Truth to Power: Read & Write Poetry of Change

Truth to Power: A Self-Paced Reading & Writing Class

Immerse yourself in the poetry of social and personal change through reading the writings of U.S., tribal, and state poets laureate along with historic poets, then responding to innovative writing prompts to create your own poems. You'll discover worlds of poetry as well as the power of the pen through inspiring essays on the craft and passion of writing powerful poetry, and plenty of videos, podcasts, and links to learn more, 

This self-paced class is composed of 12 weekly units, each one including:

  • One state poet laureate past or present sharing their poetry (with writing prompts at the end of each poem), a handouts (contributed for this class) on the writing life, and a summary of the poet's life and life. There's also lots of exciting videos, podcasts, and links. 

  • One U.S. poet laureate's life and work in summary, a bundle of their poems and writing prompts, and ample links to more background, videos, articles and/or interviews.

  • One historic American poet who brings us ground-breaking poetics and powerful poetry, including their life and work in summary, a bundle of their poems and writing prompts, and links to more background, videos and more.

By the end of the 12-unit class, you'll have written 24-36 new poems and interacted with the writing and poetics of at 37 past and present American poets. You also learn more about poetry as a craft, force of nature, and way of life.

What is a Self-Paced Class? This is a class you can do on your own time at your own pace. Although the class is set up for 12 weekly units, you can take as long as you wish for each unit. There are no in-person or online sessions, and there's also no feedback from me (add-on coaching available) or other participants on the class website. Once you register, you'll be given access to the private website where the class lives, and you may read, click, and download your way through lots of transformative poetry and possibilities.

Truth to PowerCost: This class is $79. You may register at Venmo (@Caryn-Goldberg-2, and please email me so I have your contact information for enrollment), Paypal (click on the button), or by check (email me for details).

Meet the Poets

Week One: State Poet Laureate: Marilyn L. Taylor, Historic Poet: Walt Whitman, U.S Poet Laureate: W.S. Merwin

Week Two: State Poet Laureate: Dick Allen, Historic Poet: Emily Dickinson, U.S. Poet Laureate: William Stafford

Week Three: State Poet Laureate: Sue Brennan Walker, Historic Poet: Langston Hughes, U.S. Poet Laureate: Gwendolyn Brooks

Week Four: State Poet: Laureate William Trowbridge, Historic Poet: Muriel Rukeyser, U.S. Poet Laureate: Robert Penn Warren

Week Five: State Poet Laureate: Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Historic Poet: Grace Paley, U.S. Poet Laureate: Mark Strand

Week Six: State Poet Laureate: Joyce Brinkman, Historic Poet: Adrienne Rich, U.S. Poet Laureate: Juan Felipe Herrera

Week Seven: State Poet Laureate: Denise Low, Historic Poet: Wendell Berry, U.S. Poet Laureate: Rita Dove

Week Eight: State Poet Laureate: David Romtvedt, Historic Poet: Sharon Olds, Navajo Poet Laureate: Luci Tapahonso

Week Nine: State Poet Laureate: Kimberly Blaeser, Historic Poet: Yusef Komunyakaa, Tribal Poet: Joy Harjo.

Week Ten: State Poet Laureate: Marjory Wentworth, Historic Poet: Audre Lorde, Tribal Poet Laureate: Elizabeth Woody.

Week Eleven: State Poet Laureate: JoAnn Balingit, Historic Poet: Li-Young Lee, U.S. Poet Laureate: Natasha Trethewey

Week Twelve: State Poet Laureate: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Historic Poet: Richard Blanco, U.S. Poet Laureate: Tracy K. Smith, Bonus Poet: Naomi Shahib-Nye