“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” - Leonard Cohen
Our lives are full of the raw material of poetry. We all experience joy, despair, monotony, liberation, nostalgia, regret... The only thing you need to turn your burning life into poems is your poetic voice, the way you translate all that thought and feeling from your internal language to the language of others.
Do you paint beautiful images with your words? Or do you create mesmerizing soundscapes? Or do you write with a unique voice that sticks out in people’s minds? There are many ways to express yourself through poetry, and no single ‘right’ one among them. This class will help you discover your poetic voice through:
You will be writing regularly over the three weeks of the class and sharing and workshopping your poems with small groups either online or in person. Then, to sum up the class you’ll put together some of your best work from the class into a small chapbook that you can share with classmates and friends. And for those with experience in other mediums, you’re invited to create a multimedia project incorporating poetry into something you’re familiar with (laying out a poem with great graphic design, painting a poem, carving a poem into a block of wood).
I'll be running the class, but I’ll be joined in teaching you by an amazing group of poets from around New York City including Jared Singer, Joanna Hoffman, Jon Sands, Corrina Bain, Thomas Fucaloro and more. We’ll be presenting some of our favorite poems and getting into the nitty gritty of how they’re able to be so effective. We hope that by presenting a wide range of poetry you’ll be able to find the kinds poetry that excite you and seek out more.
At the end of the class, students will have a chance to submit poems to a class anthology for which I and the other poets will select 10-12 poems. The resulting anthology will be beautifully laid out online and promoted through the Poetry Observed mailing list and social media channels, (and by you and your friends too!)
This class will be co-taught by myself, Joanna Hoffman, Jared Singer, Jon Sands, Thomas Fucaloro and Corrina Bain.
Todd Anderson is a writer and performance poet, as well as an active member of the New York City poetry community, performing regularly at LouderArts and the Magnet Theater's improv comedy/poetry show, Kiss Punch Poem. Todd has been published in Muzzle, The Legendary, The Manuscript and more. He has also put out an illustrated book of poems called "Just Because There's Pieces Doesn't Mean It's a Puzzle" and is currently working on publishing a chapbook within Google Maps StreetView. In addition to his writing, Todd is the Producer of the Poetry Observed video series which recently raised over $5,000 on Kickstarter to film amazing poets in New York City. He is excited by all types of collaboration and loves incorporating poetry into other mediums.
Joanna Hoffman has been on five National Poetry Slam teams, as well as a competitor in the Individual and Women of the World Poetry Slams (WOWPS). She is a member of the Spoken Word Almanac Project, and is on this year's Urbana slam team. Her work has appeared in decomP and Spindle among other journals, and her first book, Fences, is forthcoming on Sibling Rivalry Press.
Watch a video of Joanna Hoffman performing here.
Jared Singer is a poet and audio engineer who lives in NYC. While he may have physically grown up with his peers, he has never forgotten the imagination, magic, and nerdiness that were corner stones of his childhood. He has appeared on multiple National Poetry Slam final stages with both the Urbana and Nuyorican teams, and his work can be found in journals such as The Legendary and Union Station. He is also the co-creator of Kiss-Punch-Poem, a show that combines poetry and improv comedy. Watch a video of Jared Singer performing here.
Jon Sands has been a full-time teaching & performing artist since 2007. His first full collection of poems, The New Clean, was released in 2011 from Write Bloody Publishing. He is Director of Poetry Education at the Positive Health Project (a syringe exchange center located in Midtown Manhattan) and has represented NYC in multiple National Poetry Slams.
Watch a video Jon Sands performing here.
Thomas Fucaloro is a veteran of the NYC poetry scene. He is the author of Inheriting Craziness is Like a Soft Halo of Light, an editor for Uphook Press and Great Weather for Media, and a newly inducted candidate for an MFA at The New School for Creative Writing. He is a member of the 2012 Intangibles slam team. Watch a video of Thomas Fucaloro performing here.
Corrina Bain is a genderqueer artist, activist and educator whose poetry on page and in performance is fueled and informed by his past work in a detox center, an abortion clinic, a rape crisis hotline, and as a volunteer educator responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Mozambique. Corrina has performed on four National Poetry Slam teams, and his work can be found in the poetry journals Danse Macabre, decomP, Killauthor, PANK and Muzzle.
Watch a video Corrina Bain performing here.
Classes revolve around completing a project and collaborating with fellow students to give and get feedback on your work. Use Video Lessons and the Project Guide designed by your teacher to complete your class project.
Teachers design and present all class content, but Skillshare is community based around student-to-student interaction. You'll be surprised at what you learn from your classmates!
Never! Once enrolled, you have lifetime access to class materials. That means you can learn when and where you want. Learn at your own pace.