Art for a Lifetime: A Poetry Writing Workshop Review
Over the last two months, we brought together a group of people to read, write, and discuss poetry in the library. The eight week workshop, The Art of Making Poems: Creation and Craft, was led by poet/instructor Hermine Meinhard, who guided with a unique and playful approach to writing. The participants learned a variety of ways to enter into writing and left each night with the draft of a poem. But, now the workshop has ended, and I feel like a girl leaving summer camp to go home again. The intimacy and camaraderie is left in the room along with those Thursday nights. Luckily, it lives on the page.
The group explored the sound of words, their texture and effects, and the way a poem landscapes the page. They made collages inspired by the images of Joseph Cornell and Max Ernst and then turned those strange juxtaposition of images and objects into words. They listened to the music of Meredith Monk and wrote about what they heard. They read the poetry of Stanley Kunitz to explore line breaks, while Langston Hughes and Lucille Clifton showed them how to use repetition.
To celebrate the end of the workshop, they chose their favorite poem written in class, placed it on a broadside, and recited their works out loud in a poetry reading and reception last Saturday. Truly time well spent.
If you missed the workshop this time around and are looking for some help writing poetry, here are a few titles available in the Library to get you started:
The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo
Lectures and essays on learning to write poems from a former professor and student of Theodore Roethke.
The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets by Ted Kooser
A poet laureate instructs poets on how to hone their craft.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
A popular title with writing advice in short, easy to read chapters, laced with humor and practicality.