has never seen your blog. A reader isn’t going to start from the beginning to catch up, they will just find a new blog to look at. I was a bit confused as to if this was the reporting post as well because I didn’t see any direct quotes from her. Just some tips. Thanks and good luck.

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