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

Karen leads workshops in Creative Writing, Poetry and Journal Therapy, and Memoir Writing. She has studied genealogy and personal histories since 1987, lecturing and leading workshops on Memoir Writing and Journaling to the community since 1998. Karen holds a BA in English and has studied Literature, Business, and Education at the graduate level. She is a former college instructor of English Composition and Reading. In the past, Karen has worked as a high school & middle school teacher. She currently works as a Curriculum Specialist and is an MFA Creative Writing student at Florida Atlantic University.
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