Poetry Classes

Poetry: Speak it, Write it, Perform it!

  • In this series of poetry workshops we begin with a short session of listening, listening to poets perform their works or the works of others—some classical poems, some modern, some spoken-word, which we discuss for image, figure of speech, and effectiveness. We highlight the power–not of reading–but of hearing poetry, its natural rhythms and nuances. Then, with a prompt, poets explore their own poetry.  Poets are encouraged to hear their words as they emerge, with all the inflection, sense of meaning and emotion, and personalization possible. To speak poetry before they write; then after writing it to speak it again. When we gather we’ll share our poetry or segments of our poetry with our fellow participants. Each poetry workshop concludes with a two part sharing session. The first part is for poems on which the poets want feedback—writers are asked to specify the kind of feedback they are looking for. The second, given time, is for poems that the poets are happy with, as is.

Poetry in Performance

  • In this series of poetry workshops we focus on the art of performing poetry for others. We are not talking about strictly performance poetry and we are not talking about reciting poetry. We are definitely talking about poetry in performance, for an audience. The focus will be on embodying the poem, the process whereby the performers takes on the voice of the poem, its consciousness and its emotional and intellectual nuances and then shares those qualities with an audience. The workshop begins with a reading of some poetry (translations will be avoided so as to hear the words of poets specifically.). We briefly discuss the techniques used by the poets to express or communicate their felt thoughts. We focus specifically on changes in direction, on personalization of material, on specificity of image, and on the narrator’s identity. Then, each participant chooses a poem to perform and the process of embodying the poem begins. After a short rehearsal period poet performers share their works, or a section of their work with others. Discussions follow each sharing.