Poetry Playhouse

An Online Adventure Without Leaving Home Jan. 9 - Feb. 26, 2023

Enter your house of poetry to  explore, experiment, play, rest, unearth, and renovate your writing. By drawing on memories, experiences, and dreams of where and how you've lived, you will craft a whole new body of poems in a welcoming and encouraging community. We'll use innovative writing prompts (including poems, questions, videos and guidance for creating your own bag of tricks all life long) to access poetic material from the interior rooms and external spaces of your life.

Note: This Poetry Playhouse has been renovated! Please feel free to join us again for new prompts and guidance and also because we all have so much much to write about in our house of poetry.

Each week we will:

  • Write about a different room in the poetry playhouse (and from a different pocket in your psyche), from the family room (writing childhood), through the bedroom (writing about dreams and the dark), to the front porch (writing in community) and up to the attic (writing ancestors and generational stories)
  • Explore new poetic forms, such as pantoums, or a group renga
  • Learn more about the craft of writing and revising poetry, including powerful imagery, engaging rhythms, effective line breaks and spacing, powerful beginnings and endings, and the romance of revision.
  • Read and watch a featured poet to to glean more opportunities for our own poems.
  • Contemplate the challenges and miracles of being a workaday writer.

Additionally, we have some wonderful ways to further connect:

  • Generous and positive feedback on your new and evolving poetry each week from me, plus supportive responses from peers.
  • Mini coaching session at your convenience to work with me on your poetry or talk over any aspect of the writing life.
  • Three Zoom sessions -- 7-8 CT/ 8-9 ET/ 6-7 MT/ 5-6 PT -- on Thursday evenings January 12 (to get to know each other), February 2 (to share our ongoing writing and discoveries), and February 23 (for a celebratory readings).

Format: This online class will be friendly and easy to navigate, hosted on a platform called Wet Ink, starting Monday, Jan. 9. A new lesson will start each subsequent Monday. Our three Zooms will offer you warm interactions with other writers and opportunities to share your writing, questions, and discoveries.

Who Is This Class For?: I've designed this class to meet you where are you, whether you just dipped your toe into the waters or have been swimming laps through poetry for decades. All the writing prompts, lessons, and resources embrace you unearthing more of your voice, refresh or shine a new light on ways you can work and play with language, and encourage you to write with guidance and abandon. 

Fees: Early bird rate is $290, which includes everything (regular rate is $330) and expires Dec. 1. You can register via Venmo (please drop me an email with your name, email, and phone number, and send payment to Caryn-Goldberg-2), or by check (email me for address), or on Square.

Week By Week

Each week, we explore another room in the Poetry Playhouse, each one designed to inspire your poetry. 

Week One -- The Playroom: Creating With Abandon: Find your creative magic and mojo through a more playful relationship with your poetry. The playroom helps us warm up for our writing, break out of old habits or mindsets that lead us away from experimenting with language, and take creative risks for fresh, alive, and original poetry.

Week Two -- The Living Room: Drawing From Real Life: By leaning into our life's experiences, we can find ample material for poetry. This week, we focus on what we've lived and are currently living as source material in the warm embrace of the living room.

Week Three -- The Family Room: Writing About Families of Origin, of Choice, and of Your Own Creation: "Anyone who survived a childhood has enough material to last him the rest of his days," says Flannery O'Connor. This week we'll turn to childhood experiences and perceptions as well as what we're called to write about the families we've created or chosen.

Week Four -- The Kitchen: The Nourishment of Intimate Exchanges: The kitchen is often the center of any party for a good reason: food, and the making and keeping of it, draws us together. This week, we'll be exploring intimacy and nourishment with those we connect with over food, drink and the kitchen table.

Week Five -- The Bedroom: Dreams, Sex, and Other Adventures in the Dark: By exploring what makes us wild and takes us beyond daytime stories about who we are, we can access new ways into our poems. Our bedrooms are the hotbeds, so to speak, of our dreams, sensuality, and unconscious meanderings.

Week Six -- The Basement, Attic, and Porch: Poetic Roots and Wings: The basements and attics are where we store a lot of stuff: what comes out seasonally or not at all, what we're inherited from our ancestors, and what possibilities we may use one day. The porch looks out toward what's in flight, including our own poetry. Altogether, we celebrate where we're come from and where we're going.