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.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

(Yes, even I have one.)

In the wake of the current apocalypse, The Poetry Class will be relocating to an online incarnation until it is once again safe to mingle in physical proximity.

In other words, I’m going to be teaching via teleconferencing platform Zoom – I know, it’s not the same, but it is pretty good, and actually really easy to use. If you can use the internet well enough to get to this page, you can access the classes on Zoom – it’s essentially just another website, but with video and audio. OR if you definitely don’t want to do things online, just grab the notes. Up to you.


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.

June 13th and 20th
Formalities A

On hold for now– Contingent on funding by Christchurch City Council Creative Communities fund –

A two-session course looking at formal poetry of various types – from the well known to the weird, the historical to the hysterical. Poetry that rhymes, poetry that scans, poetry that follows rules, and poetry that takes the rules and uses them as roller-skates. Open your eyes wide to the wonderful world of formal poetry!

Suitable for all levels.

Minimum of 10, maximum of 18 places.
Closing date for enrolments: 5th June 2020.
Downloadable A4 poster will eventually be available here.

June 14th, 21st and 28th
Formalities B

On hold for now – Contingent on funding by Christchurch City Council Creative Communities fund –

A three-session course looking even further at formal poetry of various types. Not a duplication of Formalities A, but a complimentary exploration of formal poetry. Again, we’ll be ranging from the familiar to the fantastical, starting with the basics before heading out to roam through forms ancient and modern.

Suitable for all levels. Drink deep from the well of formal poetry!

Minimum of 10, maximum of 18 places.
Closing date for enrolments: 5th June 2020.
Downloadable A4 poster will eventually be available here.

Note: I’m taking the second half of the year to concentrate on my own writing, so this will be it for 2020.

 

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!