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Read It, Write It: Intro to Poetic Craft

4 Weeks • with Gail Thomas • Beginners / All Levels

  • Starts Nov 3
  • 275 US dollars
  • Online via Zoom

Available spots

Class Description

This class is designed for those who are new to the study of reading and writing poetry. We will read many poems by diverse authors and talk about what makes each poem effective. Important issues of craft such as form, line length, imagery, rhythm, tension, sound, beginnings and endings, and syntax will be addressed. Each week participants will generate a poem which will be shared with the group for feedback the following week. Open to beginners. WEEKLY BREAKDOWN WEEK ONE: Less is More We'll read and discuss short poems from both traditional and contemporary writers to discover why brevity and compression make them effective. WEEK TWO: Imagery, Sound, Form Our focus will be on isolating fresh images and paying attention to the use of sound and rhythm to create a satisfying whole. We’ll learn about several conventional and new forms. WEEK THREE: Beginnings, Endings, Line Breaks We'll examine different ways to approach beginnings and endings with skill. Also, how do you know when and how to end a line? We will take the mystery out of line breaks. WEEK FOUR: Sentiment vs. Sentimentality One important aspect of poetry is to convey authentic emotion. We will practice discernment by learning how to write deeply personal poems without crossing into sentimentality. INSTRUCTOR GAIL THOMAS is the author of six books of poetry. Individual poems have been published widely in literary magazines such as The North American Review, CALYX, and Valparaiso, and she has won numerous awards. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Ucross, and several poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. You may read more about her work at

Upcoming Sessions

Cancellation Policy

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 (minus 10%, a transaction fee that is non-refundable and that we would otherwise be charged). 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 cannot offer credit or any refund. 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 or credit. If we have to cancel a class you have paid for, you will receive a full refund, without the service charge deducted. For our full listing of policies, visit www.PioneerValleyWriters.Com, Policies page (under Home). To withdraw and receive a partial refund according to the above, please get in touch with Joy at

Contact Details

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