Poetry Workshops for The Writer’s Center (all on ZOOM):

Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, 1-4 p.m.: “The Mystery of Line Breaks”

Many free verse poets write for years without really understanding how a line of poetry functions and where it should end.  Should it be as long as a breath, or should it end wherever there is a comma, a period, or a break in the syntax?  In this workshop, we will look at how modern poets have dealt with this issue and how their decisions can help us manage line breaks in our own poems.

Sunday, Mar. 14, 2021, 1-4 p.m.: “Revisiting Rhyme”

Why do so many poets writing today shy away from rhyme? Maybe it’s because they’re afraid it will make their poems sound trite or old-fashioned. In fact, knowing how to rhyme subtly and skillfully can achieve quite the opposite. In this workshop, we will examine the many different rhyming strategies available. We’ll even talk about rap music and what we can learn from it. Discussing what distinguishes a “good” rhyme from a weak one will lead us to some conclusions about what rhyme can add to a poem and how it can be used to make your poems both more memorable and more musical.

Sunday, April 18, 2021, 1-4 p.m.: “How Poems Begin”

“Let us go then, you and I, where the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table…” Poets and poems are often remembered for their opening lines, but is there a “right” or at least a “better” way to begin a poem? In this workshop, we will explore some of the ways in which poets have traditionally chosen to open their poems and then look at some poems that break with tradition and still manage to draw the reader in.

For more information, visit or call 301-654-8664