Poetry I: Introduction to Making Poems

Cameron Conaway, Poet

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10 Videos (27m)
    • Introduction

    • Project Overview

    • What is Poetry?

    • Finding Your Theme

    • Finding Your Thread

    • Small Noticings

    • The Literary Toolbox - Part 1

    • The Literary Toolbox - Part 2

    • Begin Your Poem

    • Final Thoughts

31 students are watching this class

About This Class

This class is not about theory or the history of poetry; it’s about how you can start writing quality poems in as short a time as possible.

Cameron Conaway, award-winning poet and journalist, breaks down the myths surrounding what poetry is, who can make it, and how it’s made. He guides us through “the butterfly method,” his own unique process for how to make a poem. This process is at the heart of how he wrote all of his books, including Malaria, Poems, which was one of only four poetry collections named to NPR’s Best Books of 2014 list.

If you’ve wanted to write poetry but felt intimidated or confused, this class is for you. By the end of the class you will have written five poems, all linked by a particular theme you care deeply about, and you’ll be well on your way to putting your first book together.

119 of 122 students recommendSee All

I really loved the way that Cameron made the act of writing poetry very systematic. I always get very overwhelmed with writing a great poem but Cameron helped me break down a large project like writing a poem into small pieces. I think I'll keep coming back to these lessons in the future!
The butterfly technique is really helpful and it was very encouraging when the author mentioned that he did not write when he was younger. I love the meditation technique.
I always thought I wrote without rules and big literary terms but It turns out even though I may not have studied them each and every poem has a method and process to follow . Thank you for making me realize what I was missing.





Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Cameron Conaway spent nearly a decade training to be a professional mixed martial artist, but while attending college at Penn State Altoona he fell in love with poetry. To him, poetry was as much about mindful living and the radical pursuit of new perspectives as it was about writing.

His studies led him to the University of Arizona’s MFA Creative Writing program, where he served as Poet-in-Residence from 2007-2009.

A few years lat...

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