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2016 has been a year of tectonic shifts in our communities, in who we think we are and how we engage with each other. In such a climate, it’s easy to say (once again) that “poetry makes nothing happen.” Why write it? Why read it? To whom do we speak? But the truth is we need nothing so much as poetry in these hours. Poetry is a transformative art. Our workshop this winter aims to bring us back to the essential tool—

language—and its most beautiful goals, communication and empathy. This is not a political workshop, specifically, though all modes are welcomed. This is an invitation to gather and make, and then share, revise, remake. Whether you’re experienced or newer to the genre, you can expect significant attention to your individual poems, as well as prompts and challenges to inspire and lead you in daring new directions.

Our class takes its inspiration and title from W. S. Merwin's poem, "Rain Light":

          All day the stars watch from long ago 
          my mother said I am going now 
          when you are alone you will be all right 
          whether or not you know you will know 
          look at the old house in the dawn rain 
          all the flowers are forms of water 
          the sun reminds them through a white cloud 
          touches the patchwork spread on the hill 
          the washed colors of the afterlife 
          that lived there long before you were born 
          see how they wake without a question 
          even though the whole world is burning

Even Though the Whole World is Burning:

A Poetry Workshop for an Uncertain New Year 

Dates: 8 Mondays, January 9-February 27
Time: 7-9 pm 
Instructor: Rachel Richardson 
Ages: Adult                                                                
Genre: Poetry 
Price: $495 
Music of the Mind

Rachel Richardson is the author of two books of poems, Hundred-Year Wave and Copperhead.  She has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford and the University of San Francisco’s MFA in Writing program, and at San Quentin Correctional Facility. She has been awarded National Endowment for the Arts and Wallace Stegner Fellowships, and her poems have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Slate, New England Review, and other journals.

More about Rachel:

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