Into the Weeds: A 6-Week Generative Poetry Craft Course (with Anders Carlson-Wee) - ONLINE
Ever feel like your grasp on craft is limiting what you can write, and how well you can write it? I feel this way all the time: that’s why I’m offering INTO THE WEEDS. In this generative course, we will do more than skim the surface of craft—we’ll get into the weeds and dissect the nuances of the smallest craft choices. We’ll discuss why one word shines when its synonyms wouldn’t; why one image implies while another doesn’t. We’ll consider how different rhythms give the same words different meanings; and how a single turn of phrase can bring a character to life. But we won’t stop there. We’ll take these new craft tools and put them to use, drafting fresh poems of our own. Don’t worry: even if you're new to poetry or usually write in another genre, these opportunities to draft will be lots of fun—a chance to play and expand your writing toolkit. If you’d like to dig into the subtleties of craft with a community of writers eager to dig with you, this is your class. NOTE: While focused on poetry, this course is open to all writers and the craft lessons will be applicable to all genres. At the end of the day, it’s all writing. For advanced beginner & intermediate poets. Limited to 10 writers.
WHEN: 6 Weeks: Wednesdays, February 22 - March 29 (6 - 8pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
ANDERS CARLSON-WEE is the author of Disease of Kings (W.W. Norton, 2023), The Low Passions (W.W. Norton, 2019), a New York Public Library Book Group Selection, and Dynamite (Bull City Press, 2015), winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, BuzzFeed, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other publications. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of the Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and is represented by Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents. Find him at www.anderscarlsonwee.com
- Expand and deepen our understanding of various craft tools
- Discuss the nuances of those craft tools in great detail
- Practice applying those craft tools through guided free writes
- Build comradery and new friendships
WEEK 1: IMAGE
We’ll look at examples of various images—images of different types, with differing roles to play. We’ll discuss the difference between a detail and a metaphor, and the uses for each. Then we’ll craft some images of our own.
WEEK 2: VOICE
How do words on paper take on a personality? We’ll discuss examples of voices, ranging from formal and uptight to wild and irreverent. We’ll consider why spoken language doesn’t necessarily work when written down verbatim. And we’ll discuss subtle methods for maintaining a voice across a project. Finally, we’ll practice drafting some voices/characters of our own.
WEEK 3: SOUND & REPETITION
Sound is at the heart of all writing. Its components are many—rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, to name a few. We’ll break down the various aspects of sound by studying some masterworks and discussing their musical qualities. Then we’ll practice writing in a range of sound patterns.
WEEK 4: SENTENCES & LINE BREAKS
This week we’ll study various types of sentences, and a range of approaches for how to break lines in poems. We’ll consider the effects of these choices, on both the macro and micro level. Then we’ll practice writing in a range of sentence styles, and try breaking lines at various places to experience the effects of these choices from a writer’s perspective.
WEEK 5: NARRATIVE
In human life, narrative is implicit. Where narrative is missing or muddled, the mind craves and provides a story. How do we harness this narrative impulse? This week we’ll look at a range of narrative poems and discuss the nuances in their use of story: How is the story told? From what point of view? Where does the story begin and where does it end? And so on. Then we’ll practice writing short narratives of our own.
WEEK 6: BEGINNINGS & ENDINGS
Where you begin and where you end has a profound impact on the meaning of a poem or story. How do we, as writers, decide where to begin and where to end? For this final week, we’ll discuss the beginnings and endings of a range of poems, focusing our conversation on the craft behind those choices. We’ll even play around with reorganizing the content of the poems, to see how the meaning of the work changes. Then we’ll draft a short piece of our own, and play with where to begin and where to end.
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.