Inspired by the Gotham Writers Workshop courses I am setting up a poetry group to explore writing poetry. This is for anyone who wants to break into more freedom with poetic language or to just become more creative at problem-solving. It is less about creating Art and more about training our souls to make connections between things. Poetry is about finding meaning in surprising places and communicating it through the succinct language of imagery and the apt word.
A group of up to a dozen will meet online every two weeks for about an hour. Between times we will read a chapter of our fabulous college textbook, Writing Poems sixth edition * by Michelle Boisseau and Robert Wallace. At the end of every chapter are some exercises for experimenting with the chapter’s concept, and each student will respond by writing. That original work will get posted to some private place we each can access and we will read and respond to our classmates’ work with helpful assessment. We will also share poetry we find by the masters.
Five activities: Read the chapter, do the exercise, write responses to our classmates’ work; share master poetry for our collection, and discuss the chapter and our poetry when we meet online. We will meet even if we haven’t read or done the homework, because there will be plenty to talk about. We will review.
There are twelve good chapters. At two weeks for a chapter, that is about six months. Summer seems to be a rotten time for online classes, so this puts us into next fall: April, May, June; September, October, November. Done before Christmas.
Personally, it wouldn’t be comfortable for me to pull off a chapter and writing assignment every week, though this is the pace of the Gotham Writers Workshop classes. If the group favors an intense run through, a chapter a week I would consider it! We would reduce the writing assignments and work on fewer poems. The Gotham Writers Workshop Poetry course syllabus is enlightening here. The blurb says students work on one or two poems.
My goal is to take their poetry course next winter, after doing a year of mental poetry-yoga to loosen up my stiff sinews. I would love to have others join me for this.
For supplies you need the Writing Poems book, a headset with microphone, and a binder in which to collect poetry you print (opt).
Google Hangouts or some other venue will allow people who have never met face to face to take this “class” together. Is it a class? A book club? A discussion group? As a life-long learner and teacher I feel comfortable leading this group and letting the book teach us, so that we are all learners together.
I will figure out the best (free) venue for us to use for posting our creative work and another for our online conversation.
You decide if you would like to commit to this discussion group.
We’ll start in early April. Date and time to be determined. Day of the week? Probably a Monday or Thursay evening, but Saturday is possible. Please email me at rutheholleran at yahoo dot com if you are interested in becoming a part of this group.
* Because it is older this outrageously expensive textbook will cost less than $10.