Scott Sage Goodenough maintains the belief that anyone can become a poet, if they are willing to put pen to paper.
“All a person has to do is just write poetry,” said Goodenough, a student at Central Oregon Community College.
Goodenough uses his pen as his voice in a noisy world. He has written poetry for a few years, after being introduced to the art of poetry a few years ago through members of a “once vibrant” Central Oregon poetry community. Goodenough has written his own book of poetry called Project Heart and is currently working on another project. Like many poets, Goodenough believes that poetry provides a release from the everyday world, giving a voice to the struggles people face in life. To Goodenough, inspiration can be found in any facet of life, including the college classroom.
“I learn things in classes that spark something in me and then I write a poem,” Goodenough said.
Goodenough also looks to those poets who wrote before him as inspiration for the poems he writes today.
“I read a lot of poetry… so I hear a lot of poetry and I am in that poetic mindset to write,” explained Goodenough, “[My favorite poet] is Kevin Young.”
Although Goodenough always tries to maintain his poetic mindset, it is hard to ignore some of the obstacles that follow him and other poets in Central Oregon, like the slowly fading poetry scene in Bend.
“There used to be poetry slams once a month where people could perform their spoken poetry,” Goodenough recalled. “But in the winter months, as everything else slowed down, so did the poetry scene… one winter it just died.”
Goodenough and other members of the community have worked together to rebuild the Central Oregon poetry scene. One of the largest supporters of the Central Oregon poetry scene is The Nature of Words. The Nature of Words is a community organization in Central Oregon that works to support the literary arts and other humanitarian projects through community involvement. The Nature of Words offers a variety of adult classes, including poetry classes, explained Goodenough.
“They offer a lot of really good classes,” Goodenough said.
As Central Oregon’s poetry scene slowly redevelops, Goodenough focuses on his poetry and his message: Love.
“There really is no difference between people,” Goodenough explained. “When you focus on [differences between you and someone else] you are creating a reason not to love them. You should always love somebody, because everybody has something that is loveable about them.”