I am glad to be back here at the blog after a brief hiatus.
The time away was well spent—studying, practicing and immersing myself in a small online community of students of poetry. Led by an enthusiastic and committed teacher, our small group of students studied over a hundred poems by a varied selection of poets and studied the craft that went into these poems.
There was vigorous discussion on the online blackboard format regarding the specific poems and the aspect of poetic craft that we were studying each week. We also crafted our own poems each week based on the writing prompt for that particular week and submitted them for instructor and peer critique.
I can’t say enough about how invigorating and stimulating this experience has been for me. I wrote metered and rhymed verse, a sonnet, a villanelle, imagist free verse, an ars poetica and a few other forms of poetry—a lot of these were things that I had never explored before. Of course, written in a short period of time with a looming deadline each week these poems are first drafts and I will be revising and reworking these poems based on the constructive feedback offered in the class.
It was a time of total immersion in poetry and needless to say I loved it!!
If you are ever in the mood for doing a course like this, be sure to check out the webpage of the Stanford Continuing Studies Department for their latest offerings. I did the ten week Poet’s Craft course taught by Peter Kline. Peter is a gifted teacher and poet and I am indebted to him for his guidance and teaching.
Update (May 2017):
I have since gone on to do the following courses at SCS, and I cannot recommend them enough. The academic rigor of these classes and the small-group, personalized structure of the workshop is truly remarkable!
- Winter 2016-2017 CNF 23 W Mastering the Personal Essay with the Masters (Instructor: Rachel Howard)
- Spring 2015-2016 POET 24 W The Apprenticeship: Taking Inspiration from Ten Masterpiece Poems (Instructor: Greg Wrenn)
- Winter 2015-2016 POET 186 W Poetry Writing: Finding a Form (Instructor: Peter Kline)
- Winter 2014-2015 POET 124 W The Poet’s Craft (Instructor: Peter Kline)