This class is the first of three in a series to be held in fall, winter, and spring. It’s a veritable Poetry Triathlon! Each class stands alone and can be taken individually or together with the others.
The first class in our triathlon will focus on writing. Getting things down on paper. Finding material, playing with language, and exercising the muscle that needs constant exercise: your imagination. It can feel like plunging into cold water, but the only way to swim is to jump in and start moving!
Take the Plunge is not a workshop. You will not get critical feedback on your poems from your classmates or the instructor, and you will not spend class time giving it, either. There will be lots of encouragement and community support of your new drafts, but little to none of the traditional “critique” associated with workshops. Our aim in this class is to generate rather than prescribe.
Throughout our seven weeks together, we’ll tackle dozens of low-pressure, fun assignments, to be started (and often completed) in class, and you will be challenged to start from words, images, and perspectives new to you, to use techniques that you’ve never tried, and most of all to be unafraid to find out what you might say.
The second and third classes in the series will take your newly-generated work further. Here's a preview of what to expect:
Part 2: Winter 2020, 4 weeks: Cycle/Recycle/Spincycle
You’ll come into this workshop in creative revision with tons of material ready to reshape, renew, and reimagine into its most interesting form. The goal of this revision class is to help you explore your early drafts further and begin to develop them into their best possible shapes—which can often generate more new poems and spin-offs.
Part 3: Spring 2020, 4 weeks. Sprint to Finish!
In this workshop, we’ll do the final work of choosing poems to finish and getting them there. We will workshop your best pieces intensively, with the goal being to help each author polish and prepare poems for publication. In addition to workshop, class time will be devoted to discussion of literary magazines, submission guidelines, and strategies for publication.
Rachel Richardson is a co-founder and co-director of Left Margin LIT. She is also the author of two books of poems,
Hundred-Year Wave and Copperhead.
Rachel has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford and USF’s MFA in Writing program, and at San Quentin Correctional Facility. She has been awarded NEA and Wallace Stegner Fellowships, and her poems have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Slate, and many journals.
More about Rachel: www.rachelbjrichardson.com