WRITING TIP: Find the poetry in yourself

“FOR ME, POETRY IS deep soul-talk, a transformative energy, one of the most powerful means to enlarge one’s presence in the world,” says Luis Rodriguez, the current poet-laureate of Los Angeles. Luis ought to know: writing poetry launched him into a life that he couldn’t have dreamed of when he was a teenage gang member looking for meaning and belonging. He began by writing about his own life and found in doing this truths and insights that eventually made him a leader — first in his own community, then in wider and wider circles — which led to last year’s bid for Governor of California on the Green Party ticket. To follow Luis’s inspiration, try listening to EB White — “Advice to young writers who want to get ahead without annoying delays: don’t write about Man, write about a man. [or a woman].”