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Poetry and Surprise

BruckCroppedOne Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.  San Francisco
$55 members/$65 non-members
(this class is not currently scheduled)

“When U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan decided to take up poetry,” says instructor Julie Bruck, “she began by picking tarot cards at random, writing a poem to each until she’d exhausted the deck. This, she said, was a way for her to discover her themes. By her own account, her process hasn’t changed much, but there’s a thrill that goes into unwrapping her short, highly-compressed poems that is a direct transmission of the play that goes into their making.

“We’ll spend the afternoon exploring fresh approaches to finding our own material. No tarot decks here, but we will use other in-class exercises that can surprise us into meaning, and we’ll also read poems that embody that kind  of surprise.”

This half-day, hands-on workshop is suitable for a wide spectrum of people, from beginners who want a little direction, to more experienced writers who’d like to shake up—or dust off— their established writing habits.

Julie Bruck has taught at several Canadian universities, and been a resident faculty member at The Robert Frost Place. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson, and has published two collections, The Woman Downstairs (1993) and The End of Travel (1999). Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Ms. A Montreal native, she has lived in San Francisco for ten years.

“The poetry bootcamp was fantastic!”


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