“Poetry is not an intellectual puzzle to be solved, or a wall to be scaled to reach the garden of meaning,” says instructor Alison Luterman. “Good poetry can produce a physical reaction in the body. Some people gasp, others feel chills, a rush of tears, a snort of laughter, or just a pressure and warmth in the heart. Poetry can move people, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”
In this workshop we’ll look at some poems that seem to leap off the page into our bloodstream. We’ll read them out loud, savor them, and talk about the risk and presence and eros that give them their power. We’ll also focus on using vivid and precise imagery and taking emotional risks in our own drafts.
“One secret to writing alive poetry lies in risking saying the awkward thing, or venturing outside whatever limits you’ve put around your voice,” says Alison. “We’ll create a brave community together that will allow us to break some new ground for ourselves. The choice to share or not to share with the group is yours to make; nothing is forced. And it doesn’t matter if you have a PhD in literature or have just discovered the power of poetry—you are welcome here with your voice and breath and heart.”
Alison Luterman has been shamelessly telling tales from her own life ever since she could grip a sweaty pencil. She has published essays in The Sun, Modern Love, L.A. Review, Radiance, Response, The East Bay Express, The Boston Phoenix and Salon. She has also written an e-book of essays entitled Feral City, about midlife domestication, remarriage, and second chances (available from SheBooks). Alison is also the author of three books of poetry: The Largest Possible Life, See How We Almost Fly, and Desire Zoo. Last but not least, she writes plays, including Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Glitter and Spew, and a musical, The Chain.
- Saturday, September 30, 10:00am-4:00pm
Alison is exactly what I was looking for in a writing teacher. She made the classroom environment very “safe” for us as writers and readers. She gave us very solid, specific, yet kind, feedback. She encouraged everyone to participate, by being present and interested when others were talking.”
Alison’s teaching style is a delight. She is informal and warm. She guides the group very well and presents a variety of opportunities for expression that certainly helped me grow. I am also touched by the intimacy that the group developed over time…thanks to Alison’s gentle, but firm guidance.