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“To established and fledgling writers alike, revising can feel even more intimidating than staring at a blank page,” says instructor Brian Tierney. “It is natural for writers to become attached to certain phrases, sounds, beginnings, endings—what we call our darlings. Sometimes, that fear of losing our first, treasured impulses holds us back from decision-making and craft. But in order to evolve a first draft toward its fullest realization, a poet must step back and re-read, re-evaluate, and retool: in other words, revise."
Knowing what to change in a poem and how to change it are difficult considerations, but key to developing one's poetic instincts. To help poets shape and refine those instincts, this class is broken into three parts, over the course of one month: 1) an introductory three-hour workshop revision session, in which participants meet together on-site and workshop poems; 2) one-on-one, in-depth 90-minute consultations with Brian on an agreed-upon day and off-campus site, such as a café (tailored to the schedules of participants); 3) a second three-hour workshop session, in which participants reconvene and again workshop poems together as a group.
Combining two workshop sessions and individual meetings with Brian in between, this model is a unique opportunity for you to learn more about the craft and the practice of revision, specifically focusing on how to re-engage your own work with a readiness and curiosity to change it. This course will be revision-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, February 17, 10:00am-1:00pm
- Private 90-minute consultation with Brian (Date/Time TBD)
- Sunday, March 17, 10:00am-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.