Join Gemini Ink’s Executive Artistic Director, Alexandra van de Kamp, for an informal craft conversation about what’s happening right now in the world of poetry. We’ll make the coffee. You bring a friend and enjoy a seat in the company of your peers. Alexandra will share some of the poems she’s been reading and discuss a selection of contemporary poets she believes are lighting up the page and stage. Then, we’d love to hear from you about the poems you’ve been reading and why poetry matters. You’ll benefit from a welcoming poetic community and leave with a bundle of new poems to explore and generative prompts to fuel future writing.
What do we even mean when we consider a poem “good” or “bad”? Beginners aren’t the only ones who benefit from conversations that question our assumptions about poetry and the way we practice connecting with our own voices. Established poets also gain from discussing poetry’s rules and reputation, its stereotypes and possibilities. In this class, writers of all levels will strive to expand their understanding of the art of poetry, first by weeding out our judgments of “good” and “bad” poetry, then shaping poetry’s elusive boundaries by playing with work that challenges our notions of value and weakness. Expect laughter. Anticipate letting go of fears that limit us. Plan to write.
Whether a writer is talking directly to God or using religious reflection to try and make sense of humanity, poetry is shrouded in spiritual mystery and is often used to explore both concrete and intangible concepts of a higher power.
In this three-week workshop, we will study impactful poems from three women poets who invoke ideas of God or the gods. Louise Gluck’s book The Wild Iris enlists flowers from the garden of eden to help tell a story. Lucille Clifton’s “brothers” is an eight-poem conversation between an aged Lucifer and God. Natalia Toledo’s body of written work speaks to the Zapotec gods in three languages: Zapotec, Spanish, and English.