to come to my house with their stories,
their offspring, their pictures of God.
One polaroid shows a huge toe poised
over a sugar ant. Another is nothing
but fog on a road, an endless white sky.
A man plays a violin and every note
sprouts wings. A child with red eyes
watches a small candle blink.
—Bryana Joy, "Aşure (Noah’s Pudding)"
[first published in the Winter 2021 Issue of Chestnut Review]
Before You Register
I'm so happy you're thinking about signing up to be a participant in my Level I Summer Poetry Workshop! (Click here to read more about my background in poetry, and where my work has appeared.) This workshop will be capped at six participants, and there must be a minimum of three participants enrolled in order for it to go ahead. I will give you a 72-hour notice via email if I need to cancel (which I do not anticipate), in which case you will of course be refunded in full.
A full refund (minus a $30 registration fee) will be given if you need to withdraw from the workshop at least two weeks before the first session. After that time, I'll be unable to give you a refund since it will be too late to fill your spot. However, you will be welcome to give your spot to a friend, and you will still receive the workshop syllabus, writing prompts, and reading handouts.
Note: If necessary, you can pay for your registration in four installments. Select this option at checkout to learn more.
This course is a community-oriented workshop designed to provide a space for writers of varying skill levels to share their work and engage meaningfully with one another to provide and receive in-depth feedback, constructive criticism, and encouragement. It will consist of weekly group video conferences (held via Zoom), weekly writing assignments, and various supplementary readings and activities designed to expand the participants’ familiarity with a wide range of poetic styles and voices, both contemporary and classical. At the end of the workshop, I'll host an online poetry reading with open registration in which participants will be invited to read one or two of their polished poems to an audience.
The primary objective of this course is to create a welcoming environment where creators can be affirmed and challenged in the work of making and finding meaning, and can develop friendships over a shared love for the power and beauty of language. Past workshops have been laid back, including participants with varying levels of familiarity and comfort with poetry, including some who have no poetry background at all.
Course Requirements & Expectations
In order to facilitate robust class discussions and fruitful workshop sessions, participants will be expected to write one new poem each week, and to thoughtfully read and take notes on the poems submitted by the other participants. They will also be expected to actively engage in the workshop sessions, offering thoughtful, honest, and kind feedback on others’ poems. While all other readings and activities will be optional, participants will be strongly encouraged to devote some time each week to reviewing (brief!) supplementary readings I'll compile and send out for the purpose of enhancing class discussions and enriching participants' writing practices.
Selected readings from classical and contemporary poets, including Gerard Manley Hopkins, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, e.e. cummings, Mary Oliver, W.S. Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and others.
Two weeks before the workshop begins, participants will receive a preliminary assignment and a small selection of readings to complete before the first session. Barring an unexpected emergency that may require the postponement of a session, the meeting dates and times for the workshop will be as follows:
July 7: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
July 14: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
July 21: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
July 28: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
August 4: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
August 11: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
August 18: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT
August 25: (Wednesday) 7:30-9:30pm EDT