Member Spotlight for the Month of November 2002 - Chris Sorrenti

He fertilizes the poetic creativity of many poets here at pathetic.org, figuratively speaking. As one of the most active and prolific poets on our site, Canadian Chris Sorrenti works as much to nurture the souls of others as he does to cultivate his own muse.

Chris wrote his first poem 30 years ago at the age of 15. It became his lifelong passion. ”Reading and writing poetry is a spiritual experience for me,” he says. ”It helped me survive difficult times and it helps me to celebrate the positives in my life.”

Initially, Chris was inspired by lyrics of musicians from the 1960s and ’70s, including the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Then he read the works of poets like Irving Layton and Margaret Atwood in high school, and from then on he was hooked.

”Many of the poets I admired discovered that there isn’t much money in poetry, so they branched out to novels and music,” he said.

To Chris, poetry is a living entity that changes over time. With his own work, he does a lot of revisions.

”My motto is: Revise! Revise! Revise!” he says. ”The great thing about posting on the Internet is that every time I go back to recast a poem, I get to read it all over again. I often find something I hadn’t noticed before that I can change and improve.”

Over the years, Chris has put together manuscripts of his poems. Some have specific themes, such as The Masterpiece of Madness, dedicated to the trials of helping a teenage son cope with clinical depression. These groupings are organized into folders in his library.

Several of Chris’ works have been published. ”Supernova” was published in Muse Canberra, an Australian arts newspaper. Other poems have been published in the University of Ottawa’s Byword magazine and the periodical Alterbox.

”The way ’Supernova’ came out is that it was written in reaction to very harsh criticism of Poesie.com,” another poetry website Chris belonged to. ”It was my way of saying ’F you, this is what I am, and what I’ll always be ... there is always something positive that comes out of the negative.”

Other personal favorites in his library include ”Awakening” (”Very surreal, it was written at a time when I was really coming out of my primal scream era”) and ”Less Cluck But More Meat For Your Buck” (”One of my best humorous pieces”).

Chris says he is more of a writer than a reader. ”I’ve sometimes been criticized for that,” he said. When he does read, he likes Anne Rice, author of The Vampire Chronicles. ”She gives her characters human qualities typical to all of us. We can relate to them.”

Chris has been active on the local poetry scene in Ontario, Canada, since 1989. Formerly the director of the Tree Reading Circle (a reading group that meets twice a month), he now serves as webmaster for the Sasquatch Writers/Performers Series (a group that meets twice a month for poetry readings and open mic). He also participates in a workshop called Jury Room, where five or six poets meet twice a month to constructively critique each other’s work. ”We always leave with the poem improved,” Chris says. ”The important thing to remember is to leave our egos at the front door and go in with an open mind.”

The following is a list of the highlights of Chris Sorrenti's poetry:

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The member spotlighted in this month's "Member Spotlight" is chosen by the pathetic.org Spotlight committee, which is made up of a small group of site patrons and administrators. Each month a member is selected for this privilege based upon contributions to pathetic.org and the quality of work.

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