At a time when much of our lives are subject to strange and invisible influences – media trends, social and political tensions, the recent health crisis – we need the skills of creative expression more than ever. In this workshop (for beginning and advanced writers), you will explore poetry and storytelling, their history and future, and even challenge ideas about modern discourse.
July 14 – July 27, 2024
Two week session
Saturday, July 27, 2024
Morning, exact time and location TBD
14 – 17
Total Capacity includes Residential and Day Students
“Poetry is a means of seeing invisible things and saying unspeakable things about them.”
– Howard Nemerov
“If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
This creative summer class will meet every day, six days a week for writing, reading, discussion, games, field trips and more. We’ll examine some older voices and discover a few emerging ones, including your own. You will create new work using college-level prompts, apply professional tools for editing, learn how to submit work to publishers, and cultivate a performance.
You will produce an anthology of new writing with your fellow students and participate in a live reading. Bring notebooks, writing instruments and a few examples of writers you enjoy. You’ll also have plenty of access to computers, reference material, and dreams.
Writers will start at their own levels and no experience is necessary. Each session is designed to challenge and inspire students in an atmosphere of encouragement and inclusion. Constantine has worked for years to develop a unique teaching style which both empowers new voices and allows seasoned writers to flourish. Sufferers of ‘Writer’s Block’ are strongly encouraged!
And here is a list of random things you may also want to have ready:
a good memory
a bad memory
a favorite time of day
a favorite kind of weather
a ‘good luck’ charm
a random phrase or lyric that keeps playing in your head
a poem or story you admire by someone else
Some (but not all) of our routines:
Be prepared to write during every class. A willingness to experiment and take risks is encouraged. We will also be emphasizing discussions of craft, ways to test its limits (if any), and what it’s like to be a contemporary author. Likewise, students will also gain insight on teaching. Indeed, when our two weeks are over, you’ll be able to lead your own workshop.
A typical day consists of writing, reading, discussion time, and usually a few games or surprises. Students develop their most promising work with their classmates, receiving thorough feedback from peers and the teacher.
Students should expect to write every day and maintain focus. There will also be plenty ‘down time’ for cultivating new ideas and community.
Brendan Constantine is the author of four books of poetry and his work has appeared in many standards including Poetry, The Nation, Best American Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Field, and Poem-A-Day. A popular performer, he has read for audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, also appearing on NPR, TED ED, numerous podcasts, and YouTube. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently teaches at the Windward School. Since 2017, Brendan has been developing poetry workshops for people with Aphasia.
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