Making Poems: Turning Your Thoughts, Memories, and Life Experiences into Poetry with Dana L. Stringer

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Poetry is often plagued by its reputation of being a difficult art form, accessible to only a select few. On one hand, a discussion on the subject of poetry might intimidate or elude the understanding of most non-poets and non-poetry readers. On the other hand, poetry is simply regarded as a nonessential art form, appealing to primarily sentimental dreamers and idealists. But regardless of the different opinions and challenges concerning poetry, there are people who still gravitate towards this literary art form as a means of self-expression and to simply ask some of the larger questions that poetry can perhaps answer.

February 21 - March 20, 2016

4-Week Online Writing Course

CLASS DESCRIPTION

There are various approaches to writing poetry; however, in this introductory course, designed for students who are new to poetry, students will learn to develop their unique poetic voice, as well as learn the nuts of bolts of poetry writing in a safe and supportive online environment. Students will learn poetic devices and techniques commonly used in constructing poems. Students will also learn how to uncover and articulate universal truths and themes hidden within the autobiographical details of their lives. This course will primarily focus on free verse poetry, excluding some of the more strict attributes of formal poetry. Students will write new poems generated from writing exercises, provide peer feedback, and participate in online discussions.

CLASS OBJECTIVES

The primary goal of this course is to develop the poetic voice of students, help students generate new poems, familiarize students with key terminology, and provide students with a basic understanding of poetic devices and techniques essential to the art and craft of poetry.

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER

WEEK 1

In the first week, students will learn the role of the line in poetry by exploring the various effects created with line breaks, line length, stanzas, pauses, enjambment, end-stop, and punctuation. Students will be asked to consider a significant personal experience for the writing exercise(s), which will require arranging prose style text in lines and stanzas. In addition, students will participate in an online discussion on a selected poem that effectively employs the use of certain elements pertaining to lines. Students will draft their first poem, post it, and receive general feedback from their peers and the instructor.

WEEK 2

In the second week, students will learn key poetry terminology and the role of poetic devices used in constructing poems. Emphasis will also be placed on the use of concrete and sensory details as opposed to abstract ideas in poems. Students will be asked to consider a significant personal memory for the writing exercise(s), which will require the use of figurative language. In addition, students will participate in an online discussion on a selected poem that effectively employs the use of figurative language and concrete details. Students will draft their second poem, post it, and receive general feedback from their peers and the instructor.

WEEK 3

In the third week, students will learn important sound devices that enrich poetry and contribute to its musical qualities. Students will be asked to consider their personal thoughts on a particular subject matter for the writing exercise(s), which will require the use of sound devices. In addition, students will participate in an online discussion on a selected poem that effectively employs the use of sound devices. Students will draft their third poem, post it, and receive general feedback from their peers and the instructor.

WEEK 4

In the final week, there will be an open discussion forum where additional poetry questions will be addressed. We will discuss helpful tools and resources available for poets, poetry readings and workshops, as well as the importance of reading and studying the work of contemporary poets and poets of the past.

About Dana L. Stringer:

Dana L. Stringer

Dana L. Stringer is the author of In Between Faith (Black Picket Fence 2014).  Dana holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.  She is a poet, playwright, freelance writer, and writing instructor.  Some of her work appears in anthologies, literary magazines, as well as online.  In 2011, she served as an associate editor for Beyond Words:  The Creative Voices of WriteGirl, a literature anthology.

In addition to writing poetry, Dana is also a playwright.  Her produced stage plays include Colored in Winter, The Costume Waver, ID, and Kinsman Redeemer.  For more information, visit www.danastringer.com.