Revising and Polishing Your Poems (with Gail Thomas) - ONLINE
For most poets revision can be daunting, and yet it is the most important step toward creating work that resonates with readers. If you aren’t receiving regular feedback, this workshop will provide tools for discovering what your poems need. We will explore issues of craft including beginnings and endings, tension, line breaks, form, and diction. Each session will focus on giving and receiving feedback on poems that you want to improve in an atmosphere of respect. Before each session, students will send one poem for feedback, will work on suggested revisions between sessions, and complete 3-4 poems. Revision exercises will be given each week to use for future work. This workshop is geared toward beginners and advanced beginners. Limited to 10 writers.
Pre-Class Assignment: Please email one poem you would like to receive feedback on (and consequently revise) to firstname.lastname@example.org upon registration, and at least one week before the date the class is scheduled to begin. This poem will be shared with and discussed by the group in the first workshop. Pre-class reading will include one poem from each person in the group, emailed to you before the class begins.
Late registration: You are welcome to register for the class as long as spots are available up until the first day, though the deadline for submission of a poem to the group to be discussed at the first class is one week before the first class. After this point, all writers registered in the group will receive the poems of their classmates that will be discussed during the first class. If you register after this point, you will still receive the poems of your classmates that will be discussed, though you * will not * have the opportunity to submit a poem for the first class, as this would require the group to receive and read your poem last-minute.
WHEN: 4 Weeks: Saturdays, April 8 - 29 (10am - 12pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
GAIL THOMAS' books are Trail of Roots, Leaving Paradise, Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness, and Finding the Bear. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies including CALYX, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, North American Review, Cumberland River Review, and Mom Egg Review. Among her awards are the Charlotte Mew Prize from Headmistress Press for Odd Mercy, the Narrative Poetry Prize from Naugatuck River Review, the Massachusetts Center for the Book’s “Must Read” for Waving Back, the Quartet Journal’s Editor’s Choice Prize, and Seven Kitchen Press’s A.V. Christie Chapbook Series award for Trail of Roots. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Ucross, and several poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She teaches poetry with Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop, visits schools and libraries with her therapy dog, and works with immigrant and refugee communities in Western Massachusetts. You may read more about her work at www.gailthomaspoet.com.
Week One: Checklist & Guidelines
We will review a checklist of strategies to use when revising to make poems more clear and powerful. The workshop model we will use to give and receive constructive feedback will be explained and demonstrated with the reading of one poem from each participant.
Week Two: Weeding Out, Going Deeper, Titles
We will learn effective strategies for making poems tighter and more complex, as well as examine the work of titles. Sample poems by diverse writers will be used to illustrate. We will workshop one poem from each participant.
Week Three: Inner critic, line breaks, line length, use of white space
We will discuss the importance of identifying your inner critic. Sample poems by diverse writers will be used to illustrate the use of line breaks, line length and white space. We will workshop one poem from each participant.
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 revising during the workshop.
GOALS OF THIS COURSE
• Understand the use of basic revision strategies to become a more discerning self-editor.
• Receive supportive and considered feedback from the instructor and the group.
• Expand your skills in giving thoughtful feedback to the work of others.
• Gain confidence in the revision process and its long-term benefits.
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 3 - 5 days before. Please mark your calendars when you first register and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the class, please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from email@example.com before contacting us. 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 a few minutes before the start of the session, 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 the Zoom format, though we are not able to offer technical assistance beyond basic Zoom orientation.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.