Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Looking back: Press 53 Gathering of Poets -- March 4, 2017

On March 4, 2017, in Winston-Salem, NC, Press 53 held its Gathering of Poets, a much anticipated annual event planned and offered by publisher Kevin Watson. I was honored to be on the faculty this year, along with these talented poets:
  • Nickole Brown
  • Richard Garcia
  • Jessica Jacobs
  • Tom Lombardo
  • Seth Mickelson 
Each poet on the faculty offered an hour-and-a-half workshop twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. There were a variety of subjects, and participants were able to take a total of four workshops. Such a full day of poetry! My workshop was called "Song of the Imperative." Here's the approach we took in it:

“Be unalone. Big up / your chest,” says poet Christian Campbell in the drumbeat of his poem “Incantation.” “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” says Adam Zagajewski in the quieter, softer music of his lines. What does a memorable poem of the imperative offer? Perhaps advice, instruction, a blessing, even a recipe—real or imagined. A rhythm of imperative verbs, always. Plenty of surprise. Syntax and image worthy of any good poem. This is the chance for you as poet to speak from the core, imaginatively and directly to the reader. Our agenda includes discussion and writing time to generate a poem, as well as a workshop packet of writing strategies, exemplary poems, and resources.

I was impressed by the creativity and talents of the workshop participants. Nothing like a room full of poets to write, talk, and inspire!

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