Poetry Workshop with Barbara Drake

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Starts:Tuesday, June 18, 2013  7:00 PMEnds:Tuesday, June 18, 2013  9:30 PM



Newport Public Library

35 NW. Nye St

Newport, OR 97365

Event Description:

Nowadays most writers are familiar with the process of using prompts and exercises both for teaching and for getting ideas for their own poems.  There are many websites and books, including my own Writing Poetry, published in 1983, that use this method to inspire new work.  And yet this approach has its roots in fairly recent history, specifically the founding of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the subsequent founding of the New York poets in the schools program in 1966, when writers who were supported by arts grants to go into the schools and teach poetry for a day, a few days, or more, began to look for effective ways to teach the process of creative writing.  One of the key publications that came out of this program was Kenneth Koch’s Wishes, Lies, and Dreams, published in 1970.  The book described how he asked questions and offered prompts to set up situations in which children would succeed in writing their own original poems.   Prompts served as training wheels to get young writers going.  But, we may ask, how did William Blake or Emily Dickinson get ideas for their poems?  Without workshops or writing prompts such as, write in the voice of someone who has recently died, or describe the traits of a wild animal, can we imagine how they and other great writers got their ideas and shaped them with their own unique viewpoints? The whole world was their “prompt.”  In this workshop I would like us to think about how prompts or writing exercises can help us get ideas for new work, but also how we can create as unique writers for whom the whole world is a daily source of inspiration.

Short writing practices during the workshop.

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