Why I Write Poetry: Jacqueline Hallenbeck

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In 2017, I started a “Why I Write Poetry” series of guest posts. I’ve already received so many, and I hope they keep coming in (details on how to contribute below). Today’s “Why I Write Poetry” post comes from Jacqueline Hallenbeck who writes, “I must admit... I use poetry as a weapon.”

Jacqueline Hallenbeck is a Medical Transcriber and a Poet-in-Transit. She has been published in Current, The Hudson Reporter, SpeedPoets, The Hudson Independent and Ecuatoriano, among others. She has featured at Art House Productions and has placed in the Top Ten in several Writer's Digest Poetic Asides Challenges. She lives in New Jersey with her husband John.


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Why I Write Poetry: Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Because I've done nothing else. There are no degrees on my walls and I can't make people. Poetry is my one achievement.

 Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Some of my poems make me proud. Others crack me up. And then there are the WhatWasIThinking? poems that oftentimes escape me. When I write them, I am convinced they are good. Come back to them a day later and I am mortified and beyond embarrassed at having released them into cyberspace.

I write poems in the shower, in my car on my way to work, before I go to sleep. I am a rhymer who loves feedback, and when it comes to poetry, the sound of crickets is the one sound you don't want to hear.

I have MASSIVE stage fright and have killed it (not) at open mics. My best and most flawless performances have been in my living room, my kitchen, my car and in front of my bathroom mirror.

My poetry is... for sharing. When April (Poetry Month) and Halloween come around, I spend all my time making and giving out poetreats. My Christmas letters are filled with poems. With my gumball machine, I sell poems for 25 cents at various poetry events. PoeTweets are next on my list.

Poetry is... my life and it is all around me. I play the Poetry Game with my nieces and nephew, where each player says a random word and prompts the next player to make up a poem with it. I live in The Heights, where the streets are lined with Poetrees.

I must admit... I use poetry as a weapon. When my husband misbehaves, I read him a poem.

Do I want to be discovered? Hell, yeah! But that's the lazy poet in me talking.

Poetry makes me happy. It makes me smile. I love reading it. I love writing it. If one of my poems makes you laugh, my work here is done.


If you’d like to share why you write poetry, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with a 300-500 word personal essay that shares why you write poetry. It can be serious, happy, sad, silly–whatever poetry means for you. And be sure to include your preferred bio (50-100 words) and head shot. If I like what you send, I’ll include it as a future guest post on the blog.


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