Aaron Holst‘s writing, in his previous life, focused on a Fire Chief’s job requirements, penning budget proposals, fire call reports, policies and procedures, training manuals, fire cause investigation reports, and grant applications. Although this sparked creativity and satisfaction, it could not inflame the smolder inside.
Five years ago, he retired and, on a whim, completed a nine-week poetry workshop through the Sheridan Senior Center. When the workshop ended, the group agreed to meet monthly to write, critique, howl with laughter, and share their triumphs and struggles. This group’s generosity and incendiary support have set fire to his work.
His poems have been published by Wyoming Writers, WyoPoets, Redrock Writers Chaparral Forum, and in the Midwest Writing Center’s Off Channel and Western Nebraska’s Emerging Voices. He was named the Amy Kitchener Foundation’s 2010 Wyoming Senior Poet Laureate. His poem, Recipe for Dragonfly Chicken, took a first in the 2011 Artists Embassy International Dancing Poetry Festival competition and he was invited to read at the Festival in San Francisco. Recipe also placed third in the National Federation of State Poetry Society’s 2011 Jesse Stuart Memorial competition and will appear in the June 2012 edition of Encore. His contributions to Open Window bring spare and gritty eloquence to difficult subjects.
The fire still burns.