Inspired Notebooking Poetry Class
Dates: 4 Thursdays, September 21 - October 12
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm PST
Instructor: Molly Spencer
In this four-week class, we’ll experiment with techniques for using our poet’s notebooks as more than a place for simply drafting poems, with the goal of transforming them into generative—even messy!—spaces that encourage experimentation, focus our attention, and lead us to our sources and material.
At each session, we’ll examine approaches to notebooking from well-known writers and artists and experiment with notebooking methods aimed at capturing the artifacts of our attention, thinking, and imagination. You’ll leave class with a few techniques to try out over the coming week. When we reconvene, we’ll reflect on the strategies that worked (and didn’t) for each of us, and then use prompts to bring the raw materials gathered in our notebooks into (or toward) drafts of poems. We’ll then repeat the cycle for each of the following weeks, with new notebooking methods to try between classes, and prompts to bring your material into draft form at the next session.
The ultimate goal is to give you a repertoire of methods for making your notebook an extension of your consciousness, where material gathers and mingles, and eventually coalesces into poems.
Molly Spencer is a poet, critic, and editor. Her debut collection, If the House (2019), won the Brittingham Prize, and a second collection, Hinge (2020) won the Crab Orchard Open Competition. Her next collection, Invitatory, won the 2022 New Measure Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Parlor Press.
Molly’s poetry has appeared in Blackbird, FIELD, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. Her critical writing has appeared at The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Writer's Chronicle, and The Rumpus, where she is a senior poetry editor. She has received awards from the Poetry Society of America, Prairie Schooner, and the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, where she teaches writing at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.