West Stockbridge, MA
Fridays mornings 9:00 – noon, October 18 –November 22
Art is “a way of thinking with one’s feelings.” – Elizabeth Bishop
Poetry is the transformation of experience—not the transcription, as Carl Phillips said. How do we re-set an experience that moved or cut us deeply and frame it so that the reader is moved too? How do our feelings become relevant to others?
This workshop is designed for writers who want to understand more deeply how to make art of their feelings. We will focus on finding the emotional core of each poem and writing the most daring poems we can imagine. Each poet will revise toward clarifying her own mission, working with voice, language and structure, and using as models examples of master poems in their draft and revised forms. In this place of collaborative learning, we’ll learn from poets we read and those in the workshop who are doing something different than we are and let their practices influence our work. We’ll pose questions (rather than prescriptions) that help each poet reflect on the language and choices available in each poem, and we’ll develop skill in asking the questions about our own poems that lead to fruitful revisions.
For those who would like to write to assignments, I will specify ways to work on elements of craft and revision each week; however, each writer has the option to continue work on a project of her own devising regardless of any assignment.
2 Harris Street, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
Six Friday mornings $450.
The Poetry Workshop is a program of Berkshire Writers Project.