Workshops for 2020

The Poetry Class – 2020 Edition

To enrol, or to ask a questions about the courses, please use the contact form on the Current Classes page.

Spring/Summer 2020

November 14th
Louise Glück, Nobel Laureate

A single session Reading for Writing class focussing on the work of American poet, Louise Glück, the 2020 Nobel Laureate in Literature. Come explore one of my favourite poets, praised by the Nobel committee for “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

A combination of close reading with writing exercises. Suitable for all levels.

Saturday, 14th November, 2020
(one session)

10.30 am – 1.30 pm
The Boardroom,
South Christchurch Library
66 Colombo St, Christchurch
Fee: $20
minimum 10, maximum 18

AND ALSO

November 15th
Louise Glück, Nobel Laureate

Yep, for all those who can’t make it on the Saturday, I will be repeating the class one day later. Same place, same time, same class.

Sunday, 15th November, 2020
(one session)

10.30 am – 1.30 pm
The Boardroom,
South Christchurch Library
66 Colombo St, Christchurch
Fee: $20
minimum 10, maximum 18

AND FOR GOOD MEASURE

November (date to be confirmed)
Louise Glück, Nobel Laureate – Zoom Edition

And for those who prefer it, I will also be offering the class online via Zoom. This one will be a small group, so the date and time is something we will be able to work out between us.

Online via Zoom
date and time tbc
Fee: $20
minimum 4, maximum 10

AND BECAUSE I APPARENTLY CAN’T HELP MYSELF

November 29th
Louise Glück, Nobel Laureate – Breakfast Edition

And lastly, I’m offering the chance for a small group have this class over breakfast/brunch at The  Laboratory, Lincoln. The good folk at the Lab have allowed us to book a long table for the morning, on the understanding that we will be buying food and drinks while there. (You can check their breakfast/brunch menu here.) (And did I mention that they also have damn fine donuts?). Poetry with good food – what could be better?

The Laboratory
66 West Belt
Lincoln
9.30 am to 12.30 pm
Fee: $20
minimum 4, maximum 8

To find out what you missed, read on!

February 1st to 29th 
Reading for Writing: An Odyssey by Anthology

An American, a Canadian, and a Brit walk into an anthology

Yes, it’s back! A chance to consider the world of 2018 and 2019 through the lens of the best poetry from America, Canada and the UK, via the anthologies The Best American Poetry 2018 & 2019, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018 & 2019, and The Forward Book of Poetry 2019 & 2020.

How did the Northern Hemisphere see the last two years? Are there Brexit poems? Trumpocalypse poems? Climate-change poems? Protest poems? Or did the poets stick to hearts, flowers, puppies and kittens, and the inevitable Mornings After?

A combination of close reading with writing exercises. Suitable for all levels.

Saturdays, February 1st to 29th, 2020
(five sessions)

10.30 am – 1.30 pm
The Boardroom,
South Christchurch Library
66 Colombo St, Christchurch
Fee: $40

Supported by Christchurch City Council Creative Communities fund.

April 4th to 25th
Poetic Turns

Why do poems change course? And how do they do it? What can you add to a poem by leaping off in another direction? Based on the book Structure & Surprise: Engaging Poetic Turns by Michael Theune, this class will examine ways that poems can weave in extra levels of complexity, and prompt us to open our own work up to new possibilities.

A four-session course, mixing reading and discussion with writing exercises designed to put what we learn into practice. Suitable for those with some familiarity with writing poetry.

Saturdays, April 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th, 2020
(four sessions)
10 am – 12 pm
Online via Zoom
Fee: free!

April 5th to 26th
Jump-start the Muse

Looking for inspiration? Can’t find the time to write? Like the idea of the daily NaPoWriMo sessions, but need a bit more interaction? This is the class for you – a workshop packed full of writing exercises, designed to get the creative juices flowing. Along the way we’ll look at questions of technique, and read lots of great poems.

Each writing challenge is designed to address some specific aspect of poetry writing, such as persona, anaphora, ekphrasis, curses and blessings, subverting clichés, and maybe even trying our hands at a few forms.

Suitable for all levels.

Sundays, April 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th, 2020
(four sessions)
4 pm – 6 pm
Online via Zoom
Fee: free!

April 1st to 30th
NaPoWriMo – Quarantine Edition

To counter cabin fever, and with a nod to NaPoWriMo (the National Poetry Writing Month challenge), every morning throughout the month of April I will be posting a new writing exercise on my blog. Think of this as a daily Jump-start the Muse session!

It’s completely free to take part, but also largely passive – you can do them or not do them as the fancy takes you. It’s just a new prompt every day, and no required interaction. Obviously you can share them with other people, and I hope you get some great poems out of them – let me know! But I’m not asking people to share them on my blog, or send them to me, or anything like that. Just a new prompt every day, for you to do with as you will.

If that appeals to you, go to https://jopre.wordpress.com/blog, and look for your daily prompt under the title NaPoWriMo Quarantine Edition. Or subscribe to the blog and have a new exercise delievered to your inbox every morning this month. (Plus you’ll get notification of any other posts I put up – I’m not especially prolific, so it shouldn’t be overwhelming.)

Daily, April 1st to 30th, 2020
(thirty sessions)
~7am
Free!

May 9th to June 6th
Examining the Ockhams

A five-session Reading for Writing course with a New Zealand focus, taking a close look at the books shortlisted for the poetry category of the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. (The winners announced on May 12th.)

Saturdays, May 9th to June 6th, 2020
(five sessions)
10 am – 1 pm
online via Zoom
Fee: $30

Supported by Christchurch City Council Creative Communities fund.

Minimum of 6, maximum of 18 places.
Closing date for enrolments: 8th May 2020.

BONUS SUNDAY course

May 10th to June 7th
Examining the Ockhams

A repeat of the Saturday Examining the Ockhams class, one day later (Sunday mornings), same platform, same times, same cost.

Sundays, May 10th to June 7th, 2020
(five sessions)

10 am – 1 pm
online via Zoom
Fee: $30

Minimum of 6, maximum of 18 places.
Closing date for enrolments: 8th May 2020.