Vision & Revision

An April Poetry Immersion  

April 12 - May 9*

A brand new online and videoconference class

Immerse yourself in the craft, art, passion and soul of poetry. By diving into the original details of our lives, particularly during a time when we're likely to be focused on many aspects of home (our bodies, our houses, and most local eco-communities), while also learning more about craft, poetics, and our own critical sensibility, we can envision and revise poems of meaning and vitality. Each week will include a balance of readings, discussions, and exercises to further develop your own guidance and deeply engage with the poetry you're called to write and live.

Components:

  • Weekly podcast featuring a meditation on this week's topic to help us breathe and presence our ways into our poetry.
  • Discussion question or reflection on this week's topic.
  • Writing prompts (5-6 each week), out of which you can share up to 3 new or revised poems. Everyone will be given guidance on sharing beneficial feedback for one another's writing.
  • A weekly 75-minute Zoom (videoconference) session to workshop several people's poems, ask questions, and check in with each other face-to-face. You can link to the videoconference on your computer or phone, or if need be, phone in. We will poll ourselves shortly before the class begins to find the best time and day for our sessions.
  • Weekly readings, podcasts, and videos featuring short excerpts on poetics and crafts, including Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, David Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous, Jane Hirshfield's Nine Gates, Gregory Orr's Poetry as Survival, Rainer Maria-Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, and Tess Gallagher's A Concert of Tenses.
  • A wide range of poetry from the likes of Joy Harjo, William Stafford, T.S. Eliot, Gregory Orr, e.e. cummings, Tracy K. Smith, Sharon Olds, Li-Young Lee, Tess Gallagher, W.S. Merwin, Linda Hogan, Denise Low, Pattiann Rogers, Ekiwah Adler-Belendez, Adrienne Rich, and others.
  • Teaching artist (that's me!) review: margin notes on up to five pages of poetry shared one-on-one with you.

Week By Week:

1. The Embodied Image - April 12 - 18: Images in poems evoke our senses -- the five we often talk about (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) as well as our intuition and other ways of knowing. We'll explore renewed ways to discover fresh, precise, and true sensory images that allow our reader to enter the home of the poem more fully.

2. The Ears of My Ears - April 19 - 25: e.e. cummings writes, "now the ears of my ears awake," which is true of what we do as poets in composing poems, an art form that's very much about sound, rhythm. We'll listen to and learn more about how various poets compose the music of a poem and try out new ways to compose our own poetry.

3. Walking the Line - April 26 - May 2: How we make our lines -- short or long, jagged or smooth altogether -- as well as where and how we break one line to move to another doesn't just shape the poem, but tunes the music and focuses the images in whatever we write. Come walk in the field of lines and line breaks to find your strongest writing.

4. The Heart of Revision - May 3 - May 9: We tend to think of revision as editing -- fixing punctuation and smoothing out grammar -- but revision, at is heart, is about seeing what we're creating anew, entering back into the soul of what wants to show up on the page, and deepening our writing process. It's a love affair with our writing -- what Richard Tillinghast calls "the romance of revision." Let us flirt with new and old ways to bring all our vision to our poems.

Format: We will be using a very easy and accessible online class format for most of our class, Zoom videoconferencing for our weekly meetings (just click and you're there), and email for sharing my teaching artist review of your poetry. 

Participation: This is a workshop for people who have been writing and revising poetry for a while. What is "a while"? It could be seven months of throwing yourself into poetry or 22 years -- please jump in if this resonates with you. To make this an intimate and in-depth workshop, there are only 10 spots open.

Fee: $245 includes the online class, weekly videoconference sessions, ample resources on writing and revising poetry, and Caryn's margin notes on up to five pages of poetry. Students who would like more in-depth poetry coaching can sign up for additional sessions with Caryn via http://carynmirriamgoldberg.com/coaching/

Other Offerings: I also offer writing coaching you can learn about here, and you might be intrigued by A Prompt A Day, another April writing project.

*Note: Because of the possibility of people becoming ill, there will be two extra weeks (first half of May) in which people may catch up if they need to bow out of the class for a time.