Poetry as Memoir Workshop

12-8-2013 7-52-40 AMPoetry as Memoir Workshop

$24.95 after January 1, 2014

$14.95 before January 2, 2014

In this 5 week workshop, we will use specific prompts and techniques to create 5-10 poems about your life experiences. These poems could become the start of a poetry chapbook or provide a great addition to your memoir.

I began a study of autobiography and memoir writing over 30 years ago. While studying poetry at the graduate level, I discovered two poets who believe that recording one’s place in history is integral to their art. Carol Muske and Joy Harjo are renowned poets who explore the intricacies of self in regards to cultural and historical place. Muske specifically addresses the poetics of women poets, while Harjo addresses the poetics of minority, specifically Native American, writers. Both poets emphasize the autobiographical nature of poetry.

I became fascinated with the idea of using poetry as a medium for recording history, specifically MY history. In this workshop I will share what I have learned in my journey. We will read poems by Muske, Harjo, Whitman, Yeats and other poets who use memories in their poetry. I will share with you the techniques for crafting poetry that I have learned in the past 13 years of studying poetry with amazing poets such as Susan Mitchell, Anne Lauderbach, Alan Marcil, and more.

Best of all, we will write 5-10 poems that record YOUR memories and provide you with poems “of witness.” We will share poems with the group (if you want), and offer support and gentle critiques.

Each participant will receive the Poetry as Memoir workbook FREE with purchase of the workshop. With this workbook, you can feel free to work ahead or go back and rework a previous topic. This workbook will not be sold in stores!

The recording of a life within history also creates us. It is through the telling of stories that we justify our emotions at any given time. Carol Muske writes, “…the poem of witness must exist–because it is necessary to refresh moral life”  It is through the act of truth-telling testimony that we find our self, that we find our truths.

I look forward to taking this journey of witnessing through poetry with you all!

Click here to reserve your place!

A Tentative Schedule

Week 1:

  • Thoughts on Writing Poetry
  • Getting Comfortable
  • Nuts and Bolts
  • Sensory Imagery
  • Poem #1: Childhood Places

Week 2:           

  • Couplets
  • Poem #2: Home
  • I am…
  • Refining the Rough Draft
  • Quatrains
  • Poem #3: Taste

Week 3:

  • The Sonnet
  • Poem #4: Family Heirlooms
  • The Villanelle
  • Poem #5: Pick a Date

Week 4:

  • The Narrative poem
  • Poem #6: Physical Experience
  • Secrets
  • Poem #7: The Black Sheep

Week 5:

  • Repetition
  • Poem #8: Making Music
  • Poem #9: I am the One Who Poem
  • Poem #10: Around
  • Bonus Lesson  – Inkblots

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.
This entry was posted in Workshops and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.