About Charles T. Straney, Nancy Dunlop, and Sam Turner
It happened this way: Charles T. Straney chased me down as I was walking across campus one day. He said, “Okay. It’s time. Let’s get going.” We were so young, 18, 19 maybe? Charles, Sam Turner and I had signed up for a workshop at SUNY Albany. New to poetry, three young cubs. But I understood what Charles meant. It was time for us to get to work. Seriously. To write as much as possible. To read accomplished poets. To exchange what we were learning, and most importantly, to get together once a week and workshop the heck out of each other’s poems. We were very different from one another. We were kids, hormones flying around. But our weekly workshops were sacrosanct. How we remained so disciplined so young is still a marvel to me. We had a sympatico, an intimacy, a growing support of and respect for each other as poets. This was decades ago. And I can say that I have never had a connection with poets like the one I had with these two wonderful fellows. I learned how to write poetry because of my work with Sam and Charles. It is a blessing that we have found each other again and that the trust and affection remains intact. Just like when we were kids, swimming in poems. And the poetry continues to flow. With gratitude and love.