A Month of Poetry-for-Any-Writer Exercises PWOnlineClassSeptember@groups.ioThis is the Pennwriters September Online Course: A Month of Poetry-for-Any-Writer Exercises with Gold Level Instructor Timons Esaias.
If you would like to take this course, please visit https://www.pennwriters.org/content.aspx?page_id=4001&club_id=522048 to register.
All Pennwriters Courses are conducted on the Groups.io platform. Courses are run on this discussion board and are NOT completed in a “live” presentation format. There is no required time you must log in to participate in this month’s long course.
- 3 lessons per week, with exercises
- Field recons to give participants a toolkit of methods
- Optional Zoom sessions for Q&A
- Asynchronous, so that you can go at your own pace. Doing Week One exercises in Week Four will be just fine; and the end of the month won't be the end of access to the Instructor.
There is no money in Poetry, unless you go the singer/songwriter or lyricist route, so this isn't going to set you up for fame and fortune. But poetry and poetics, with their emphasis on the sound of words and the slipperiness of meaning, are important elements in any piece of writing.
I teach poetry as a writing discipline for any writer, whether or not you aim to publish actual poems. I teach it as an exploratory technique, so that you can experiment with some things, without having to push the line all the way across the page.
This workshop will put you through the paces of poetry exercises, which do not require you to be a poet, or to wear a beret or Beat Generation get-ups. Shaggy beards are also not required. The emphasis will be on inspiration, emotion, concision, and more musical use of language.
We will follow the pattern of my many Pennwriters and In Your Write Mind poetry workshops, with a variety of approaches to poetry, all of which are secretly approaches to prose, as well. Critiques will be public or private, at the wish of each participant. We will take the subject seriously, but will not be deadly serious doing it. Silliness is often a gateway to creativity.
Speaking of creativity, sources thereof will be a central focus.
The first week: Experimentation and Inspiration.
It's useful to be able to write at the drop of a hat. It's also good to have some tricks for when the Muse is under the weather. We will remind ourselves that writing is a form of play.
The second week: Emotion & Connecting the Cable to the Battery from Time to Time.
Poetry can stir powerful emotions. It can also release them, as needed. We will risk both.
We will also practice ringing changes on real causes, so that we can share our secrets with the world, while hiding them at the same time.
Esaias's patented method of Field Reconnaissance will be employed, that you may teach yourself from here on out.
The third week: Concision.
Poetry is language that doesn't have to follow the rules of grammar. It doesn't need all the words, it avoids explanations, it leaps from point to point to Pont Neuf.
We will practice taking words out. This may help us take them out of our prose, as well.
We will admire the efficiency of certain pop song lyrics.
The fourth and final and end-of-everything-that-went-before week: Music.
We will consider figurative language, and musical elements in writing. Obviously, we'll only skim the surface, but it's the secret of human communication. We will look at the poetry of the opening of famous prose works, to remind us that poetics are everywhere.
We most certainly will admire Christopher Smart's cat, Jeoffrey.
- A variety of approaches to starting a poem, because there are many, many paths.
- A stack of bits and pieces that might become poems, or stories, someday. Also complete poems, if you feel like finishing what the exercises produce.
- A reminder that fewer words is often better writing, and some techniques for getting that done.
- Instructor feedback on exercises.
- Significant doses of courage.
Timons Esaias is a satirist, writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His works, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in twenty-two languages. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and twice won the Asimov's Readers Award. His story "Norbert and the System" has appeared in a textbook, and in college curricula. Recent genre appearances include Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld and DreamForge Anvil. He was shortlisted for the 2019 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize. His full-length Louis-Award-winning collection of poetry -- Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek -- was brought out by Concrete Wolf. His poetry publications include Atlanta Review, Verse Daily, 5AM, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Willard & Maple, Asimov’s Science Fiction and Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball. He is Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program.
Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek: link
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