One of the joyful experiences I haven't elaborated on in this Year of Poetry, is letting my interests dictate my literary canon.
This plan being a self paced, self designed process leaves me free to go where the poem or poet might lead (which can be a bit bewildering in the beginning - Who do I read?).
I never studied poetry composition at university, plenty of analysis of course but not the actual writing of poetry. Our creative writing was limited to a one semester unit and that was prose. But that process tends to leave you a very narrow idea of what poetry is or could be.
Perhaps things have changed?
And writing now, isolated in the main from poetry communities and chances to learn and experience and to be guided in certain ways by what is currently "in" or by a preset literary heritage, I find myself being able to follow my own obsessions.
These obsessions led me to Richard Hugo, first his writings on Poetry and then his poems which in turn led, in the way these things do, to his commentary by way of verse on other poets.
And so I discovered William E Stafford.