AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“My impulse is to write everything and then go back and read everything,” he said. He added that “there is no right way to read a poem,” and that “young people do not think of poems as dull or of the past.” The author of seven poetry and three nonfiction books is a graduate professor at the University of Houston. He has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award and the T.S. Eliot prize. With many of the attending students enrolled in an English course, Doty urged the budding writers or poets to be creative and compared the structure of a written work to a human being – poems and stories all have bodies, minds and soul. GLENDORA – Mark Doty’s advice to young writers is that good poetry should surprise its author. A common cliche, he adds, is one should write what they know. But, he said, the best text actually comes from writing about the unfamiliar. “It is what you are trying to know,” the 54-year-old said. “A poem should resist easy explanation. If you can summarize and say what that poem means, it probably is not a good one.” The accomplished poet addressed Citrus College students Thursday, answering questions on his writing process. There should be emotion and feeling, but enough description so the reader understands what the scene is or the person being written about, Doty said. “The more you are willing to take a risk, the more your readers will feel the energy of that risk,” he added. Anthony Garcia, 21, is a longtime fan of Doty’s work and was introduced to the poems through an English class. Garcia wants to be a published poet. He was thrilled to have the chance to meet one of his idols and read one of his original compositions with Doty in the audience. For Ace Paule, Doty’s tips could be applied to another creative area – composing song lyrics. Paule, a guitarist in a funk jazz band, reflected that much of Doty’s wisdom, “looking over the work and removing the deadwood,” was worth remembering. Paule, 30, writes in a journal every chance he gets – scribbling the details of his dreams or reflections on a difficult experience. He admits that much of the entries would not make sense to others. During Doty’s question- and-answer session, he asked the poet if he found writing poems about negative experiences difficult. He said it was natural to avoid such experiences, but unless they are dealt with, they will resurface later. “You can have power over the words you use to say something,” he said. “Sometimes that is the only power we have.” Paule said that he has the tools to make his writing better – and “more digestible for people.” Having attended hundreds of similar question-and-answer sessions across the country, Doty said students feel connected to him because he is a working writer who struggles daily just as they do. “It makes them feel that writing is a little less remote from their lives than it otherwise seems,” he said. The poet fancies himself as a “champion of idiosyncracy,” celebrating one’s ability to “listen to their inner voices.” Citrus instructor David Overly, who helped organize the event, said he hopes to have authors like Doty speak to students every year. “He talks about writing,” he said, “and students learn about the craft of poetry, which can inspire students.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108 www.insidesocal.com/schools160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!