Workshops

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

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, 1-4 p.m.: “Writing the Narrative Poem”

There’s more to a good narrative poem than telling a story in lines rather than paragraphs. In this workshop, we will examine the distinction between lyric and narrative poetry and look at some contemporary poems that combine both. We will also discuss the varying perspectives from which a story can be told and the techniques that poets have used to lift their words above the level of simple, straightforward storytelling. 

Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, 1-4 p.m.: Diction: A Poet’s Choice

Should the language used in poetry be different from that used in everyday speech? For centuries it was…and then, thanks to William Wordsworth, things changed. In this workshop, we will examine what diction is and why understanding where certain words come from is essential to using and combining them effectively. Topics for discussion include the relationship between diction and tone, the difference between idiom and cliché, and the role of ambiguity. We will also talk about “poetic diction” and why it should be avoided.

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, 1-4 p.m.: “How to Revise a Poem”

All you have to do is to read the early drafts of a well-known poet’s work to realize how crucial revision is.  And yet most poets resist doing the hard work involved in turning a rough draft into a finished poem. This workshop will focus on how to distance yourself from your poem so that you can identify its weaknesses.  We will examine the strategies other poets have used to get “unstuck” and take a look at various ways to approach the revision process. Then we will look at the “before” and “after” versions of a successful poem to see what the poet changed and why.

For more information, visit http://www.writer.org or call 301-654-8664