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    "Nine Ways of Looking at an Art of Poetry Workshop"


    I had three stanzas,
    Like a tree
    which branched off in three different directions.


    The words whirled in my mind.
    It was a small part of the poetic process.


    A poet and a poem
    Are one.
    A poet and a poem and Joan
    Are one.


    I do not know which to prefer,
    The elegance of the written verse
    Or the power of the spoken word,
    Completing an assignment
    Or posting one.


    I know noble accents
    And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
    But I know, too,
    That Wallace Stevens is involved
    In what I know.


    Caught reading the pieces of others
    During working hours,
    Even the most sympathetic of bosses
    Would cry out sharply.


    He attended the workshop
    Via the internet.
    Once, worry struck him,
    In that he forgot
    His password
    Was "password".


    The sun is rising.
    The poet must be sleepy.


    It was Sunday all weekend.
    My submission was due
    And it was going to be due.
    A fine dust settled
    on the keyboard.
    Robert Rodday, Art of Poetry II

    Thanks so much for your amazing insight and your help in shaping these poems. Your comments have been truly eye-opening--your course has given me a new way to look at my work for which I am very grateful. This workshop has been incredibly helpful to me, and I couldn't have asked for better company.

    Melissa Ahart, Art of Poetry II

    I have found this course to be an inspiration. It also gives me a sense of discipline about my work, which is really what I need at this point. I especially like your assignments. They have inspired me with the classes that I teach.
    Raphael Compone, Art of Poetry I

    Thank you so much for your critiques of my work, your supportive comments, and the publishing opportunities. I had a really good time in this class, I enjoyed the discussions and lecture materials and am very happy with how the poems I put up for critique turned out -- a couple of them changed much more drastically than I anticipated, but in good and surprising ways.

    Khan Wong, Art of Poetry II

    It was a treat to be introduced to so many new (to me) poets in The Art of Poetry I.

    Laurel Szymkowiak, Art of Poetry I

    Participation in Poetry I was an enormous learning experience for me. I have learned more about poetry in this workshop than any course I've taken. Thank you for your effective and challenging suggestions!

    Wanda McCollar, Art of Poetry I

    Thanks for a great class, and for the publishing opportunities. Your course opened doors in many ways. It was especially helpful in providing insight into how an editor looks at a poet's work. It was also an extremely supportive and encouraging  writing  environment. The quality of the students' poetry was exceptionally high. It was wonderful to workshop so many of my poems, and to bring them to a finished and publishable shape. I found the course to be tremendously inspiring. 

    Sam Cherubin, Art of Poetry II

    Yours is a much-needed voice in TRUE (authentic) criticism. You are giving me some great tools, both for evaluating and writing. I am so glad someone is saying that the emperor has no clothes. I think this is what is so refreshing about you folks at Algonkian. You are saying it--in regard to poetry, fiction, and literary theory. I feel like things are starting to break loose for me with poetry--like a log jam has been disturbed. The workshop has been so good--especially the community even though we were small.

    Barbara Petronelli, Art of Poetry I

    I was very skeptical of the value of a on-line workshop before I began, but I am totally convinced of its value now. I received timely responses to all my postings and all my messages, so the process worked seamlessly. In the ten-week period, I had many poems critiqued and was able to revise and improve all of my current work. Your feedback, not only to me but to all of the participants, was positive, encouraging, and incisive. You have a gift for spotting the exact point where a poem goes off-track. Generally, I avoid exercises, but I found the exercises to be manageable in the time allowed and also very helpful in isolating aspects of poetry, like line endings, point of view and stanza patterns, for attention. I felt that no time was wasted--I was never asked to do "busy work," and good revising came out of the weekly exercise experience. In addition, I gained more than I can say from the privilege of reading the work of fellow poets, and from watching their writing processes at work. I realized how many different successful ways there are to write poetry, and I'm excited to be in the company of gifted writers whose name I know I will be seeing in print--and soon! Thanks for your help in the mechanics of the workshop, but more importantly for your priceless insights and suggestions. I really feel inspired as I go ahead with the next poems, and I've printed out all your comments so I can read them over on the days when things aren't going well.

    Mary Kaiser, Art of Poetry II

    Terrific workshop! I looked forward to the challenge of each week's assignment. Not only that, I managed to write some new poems, versus always staring at ones I've written. Your workshop was definitely an inspiration. During the time between workshops I have a lot a poems to reconsider and try to firm up. It's a pleasure to work on poetry when direction is at hand. I have you to thank for that. Having Fred Marchant attend as a guest poet was wonderful. He gave thoughtful and thought-provoking answers.

    Barb Peters, Art of Poetry I

    This workshop has been a truly wonderful experience and just what I needed right now. I learned more than I thought I would in an on-line workshop. Thanks to you! You have pointed me in the right direction as to where I need to focus and what I have to do to start improving my poetry. Many thanks for all your wisdom, patience, and gentle guidance! It's been a wonderful experience

    Sharon Baniff, Art of Poetry I


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