The Poetry Foundation offers workshops on a regular basis - it's part of their free adult education offerings. (I attend their monthly Book Club.) Past workshops have been on forms - such as sonnets or eclogues - or on issues such as voice or description. There's a set format to the workshop, which I learned last night:
- discussion of the form/issue;
- reading and discussion of poems exemplifying that form/issue;
- opportunity to write (given a set assignment);
- sharing your writing - later, via email - either what you wrote in the session as is or after continued work.
I enjoyed the discussion (I also felt it was a step up from the Book Club discussions, perhaps because everyone there last night is a writer) and was excited by the work I got down. Thanks to the constraints set by the assignment, I ended up going in a somewhat different direction than I'd expected - which then provided me with a possible solution to a problem I'd been having with another poem.
So now I have two weeks to work on this before sharing and I may end up getting some feedback on it - I haven't found a writers group to be part of yet so I'm curious about what I might hear, from the facilitator (who also leads the Book Club) if no one else. Feedback is such a tricky thing to negotiate - you really need to find the right people to be your readers - and without being in a writing program I'm not even sure how to find the right people. But I don't have much at the moment that I would even want to have feedback on, so I can afford to take my time and see what comes my way. At least for now.
Looking for the next workshop -