Poetry collections by Sandee Gertz Umbach and Lori Lamothe evoke a broad array of reactions, responses, feelings, and understandings, but perhaps most of all they prompt consideration of what inspires a poem, and what inspires an entire collection. It’s easy enough to say “whatever moves me,” but the fact is that poetic inspiration comes from what we experience, what we see, what we feel, where we come from, what we believe, and how we think.
For poet Sandee Gertz Umbach, the inspiration for the 49 poems of The Pattern Maker’s Daughter is childhood and the specific geography in which she spent her childhood – Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Most of us associate Johnstown with steelmaking and the great floods of 1889, 1936, and 1977 (those were the major floods: there were also many minor ones). “Pattern maker” is, in fact, a specific job in the steel industry, one held by Umbach’s father (and her grandfather also work in the steel industry).
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.