Memory & Desire: Poetry of Midlife (with Gail Thomas) - ONLINE
''I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time.” ~ Brené Brown
A challenge that many writers face is how to choose artful details when writing about memory or strong emotional content. Some of us may shy away from expressing deep loss or anger, or we may produce work that’s overly sentimental. What devices can a poet use to make deeply personal material most effective? This workshop is for poets in midlife who want to take their work to a deeper level by paying close attention to matters of craft. For inspiration we will read poems that elevate personal experience by paying close attention to craft. We will focus on imagery, sound, voice, line breaks, beginnings and endings. How does the form you choose complement the content? Writers will receive feedback on their works in progress. Open to poets of any level, this workshop will illustrate how to use craft as a means of diving more deeply.
Each session will include an hour of reading poems that illustrate crafts points and an hour of giving/receiving feedback on one poem. Instruction will include the format for giving and receiving feedback. There will be opportunities for participants to workshop three poems. Poems will be sent to instructor the week before, compiled into a word document and sent to people so poems can be read in advance of session.
For midlife poets of all levels. Limited to 10 writers.
WHEN: 4 Weeks: Sundays, February 6 - 27 (10am - 12pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
GAIL THOMAS’ books are Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness, and Finding the Bear. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Calyx, The North American Review, Italian Americana, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She received the Charlotte Mew Prize from Headmistress Press, the Massachusetts Center for the Book’s Must Read, and the Naugatuck River Review’s Narrative Poetry Prize. Thomas, a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Ucross, is a working poet retired from Smith College. You may read more about her work at www.gailthomaspoet.com.
GOALS OF THIS CLASS
• Gain exposure to the work of a wide range of diverse poets who write about midlife.
• Understand the difference between sentiment and sentimentality.
• Expand skills in giving thoughtful feedback to others.
• Receive supportive and considered feedback from instructor and group.
• Generate ideas and structure for new poems.
WEEK ONE: MINING PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
We will discuss how poets write about personal experience in midlife and the difference between sentiment and sentimentality.
WEEK TWO: USING IMAGERY, SOUND, & RHYTHM
We will focus on examples of poems that use image, metaphor, and sound effectively to strengthen how the poem conveys feeling.
WEEK THREE: EFFECTIVE BEGINNINGS/ENDINGS, FORM, LINE BREAKS
We will focus on areas of craft that may be used to strengthen poems expressing deep emotion.
WEEK FOUR: DEVELOPING DISCERNMENT
We will discuss how to know when a poem is finished and strategies for developing discernment. We will have a final reading in which participants will share one poem that they have worked on during the workshop.
RECEIVING THE ZOOM LINK: For one-day workshops, we send out the link to attend the Zoom session 1 - 2 days before the event, via email. For multi-week workshops, you should receive info and the link about a week before the first meeting. Please mark your calendars and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the event (or a few days before, in the case of multi-week workshops), please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. We have found that very often our emails end up in those folders. This is based on your own email settings, and you can prevent this by adding our email as a contact.
ONLINE SESSIONS happen remotely, via Zoom video conference. All you need is a laptop, computer, or phone with functioning audio and a webcam. Those who RSVP receive directions and a link to "join" the session via email (please see above note about receiving the Zoom link). All online instructors will log on to the video conference 10 minutes before the start of the session, to help anyone with technical issues, so please plan to log on early if you'd like assistance! We'll do everything in our power to help you get comfortable with this new format, though when the session begins, we will not be able to assist with technical difficulties.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
If you withdraw from a workshop ten days or more before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop OR a full refund. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive a refund minus 20%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We are not able to offer you credit toward another class or any refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency, or if we are able to fill your spot. If you are absent on the day of your workshop or miss it for any reason, we are unable to offer any kind of refund. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, credit in the amount of your payment, to be used for any future PVWW class. Anyone who does not specify whether they would like a refund or a credit for a cancelled class will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (email@example.com) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.