Five Mondays, July 22-Aug. 19, 7-9:30 p.m.
$215 members/$245 others Berkeley
“Many beginning students come to a poetry class hoping for quick critiques and suggestions for revision. There are times when it’s right to want this, but not until you’re nearing the final draft,” says Alison Luterman.
“The first ten, twenty or hundred times writing and revising the poem are a discovery process. What more is there underneath the poem? What leaps can you make? What gems can you uncover?
“A poem is a nest built out of the twigs and ribbons of ordinary words. Poets are like magpies — stealing images, details, scraps of dialogue, and the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life to construct their nests, nests that enable consciousness to fly.”
In this class, you will spend some time giving and receiving feedback, says Alison, but the main focus will be on in-class writing exercises and discussions to help you generate more and better material. You will focus on process over product, on going deeper rather than rushing to find closure.
NOTE: If you would like to keep going with your poetry after taking this class, check out Julie Bruck’s “Persistent Poets” continuation class in San Francisco. (Yes, you East Bay people would have to trek over to SF, but Julie’s class meets only once a month for six months, so it’s not that bad — and well worth the trek!)
Alison Luterman’s first book of poems, The Largest Possible Life, was published by Cleveland State University Press. Her second book See How We Almost Fly won the Pearl Poetry Prize in 2008 and is now available from Pearl Editions. Two of her poems appear on The Library of Congress website as part of the Poetry 180 project that former poet laureate Billy Collins initiated. One of her poems was featured for several years on BART in the mid-90’s and another poem, “I Confess” was on view for commuters in Portland’s public transit system. She has had poems published in many magazines and anthologies, including The Sun, Poetry East, Oberon, Kalliope, The Brooklyn Review, Salt River Review and others. She has taught poetry to thousands of children through California Poets in the schools, and to adults at Esalen Institute, Omega Institute, the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, and The Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference.