WRITING the WRITING 2016
the lyf so short
the craft so long to lerne
Using formal instruction methods as well as hands-on techniques, we will attempt to access and empower the artistic mind from which our writing springs.
My intention is to foster a small on-going group study and practice of the craft. Sessions will include writing exercises, practice in a range of forms, sharing of resources, study and discussion of selected texts, and attention to participant’s work.
Texts for the January to June segment will be selected from: Denise Levertov, New and Selected Essays, New Directions & The Ecopoetry Anthology Eds. Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street, Trinity University Press.
This workshop is open to a wide range of experience. The fee is $125.00 per monoth and requires a six month commitment.
Advance registration necessary. Number of participants limited. Please contact me for more information.
Comments about Julia’s workshop:
Julia’s workshops include deep readings of essential poems. Those readings—and the lively group discussions associated with them—made me a better reader. She also pressed me to read my own poems more deeply--to find their boundaries and engage them, test them, and to stick with the process even when I wanted to abandon the poem--to hang in there and learn.
~ Shawn Pittard
Julia's workshops are a sanctuary where writing and the writer's life are treasured. In Julia's class, you will write deeply and read deeply. Highly recommended!
~ Ellen Johnson
Julia’s sessions transcend academia. She won’t ask you if you studied William Carlos Williams or H.D. in college. It doesn’t matter. You take a place in the circle with others who want to write and Julia assumes, simply, that you will read and understand some of the most complex poems written in the English language. In other words, her basic assumption is that poetry is accessible and that you have the intelligence, patience, and intuition to read and write it.
You begin and end with writing. Each session begins with a timed writing assignment, a sort of warm up. The subject matter is almost irrelevant, but usually involves a memory which requires a full sensory palette to describe. Words flow onto your notebook page and Julia says, “don’t hesitate, don’t stop and think, just write.” And you are amazed at how the words compose themselves. It is the child writing, unselfconscious, without hesitation.
Julia will talk about the poet, about the historical and cultural aspects of the times in which the poet lived, but unlike many academic classes, you just don’t take notes and assume that you are learning about the poet. Julia will say, now write a poem after, for example, Robert Duncan. In the process of doing this you will learn about Robert Duncan from the inside, resourcing yourself and thereby expanding and deepening your capacities for both writing and reading poetry.
Julia’s workshops are not the typical “poem workshop” experience. A poem is not produced by consensus or dissected and reassembled by committee. You will share your writing and listen to the writing of your fellow group members, listening for the strengths, the unusual image, to what in the writing reveals the voice of the writer. Reading the poem aloud embodies it. It is still your poem, but is taking on its own life as well. And again, you are amazed. Direction is given but there is no judgment about whether this is a “good” poem or not. It simply is.
After working with Julia over a couple of years, I look back and realize I have studied most of the major poets of the last 100 or so years. I spend a lot of time writing my own poems, but always maintaining a consciousness that I write in a community of so many others who have come before me or sit right next to me. I am not alone with my poem, especially in solitude - everyone is there, quietly doing the work we have always desired to do, listening to each other, listening to the one writing inside us.
~ Laura Ann Walton