— Muriel Rukeyser
The primary activities of this first workshop provide the orientation and vocabulary that will engage and support participants as they move into the program curriculum and deeper into poetry. Activity 2, The Poet's Tools, contains a substantial amount of information that provides the basis for future discussions of poems. Your presentation of the material needs to engage participants, and you should not belabor the information itself. Participants do not need to learn the poetic devices that you will discuss; they simply need to understand the material. Post the poet's tools, which you will list on newsprint during the activity, for future reference throughout the program.
This workshop will:
- Introduce the idea of using poetry to explore major questions in our lives
- Engage participants in various ways of approaching, using, making, and learning from poetry
- Optional: Invite participants to create a covenant
- Analyze the tools of poetry and practice discerning the use of those tools in poems they read
- Use these tools to write poetry
- Reflect upon the nature of poetry
- Begin the process of reviewing their personal relationship to poetry
- Experiment with the differences between prose and poetry
- Optional: Lay the expectations for a covenantal relationship
- Optional: Engage with a difficult life issue in a creative way
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