Wilkinson Poetry Workshop with Sherry Robbins

The local poet visited SEM as the annual Elizabeth McNulty Wilkinson ’25 poetry lecturer.

Jocelyn Yang '19, Contributor


Spring is the time when nature blooms, as well as creative writing at SEM. 
Ms. Robbins’s arrival provided a great opportunity to let the students connect with the world of poetry.

This winter, sophomores had been encouraged to write poems with guidance from SEM Poet in Residence Ansie Baird ’55, during the her annual poetry workshop. After a season of practice, where the student poets came up with their best work and shared it in the library’s poem chat, Ms. Robbins felt “amazed and proud of these girls.”

Not only have students’ poems improved, so has their literature awareness“I found great illumination in Ms. Baird and Ms. Robbins commons in terms of creative writing, and I’m really grateful to this poetry program,” Veronica Zhang ’19 said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Robbins also shared her personal writing, experience during the poetry chats. As one of the few people to pursue a childhood dream, the seed of being a poet was sown in her mind from the time since she was a fourth grader, but she said she hide this secret dream for 20 years.

Speaking of creative process, Ms. Robbins believes that all works of inspiration come from life and above life.

In awe of nature, her poems give us the world in stunning beauty. “The Pacific” tells of her first Pacific crossing experience. She writes,”Love years later/we still sail for Love/with a capital “L”,/but once in port/we find this man, that woman, unfamiliar,/fumble for their names/and the small, expected/offices of love.”

At the end of the day with students in the library, Ms. Robbins gave a poetry reading from her chapbook Or, the Whale in the Chapel, to mark the end of the sophomore poetry project.

“Poems have inclusiveness, and reader’s imagination corresponds poems live. Treat it like a warm bath, just sink in it and listens its sound,” Ms. Robbins said.