Dates: 2 Thursdays, May 6 and 20
Time: 6 - 8:30 pm
Instructor: Molly Spencer
In this class, we’ll experiment with techniques for using our poet’s notebooks as more than a place for writing poems, in order to transform them into generative spaces that focus our attention and lead us to our material.
In the first session, we’ll examine approaches to notebooking from well-known writers and artists and experiment with some notebooking strategies aimed at capturing the artifacts of thinking and imagination. At the close of session one, you’ll go home with a list of notebooking prompts to try out over the next two weeks. At session two, we’ll reflect on strategies that worked (and didn’t work) for each of us, and work from prompts that bring the raw materials gathered in our notebooks into drafts. The ultimate goal is to show you methods for making your notebook an extension of your consciousness where material can gather and “compost” until it coalesces into poetry.
Molly Spencer is a poet, critic, and editor. Her debut collection, If the House (2019), won the Brittingham Prize judged by Carl Phillips. A second collection, Hinge (2020), won the Crab Orchard Open Competition judged by Allison Joseph.
Molly’s recent poetry has appeared in Blackbird, FIELD, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. Her critical writing has appeared at Colorado Review, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, The Writer's Chronicle, and The Rumpus, where she is a senior poetry editor. Molly teaches writing at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.