Award-Winning Local Poet Shares Secrets

Carrie Backe

Carrie Backe


Learn some poetry tips from Carrie Backe, a Payson poet and winner of the Arizona Senior Poet Laureate competition for several years. She will speak at a poetry workshop on April 28, sponsored by the Rim Country District of Arizona Press Women to celebrate National Poetry Month.

The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Payson Senior Center, 214 W. Main St. The fee is $10.

The workshop will provide tips about writing poetry, breaking some rules and entering poetry contests.

Backe’s award-winning work can be found in an online anthology at

A retired teacher, Backe taught middle school Spanish in Chicago and was a textbook editor. After retiring from teaching, she also owned a used bookstore.

She said she has always been a word person and wrote poetry off and on for most of her life. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that she started spending more time with her poetry and working at it.

Backe finds poems in people she meets, and places she discovers with her husband on trips in their motor home.

In addition to her award-winning poems, Backe has had other poetry published over the years and compiled a collection of her works in a book for friends and family.

She said the April 28 workshop plan is to share some of what she has written and discuss her thought and work processes. She will give attendees tips on coming up with ideas and on how to write.

“If there are other experienced poets attending, I hope they will be willing to share their knowledge and advice as part of the discussion,” Backe said.

She will have time for questions and to discuss topics of interest to participants. She said she also hopes to send everyone home with something they have done during the course of the workshop.

Backe and her husband retired in the Rim Country in 1998. They discovered the area during visits to their children who were making their home in the Valley, she said.

Initially they had thought they would retire in Florida because that is where their parents were, but after spending some time there, they decided it was too hot and humid.

Their children wanted them to retire in the Valley, but they felt it was also too hot.

Payson was perfect and even now when they come back from being away, they breathe sighs of relief.

“It is always like coming home,” Backe said.

For more information, call APW at (928) 472-7132 or (928) 468-9269.


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