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“Revising gives us an opportunity to see our work in a new light,” says instructor Brian Tierney. “Sometimes you take a poem off its tracks and discover a whole different route; sometimes you need to fix the wheel, or the engine, or the headlight. The task of revising can feel daunting, even for experienced writers, but knowing what to change and how to change it—and how you might arrive at those answers—are crucial to developing your poetic instincts.”
In the first weeks of class, we will discuss the craft of poetry revision and will compile basic strategies and considerations for how to revisit or hone both old and new work, focusing on how to re-engage our poetry with a readiness and curiosity to change it. During those weeks, we will use writing prompts to generate drafts of new poems that we will revisit several times throughout the workshop. In this way, there will be an opportunity for extensive feedback on multiple poems throughout their development in order to gain insight into the decision-making process required during revision. The course will be feedback-focused. All writers are welcome.
Brian Tierney is the author of Rise and Float, winner of the 20-2021 Jake Adam York Prize (Milkweed, forthcoming Feb. 2022). His poetry and prose have appeared in such journals as Paris Review, Kenyon Review, AGNI, NER, The Adroit Journal, and others. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and a graduate of the Bennington College MFA Writing Seminars, he was named among Narrative Magazine’s 2013 “30 Below 30” emerging writers, and is winner of the 2018 George Bogin Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America. Raised in Philadelphia, he lives in Oakland, Ca., where he teaches poetry at The Writing Salon.
- Sunday, August 11, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Sunday, August 18, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Sunday, August 25, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Sunday, September 8, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Sunday, September 15, 10:30am-1:00pm
Brian is well-organized, very prepared, skillful at crafting the discussions and class dynamic, offers bright and helpful insight in ways that can be heard. The format reminds me of writing workshops I took in college— in a good way. I appreciate the opportunity to read deeply and discuss carefully. I appreciate getting homework. I appreciate the process of workshopping and revision. In short, I love the class— I feel invigorated and enriched by it.
- Brian is clearly thoughtful and creative in his organization of the classes, with a fine blend of the poetry of the greats, with our own work in class. He has created an extremely supportive environment for our work, but has invited serious critique of one another's poetry. I really like that, and am looking forward to more poetry at Writing Salon - and with Brian.
- This is an enthusiastic endorsement for Brian - I'm a long time educator so I know what to look for. Brian is well planned, knowledgeable and reflective. He's sensitive to the class and to individual needs as well as leading us to a wider appreciation of poetry and helping us to feel our way to what 'good' poetry means. He is careful not to get in the way of our individual creative processes nor to be too prescriptive. I recommend him without reservation.
Even before receiving his academic-quality syllabus and opening day readings, I knew Brian was the real thing. He was prepared, organized, thoughtful. He displays vast poetic knowledge, in an engaging manner, such that everyone learns and hones skill, even tho each poet's playing field varies. Brian also has a commendable grasp of group-facilitation, moving disparate thinkers and writers, of all ages, abilities, attitudes, and anguish - to dwell in their work, go deeper, workshop the writing, re-work it.
I am enjoying Brian's style and content very much, and feel I am growing because of his input and the way he draws the other students out to share their perceptions and their experiences. He seems very serious, well prepared, and eager to share his knowledge and expertise.