Guesting on Poetry Studio

Hi everyone,

On the evening of Tuesday, December 1, I’ll be a guest speaker on Georgia Heard’s series of online poetry writing workshops called The Poet’s Studio. I’ll be on 7:45-ish EST, 6:45 CST p.m.. I’ve agreed to speak about rhyme and meter, a favorite topic of mine, although this far it out it’s possible that my subject might be widened to include other aspects of poetry.
I copied this just now from Georgia’s description of three of the workshops.

“Tuesdays December 1st – December 15th

7:00-9:30 PM (EST)

Whether you’re beginning your poetry journey, or have written poetry for years, in this 3 session workshop we will play, explore and write in a wide range of poetic forms from traditional forms like the sonnet to contemporary forms like poems-for-two-voices. We’ll explore how to artfully merge form and content. Each week you will receive feedback on what you write from Georgia Heard and your peers.

Irene Latham, author of Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems and This Poem Is A Nest and David Harrison, poet laureate of Drury University, and author of 92 books including his newest After Dark: Poems about Nocturnal Animals will be our special guests in two of the workshops.”

For anyone interested, here’s more information about the workshops and how to sign up. I’m telling you about this now because sessions tend to fill early.

The Awesomesauce Nine

Hi everyone,
Yesterday I got a look at A TREASURY OF MEMORIES, POEMS BY THE AWESOMESAUCE NINE. It’s a handsome booklet being prepared to distribute to the poets who joined me at The Barn this year and I’m impressed by it. It’s a private collection so if you want to see the work of any of these poets, you’ll need to get in touch with them and beg for a look!

As soon as it’s officially available, I’ll show you the cover and maybe a teaser poem or two, with permission of course. It will be great fun to put these in the hands of the creative and talented people who participated. My thanks to one and all. Some of these poets traveled across the country to spend time together and work on new ways to develop their skills.

I reminded them at our first meeting the Olympics show us that sometimes the difference between winning gold and finishing out of the winners’ circle can be measured in fractions of a second. I think it’s often the same way with writing. The difference between being published or rejected may be far smaller than one might imagine. To have tried at all should be a source of pride. The AWESOMESAUCE NINE have every right to look at their collective works with pleasure.

The contributing poets are:
Jeanne Poland
Charles Waters
Jim Wise
Lisa Wise
Susan Bickel
Rosi Hollinbeck
Juli Mayer
Thomas Ohl
Jesse Anna Bornemann

Poetry workshop reminder

Hi everyone,
David at David Harrison Day
Today’s post is a reminder that I’ve agreed to do another workshop for poets at The Barn near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, August 21-24.

I’ve scheduled us for three hours of writing each morning and each afternoon, and I’ll be there throughout to act as sounding board, mentor, facilitator, and coach. After two full days, each poet will have at least four poems, each in a different subgenre.

On the third morning we’ll hold a critique session so that participants can leave with some honest feedback to take home and guide further revisions if thought necessary.

Here’s where this workshop offers valuable added value, thanks to the input of previous participants. Every poet dreams of being published and agonizes over how difficult it can be to figure out how to do it. That’s why I’m so delighted to introduce the four key guests who have accepted my invitation to speak.

On Day One, our two speakers (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) come from the magazine side of Highlights. Allison Kane is the editorial assistant at Highlights Magazine and edits most of the poetry as well as numerous other publications. Patrick Greenwish is Art Director for Highlights Magazine for Children. Patrick can provide insight about the importance of writing with an artist in mind.

For Day Two our speakers will represent the book side. Mary Colgan is Senior Editor for Highlights Press, the book-publishing division of Highlights for Children. Mary can answer questions about the whole range of books the company publishes. Rebecca Davis is a senior editor for Boyds Mills Press and for Wordsong, the only imprint in the United States dedicated to children’s poetry.

This is a perfect chance to learn firsthand from editors what they look for and how the process of reviewing poetry and deciding whether or not to accept it for publication works. We have to be good and hone our work till it’s ready, but we also need to be savvy about how this publishing business works. That knowledge can save a lot of heartache and wasted effort. For more complete information, here’s the link. .

August will roll around before you know it. If this sounds interesting to you or you know someone who might like to come, please contact Jo Lloyd ( at the Foundation for more information.

Announcing my poetry workshop

BULLETIN: I’m happy to announce that Jeanne Poland (New York) and Rosi Hollinbeck (California) are the first two to register for the workshop in August. Welcome back, Jeanne! Welcome for the first time, Rosi!

Hi everyone,

It’s now official that I’m conducting a poetry workshop at The Barn near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, August 21-24. Here’s the link.
Jeanne Poland and David
Please check it out and pass the word. I agreed to take 15-17 people and would like to see the session filled as early as possible so I’ll have plenty of time to get acquainted with the poets who plan to participate.
Ken Slesarik and David
My thanks to those poets who have attended my previous workshops for sharing their thoughts and making suggestions for the kind of event that will help the most. As a result I’ve introduced some new approaches and look forward to putting them into action.
Here’s an introduction that will be sent out before long. I thought I’d share it with you in advance.

What Rhymes with Trombone?

My music teacher, Mr. Chester Moffatt, didn’t teach me to play the trombone; he showed me how. I learned to play it by practicing what he told me to do. First he showed me how to play the whole note f in bass clef. I practiced it 100 times each day until I learned it. There are seven letters in the musical alphabet and I learned them all the same way. Once I could handle the tools of the trade I was amazed by the endless combinations that became possible. The more Mr. Moffatt showed me how, the longer I practiced. By the time I was practicing up to 4 hours a night, I was first chair in high school band and orchestra, and Missouri All-State orchestra, and the Springfield symphony, and had two dozen students of my own. I started every one of them by showing how to play the whole note f in bass clef.

Learning to write poetry works the same way. No one can teach us to write a poem. They can show us how but we must do the learning by doing. He who would write free verse should learn to write verse. She who would write couplets should learn to write limericks, ballads, and villanelles. The more tools of the trade we master, the closer we come to writing a poem that brings together what we have learned with what we feel and have a passionate need to express. I think of poetry workshops as “Mr. Moffatt” for poets. As your teacher, I’ll show you how. As the writer, you’ll learn by doing. I hope to see you soon. You won’t need a trombone. A pencil works fine.