Dear Tribe of Northern and Southern Hemispheres~
How are your hearts today? Mine has felt a bit bedraggled after this tumultuous year, and I find comfort in the normalcy of that. After completing the semester at Berklee two Fridays ago, I'm grateful for some time to decompress, tend to my poetry project, and program plan for 2021. Also in the mix is exploring immersive fiction, and I've just watched the first season of Game of Thrones. I know, I know, I'm late to the game, but the narrative poet in me feels curiously engaged by the storytelling elements, diction and language, character creation and world-building.
If you're eager to nourish and explore your own inner creative world this winter, I write with two invitations to join me in this on-going exploration of earthly humanity and poetry as doorways into deeper connection with ourselves, each other, and something larger in this beautiful and broken-open 21st century world. Unlike Game of Thrones, all religious beliefs are welcome in these offerings, and I think of "spirituality" in the earthly realm to be that somewhat inexplicable way poems have of elevating our day-to-day sacred, mundane and profane into something etherial, heroic, romantic, mythic. That same "secular spirituality" Whitman spoke of.
I'm offering two immersive experiences
in the Northern winter of 2021:
POETRY & THE BODY: 6 WEEK REMOTE COURSE
How do our life experiences—sacred, mundane, and profane—shape our identity, and live within our bodies?
Just as our bodies carry our life experiences, poetry is a vessel and vehicle for exploring our relationship to our stories. In this course, we will experiment with craft tools like voice, imagery, point of view, language and compositional form to support the self-exploration that gives rise to our unique, embodied voice. Through our personal poetry, we can deepen our understanding and appreciation of the diversity and complexity within us, and in those around us. From this place, our personal poetry becomes part of a dialogue within a larger collective.
In these six weeks, we will explore how our life experiences related to race, gender identity, war, trauma, grief and loss, addiction and healing can be explored through and held by our poetry. This course will include a focus on craft, provide weekly generative writing prompts, poem readings, podcasts, and group discussion over virtual campfire via Zoom. We’ll also engage in constructive, supportive, weekly group workshop. Each poet’s work will receive peer review weekly, as well as written comments from me.
By the end of this course, you will have generated drafts of new poems, and revised others. You will have deepened your craft knowledge, explored new ways of approaching your poems, and will have experienced poetry to be a self-care skill and community-building experience allowing you to inhabit yourself and your life on and off the page in renewed and elevated ways.
See Course Dates, Details & Registration Info Here:
SEE LINK BELOW to reserve your spot today if you know you're in. We'll limit the group to 10.
I have 1-2 spaces open for manuscript consultations in the first half of 2021. I'm so excited to have one compelling project to review already, and would love to hear from you if you have a handful (or more) poems you are looking to build into a collection. Over these past eight-plus years teaching and composing poems daily, I've engaged with many different poets, poetic styles and poetic forms, and am most compelled by thematic projects that work through the everyday to speak to our larger humanistic emotional yearnings. In consulting on your poem-project, I'll provide feedback on the elements of story, structure, music and imagination both in individual poems, and the group as a whole. I'll note where the poems are already singing, singing to one another, and where they have the opportunity to engage us emotionally even more fully--both individually, and in support of one another.
SEE LINK BELOW to tell me a bit about your poetry project, and where you are in your process. 1-2 spaces left for Winter 2021.
I think the "grail goal" most of us seek on our life journeys is what Mary Oliver distills in the following quote: "Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled--to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world." The willingness, and the floating-- to me, are what poetry makes possible and what I promise is there for you too in the alchemy of transforming the base matter of your life into gold.
In all the ways this world breaks us open, poetry offers us the opportunity to create ourselves and this world more whole.
In Poetry, Meaningful Story & Creative Community,