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Poetry Pals and Their Favorite Personal Pieces

Lucky for you guys, October 7th is National Poetry Day and two of our poets are going to share two of their punchy poems while also sharing some info behind the scenes. Page and Emily happen to be in a poetry class together this semester and spend every second of their time crafting each word to be the best it can. 

Each poet chose one of their favorite poems and is giving us some insight on what inspired them and what they were thinking when writing the piece. Poems are something that usually must speak for themselves but they were willing to include some top secret behind the scenes info. 

Page Sutton

Meet Me Halfway

Let’s meet somewhere outside time and space‒

Around the corner, to sit on the electrical boxes that say “CAUTION” on the sides.

Underneath the arms of the pinetree, where we left our trinkets and 

treasures in the dirt last spring.

By the lakeshore, to stare at the twisted weeds and say the things we usually say. 

In the tree in your yard, because we can spy on the grumpy neighbor lady.  

Let’s meet somewhere outside time and space‒

Where we can consume millions of sour gummy worms and never get fat. 

In your bedroom, where the single lightbulb flickers and we play Connect Four on the bed until 

I beat you. 

Behind the shed when the sun sets, because they can’t find us there, and we have important things to discuss. 

At night, so our smiles aren’t visible, but we can still see each other's dusty shoelaces 

and mosquito bites. 

Let’s meet somewhere outside time and space‒

In your car, because I think I left my Chapstick on the seat last night. 

The snowpile near the school, we can crush snow under our sneakers and pretend we aren’t cold.

At the stop sign, to scratch our names in the paint really small so only we can see them. 

On the roof of the garage, so you can tell me you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. 

Let’s meet somewhere outside time and space‒

Where we can ignore the big picture; it’s too much for now. 

In your head, so I can see all the reasons I’ll never understand the “why.”

Between our dreams, to pretend for a while that our arms are noodles, and we are in love.

Again sometime. Then, I can look in your eyes and take it all back. 

Behind The Scenes

I wrote this poem about my childhood best friend who was also my next-door neighbor. We fell in love with each other, and that love lasted years...until long after we stopped playing hide n’ seek and tag in each other’s yards, but it changed. I wanted to highlight that change, even though it’s hard to put into words a change that happened without immediately noticing it occurred. We went from young, naive, optimists to older, mature, realists––this strikes me now as somewhat sad. The light that we had left, and the things that we said are just memories now. This poem intends to encapsulate that. 

In my poetry, I like to use very specific images. I think that rather than alienating an audience, it helps readers to relate more to what is being said; most people can picture tiny names scratched into the red paint of a stop sign and have more than likely seen something similar to that. Naming things like “Chapstick” and “Connect Four” gives the reader something concrete and ordinary to relate to, and ultimately helps to anchor the poem to reality instead of letting it float around in a void of abstraction. 

Really, I just sat at my desk late one night looking through old conversations in diaries I kept as I was growing up, and I was so overwhelmed by nostalgia and heartbreak that I needed to put words to my emotions to help myself cope with that grief of losing a piece of my heart. Once the images started flashing in my brain, the obvious next step was to transfer them onto paper, and this is what resulted.  

Emily Venné

I am my father’s daughter

I blame you for leaving us alone

but I have never understood

you more.

I look in the mirror and

see your soul in me,

I see your patterns and I 

can’t help but think

“I am my father’s daughter.”

because I know why you always leave

because I do it too.

I try to break this nose that resembles

yours and I’ve tried to cut out this

red heart that feels like yours

and I can’t seem to find all the parts 

of you within my chest.

I am guilty because I have it too.

and I do it too.

I know. I know.

I know how this goes. 

because my heart is yours

no matter how many times 

I rip it out.

Behind The Scenes

In my poetry class we were discussing family and the many ways it can be used within poems and this is what came of it. The patterns we gain from our parents and the people around us are some of the most interesting things in the world. Sometimes you can look at a family and see the height of the mother reflected in the children, or the hint of honey cream eye color passed down three generations. These are all things I was thinking of when I wrote this and I was just playing with the idea of removing these pieces and what it would look like. 

I play off the physical traits by listing the similarities of my nose and I wanted to add drama and pain to the feeling so I added the part about breaking it. The rest of the things included are more internal similarities and I think we all have these, either between parents or siblings, so I think it is something readers can understand. If they can’t relate to the words, they can at least relate to the feeling of sharing traits with someone. 

I also wanted to incorporate a dizzy and circling feeling, which I think works really well in this piece. Some days it feels like I am completely my own person and then other days I do not. I wanted to mimic this circular feeling while also showing a back and forth feeling. I did this by beginning the poem with an emotion while also explicitly ignoring the details that surround it. Readers can infer for themselves the story that spurs the emotions but I give just enough to fill in some gaps. I also begin several of the lines with “I” in order to create the feeling of a loop, which is often where I find myself stuck. This theme was something I had in my head for a while and it was just a matter of sifting through the ideas in my head, but I’m glad I waited because this wouldn’t have formed without the pause.


Emily and Page are early in their poetic careers but that doesn’t make putting pen to paper any less interesting. A message from the poets: Anyone can be a poet. Poetry is all about being able to observe your surroundings and communicate that in ways that make you feel good. When you first start writing, don’t expect the words that get scribbled down to make any sense or to “be good,” give yourself some patience and nurture that poem to health with some careful thought and editing. The final step is reflection. After continuing to write lots of not-so-pretty poems, both Emily and Page have finally started to get into their own groove of writing, and now that they’re here, they’ve started to realize just how far they’ve come. They hope that for National Poetry Day you can either read or write a poem, think about it, revel in it, and realize all the beauty that poetry can add to our ordinary lives.

Page Sutton

Winona '23

Hey! I'm Page, and I am a junior undergrad at Winona State University majoring in Applied and Professional Writing and Creative Writing, and minoring in Literature. I'm from Waseca, Minnesota, but I moved around the state a lot as a kid. After college, I plan to work as an editor/publisher while also pursuing authoring on my own. I enjoy reading, watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, baking (and eating said bakes), kayaking, and snuggling with my two dogs: Janey and George. In my head, I am dating Harry Styles…in reality, however, this is not the case, but I am a huge fan.
My name is Emily Venné and I am a junior at Winona State University. I am double majoring in Literature and Language and also Writing Option. When my nose isn't buried in a book, I am either writing, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching my favorite tv shows. I dream of one day working in either publishing or editing, and maybe even writing a book of my own. <3
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