Sunday, March 14, 2010

RRVWP Poetry Workshop with Brent Goodman

Painting with Your Senses: Teaching "Show Don't Tell"
Friday, March 12, 6:00-9:00 PM

Throughout the course we wrote a number of poems in 15-20 minutes, but in this session I wrote four. Here's an example of one of our prompts:

Write a poem --any length we want --
specific things must be included:

* a tongue will touch or taste something
* a smell will remind a speaker of something else
* you will invent the name of a color
* something in the poem arrives or departs
* invent a verb
* name what the radio is playing
* name a body of water

Here's a draft of my attempt (you'll notice I didn't get all the requirements in, oops.)

My blood spools,
spinning like the dizzy maker
on my childhood playground and
if I think too hard
or stare too long
I get the same motionless feeling
and now I start to slump a little to the left
to embrace that weightless feeling when
as a child I'd hold on like Superman
with my legs spindling out behind me
And my mouth is a copper penny
as my platelets return.
Welcome home, my own red sea.
I pray I won't feel the shiver
of my vein collapsing
as the cuff's chokehold tightens on my arm.
I require
a bit of gauze--a game I play with myself
to pretend there is no 16 gauge needle.
Something to squeeze,
my brain immersed in book,
and a blanket thick to work its warmth
when the saline slams through the tube,
reverse motion washing the coagulant-rich crimson back to shore,
a glacial melt spilling in my veins.

Our Poem: Creative Collaboration in the Classroom
Saturday, March 13, 8:30- 11:30 AM

We adopted a poem from the choices Goodman provided in a mini-anthology the night before. We used our "adopted poems" to examine the following things.

Any poem can be considered in terms of its...
– isolating the lines and looking at them
Music – looking at the sound devices
Shape – is it short lines, long lines, etc. stanzas, appearance.
Mind is this more about concept or ... (I missed the rest of that one)
Velocity is this meant to be read word by word… or is it more like Alan Ginsburg
Foot – meter?

Then we each picked just ONE line from the poem that we liked and talked about why. Looking at line breaks and at the "poems within the poems"

We tried an Exquisite Corpse poem and then did some partner poems some blind, some responsively. None of these quite worked as well for me, but I could see potential for cool things, especially with students.

Building Your Own Room: Inventing Poetic Forms
Saturday, March 13, 1:30-4:30 PM

In this session we started by revising one another's poems from earlier. It was interesting to hear others' efforts at revision and tightening of language.

Then we attempted to understand line breaks in a poem where they'd been removed. It was an interesting lesson in enjambment.

How do you form a line:

We ended things by trying to write in a very tight form--a set number of lines and syllables. And then we'd revise that to fewer syllables, fewer lines. It was a great exercise. Difficult for some (ahem. me!)

Brent Goodman - Public reading/Q&A session
Saturday, March 13, 7:00-9:00, North Dakota Museum of Art, UND

The night ended off with Brent doing a public reading from his book The Brother Swimming Beneath Me. A few of us gathered recently to read some of his poems and to do some poetry explication before we met him. I loved what I read and it was thrilling to hear him read from that book at his reading. I'm all revved up for poetry month now... yippee!

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