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Passionate Poets at Work

Facilitator:  Amanda Crane

Workshop Syllabus

Do you love to write poetry? Have you filled up notebooks with your words but aren’t sure how to shape them into great poems? In this course, you will find a supportive place to experiment in the four major elements of writing a memorable poem. Welcome to becoming a poet at work.

Week 1:  Originality at Work

A truly great poem is an original poem. What are the ways you can make your poems completely unique? What are the ways you can express an emotion (like love) without sounding cliché? This is exactly what we will target during the first week.

Week 2:  What is Your Point of View?

The next important element of writing a poem is choosing a point of view. Do you write from the first, second, or third perspective? Have you ever written from a point of view of an inanimate object? Have you ever switched genders in your poems? These options will be explored during our second week.

Week 3Metaphors, Metaphors, Metaphors

By this point you will definitely feel like a poet at work. You have been lingering over verbs, discovering new nouns, and admiring new adjectives. Now, how can you link them together to make beautiful metaphors? The metaphor as a line and the “controlling metaphor” in a poem are two exciting options you will try this week.

Week 4Imagine Imagery

For our last week, we will be sure to target the overall imagery present in your poems. Are you using the 5 senses? Can your readers see, touch, and taste your words? These last lessons will ensure that your poems are full of sensory details and vivid imagery. In addition, places of publication for emerging poets to send their work will be provided.

By the end of this 4-week course, students will have successfully created a small portfolio of poems. Students will also have mastered some of the most important elements of crafting marketable and memorable poetry.


Recommended Reading
Examples of excellent poetry from these wonderful websites will be provided for students.

Poetry 180 –An anthology of poems compiled by Billy Collins

The Academy of American Poets 

The Best American Poetry Series  

About the Facilitator: Amanda Crane has her BA and MFA in Creative Writing and is an educator of English and Creative Writing at both the secondary and higher education levels. She is the author of the chapbook, Barbiecue, which is a contemporary spin on the voice of the Barbie doll. She has poems published in numerous literary magazines and journals including: Barbaric Yawp, Chronogram, Dream International Quarterly, Mid-America Poetry Review, Poetry Motel, The Pegasus Review, and The Paterson Literary Review. Currently she is at work on her new manuscript, Sin Eater.

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Workshop Duration: 4 weeks  

Scheduled Sessions for 2008:

January Session beginning January 7th

February Session beginning February 11th

March Session beginning March 17th

April/May Session beginning April 21st

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Books recommended on this page are not required reading for participation in the course.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott

Poem Crazy
by Susan Wooldridge

Writing From The Body: For writers, artists and dreamers who long to free their voice
by John Lee and Ceci Miller-Kritsberg

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