My favorite bookstore in Portland—the infamous Powell's Books—had an entire display on the Poets of Instagram. As a dork and a writer, I was super excited when I stumbled into this section of the massive bookstore and I kept myself entertained for well over an hour exploring the work of new poets.

I fell into poetry kind of accidentally in college (though I did grow up reading poets like Ogden Nash). The story goes something like this:

As a 20-years-old college student, I decided I wanted to spend one of my summers backpacking Europe, and what better way to fund such a trip than through a study abroad program? (If you are in college I highly recommend taking advantage of such opportunities. Not only is traveling and experiencing a different culture a valuable experience, but these programs often offer experiences one simply cannot do as a regular traveler.) I walked into the University of Oregon's study abroad office, asked what summer programs were available that wouldn't require me to rely on my French skills (I was always nervous using my French). The answer: math classes in England or a poetry workshop on a Greek Island. Choosing Greece seemed like a no brainer.  Gretchen the Poet was born!

The Poetry workshop was an amazing experience for creative writing and I learned so much about the genre. I developed my love for what I feel is a style of writing that often gets a bad wrap. While I don't generally publish much of the poetry I write, the lessons I learned from the workshop still influence my approach to my creative work and I still enjoy readying the odd collection of poetry here and there. Here are just some of the poets I think are worth checking out:

Reading other poets gets me feeling inspired, and maybe someday I'll pick it back up and publish a poem or two, but for now I'll continue mostly focusing on my blogging, my advertising work, and my book (oh what?! I'm working on a book??? I sure am, and will definitely be posting more about that in the future).