Courage: Writing as an Act & an Art
cross-genre | Kate Gray
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You gain…courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Writing is a brave act, and when you create characters who look fear in the face and triumph, you and your readers rise. In this generative and reflective workshop, you’ll meditate, respond to prompts, and laugh. You’ll receive specific attention to what is shining brightly in your writing through the Gateless Method. You’ll honor your tender and fierce heart in your stories and poems. No experience necessary.
cross-genre | Kate Gray
So many writers I know told me they didn’t write, couldn’t write, weren’t interested in writing during the pandemic. What did you do? What did you learn about your own creativity? On each table you’ll have access to crayons, pens, pencils, paper, watercolors, scissors, glue, colored paper, and other materials. Through meditation, discussion, and silence, you’ll be able to share something you shape in response to your creativity during the pandemic.
In this session, we'll work with a memory that has an emotional charge. Stories of a victory or a loss. The story of a surprise. Stories of a broken bone or a broken heart. Stories of opening a letter or opening a door. Working through four steps, we'll develop context, relationships, action and reaction and re-storing/re-storying to develop a short memoir piece.
Heirlooms and Souvenirs
In this session, we'll start with a detailed description of a family heirloom or souvenir. (The heirloom doesn't have to be valuable, so long as it is important to your family—your current family or your childhood family.) Using all the senses, we'll practice noticing details, setting foreground/background and surfacing the stories embedded in this treasured item.
Contents Under Pressure: Using Constraints to Stretch Your Creativity
Putting constraints on our writing can feel like a challenge, but sometimes a little pressure is what’s needed to push our writing in a new direction or to find language for what seems unspeakable. We’ll draw on constraints such as lipograms and acrostics, as well as poetic games like bout rimés, to radically depart from our typical writing habits and to discover what happens when we write our way out of tricky restrictions. We’ll write together and have the opportunity to share initial drafts, and you’ll leave equipped with a bounty of new possibilities to explore constraints in your future writing. All are welcome—no previous experience with poetry or constraints is necessary.
It's Complicated: Love Poems for the Real World
Love takes many forms, from romantic desire to warm affection to deep appreciation, and we extend love in all sorts of directions: toward partners, family, friends, companion animals, and even inanimate objects. Poetry offers us ways to honor these various and nuanced loves, and in this class, we’ll explore some of those poetic approaches, such as the aubade (poems for lovers parting at dawn), the elegy (poems lamenting the loss of a loved one), and the ode (poems of praise for a beloved person, place, or thing). As we write together, we’ll use techniques to draw on the many emotions that are often intertwined with love—gratitude, excitement, grief, jealousy, longing—to write poems that show love in all of its beautiful, complicated reality. All are welcome in this class—no previous experience with poetry is necessary.
Spark to Flame
Songwriters listen, then write, then rewrite. If you haven’t written a song yet or have written for years, this class is for you. We will use word and melodic prompts, we will free write during the session, share feedback, then rework our fragile drafts. We will discuss the many ways songs work and how to think about polishing our drafts. We'll share guidelines for giving useful feedback and about forming a group to support your ongoing writing.
Playing with Music and Lyric
songwriting | Geof Morgan
In this class we will play with the order of lines and experiment with melody and chords, speed dating to find which marries the lyric. You can bring a piece you are working on, but we will start with an exercise that will generate something you can use, too. We’ll then have fun trying out different ways the intention of the song might emerge.