Friday, March 31, 2017

Looking back at the March 25 PSSC Writers' Group workshop -- "Fishing for Poems, Part II"

Saturday, March 25
Poetry Society of SC workshop
Susan Laughter Meyers, instructor
10 a.m. - noon
Fishing for Poems, Part II
Charleston Library Society, 164 King St.
Charleston, SC
Free for PSSC/CLS members & CofC students; $15 for all others (PSSC membership $30; new memberships welcome)

Last Saturday was the second Poetry Society of SC (PSSC) Writers' Group workshop of the year, when we continued our exploration of "Fishing for Poems," generating new work. We began by each creating a word bank of nouns and verbs we might want to use in the day's writing. We then spent working with our class packet. For our first writing activity we wrote our own lines in-between the lines of a published poem, all of us using the same poem, "Though I've Never Been to Gettysburg, by Gabrielle Calverossi. We used her poem, which was tripled spaced to give us writing room, as ghost lines that we took off from by paying attention to sound, rhythms, and whatever else struck a core. Our intent was to make associative leaps, not necessarily to respond to the poem or even pay attention to it content.

We also wrote an erasure poem, either from our own earlier freewriting or from two pages of prose from a book called Weather Wisdom. An erasure poem is typically quite spare, with deliberate care spent on which single words to choose. We each circled only the words from the paragraphs in the Weather Wisdom excerpt that we wanted to cause to bump up against each other with surprise and freshness to create the poem. All the rest from the prose was "erased." No rearranging of words and no adding of new words. It's like choosing which stones to step on while crossing a wide creek.

Fourteen participants attended the workshop. I'm always grateful for the poets' input, as well as their writing and camaraderie.

The next PSSC W.G. workshop will be on Saturday, September 30. Same place, same time.

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