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Workshops are funded in part by Humanities Nebraska. 

Writing Classes & Workshops 

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Kim Noriega
The Well Turned Poem

Saturday, June 18th 10:00a CST

The turn—sometimes called the swerve, the twist, the pivot, or in a sonnet, the volta—is a significant shift in rhetorical and/or dramatic trajectory in a poem. It’s that moment of acceleration when the poem careens around a blind curve then lifts off the page, rocketing us into another dimension. It is, says poet-novelist Kim Addonizio, “the leap from one synapse to another, one thought to a further thought, one level of understanding or questioning to being in the presence of the mystery. “

In this workshop, we’ll explore the power of the turn with an emphasis on structure, rather than form or genre. We’ll study specific poetic structures—such as elegiac, emblematic, and the mid-course turn—as a means to writing poems that do indeed turn, leap, and swerve, in short, poems that move/us. A poem that moves us, is a poem that can teach and enlighten us. We’ll read example poems that utilize these structures and discuss how the structure amplifies the poet’s message. Then, we’ll write together and share our results. Each participant will receive a link to the poems studied during the workshop as well as a list of other poems to explore. Additionally, participants are invited to send poems written during the workshop to the facilitator for individual feedback within one month of the workshop.

KIM NORIEGA is the author of "Name Me", the title poem of which was a finalist for the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in textbooks, journals, and anthologies including: American Life in Poetry, Paris-Atlantic, Split Lip, and The Tishman Review. She was the winner of San Miguel Literary Sala’s Flash Nonfiction Prize, a finalist for the Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize, and one of 30 poets selected to collaborate with 30 film artists as a part of the 2018 Visible Poetry Project.

Kim recently retired from a 30-year career with San Diego Public Library as the head of its family literacy program. She is a Teaching Artist and Writing Mentor with the Poetry Barn and President of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit, AIM Higher. She is a certified facilitator of the Creative Regeneration Process and an expert consultant in Family Literacy with the Pacific Library Partnership.

Kim is passionate about writing, teaching, wolf recovery, and the well being of feral cats. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Ernie, and—you guessed it—a clowder of cats. For more about Kim’s work and her offerings visit kimnoriega.com.

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska.

Writing by the Lake

Muse Maintenance

Bi-Monthly on the 2nd & 4th

Wednesday 6:30p-7:30p

Join us for a virtual gathering of fellow poets of all levels that inspires and motives each other toward our personal writing goals. Think of this as your bi-monthly jolt of confidence for hitting your writing goals mixed in with a little fun. Free and open to all members.

After you register, you will receive an  “admission ticket” with the zoom link information on it.

For members only.

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Kathryn Winograd Chapbook Explorations into Culture, Gender & Identity

Saturday, November 12th 10:00a CST

Once the venue of “chap men” who sold 8-12 page “penny” books on 16th century streets, chapbooks are no longer just the poor (wo)man poet’s stapled “wanna-be” book.  While chapbooks do serve as important segues for young poets into first book publishing, they also offer established poets opportunities for focused, impassioned explorations into familial and cultural landscapes. There are distinct and proven routes to creating fully realized and beautifully-wrought chapbooks. We’ll look at how three women poets, winners of 2021 chapbook contests, shaped and focused their chapbook to illuminate issues of gender, sexual identity, and culture: Elizabeth Metzger, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry and poetry editor for the LA Review of Books, in her chapbook, Bed Poems, and Maura Stanton, winner of the Yale Series for Younger Poets, in her chapbook, Interiors, and SJ Sindu, author of two novels and previous chapbooks, in Dominant Genes. Ultimately, whether you are a poet with a handful of poems to work with or you simply have a vision for a future chapbook, you will be given a chance to leave this workshop with the seeds for a new and cohesive chapbook.  

A longtime educator and arts advocate, KATHRYN WINOGRAD is the author of seven books, including Air Into Breath, an alternative for the Yale Series for Younger Poets and a Colorado Book Award Winner, and Slow Arow: Unearthing the Frail Children, awarded a Bronze Medal in Essay for the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards.   Flying Beneath the Dog Star Poems from a Pandemic, released in 2022, is a semi-finalist for the Finishing Line Press' 2021 Open Chapbook Contest.  Her first collection of essays, Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation, was a Foreword Indies Book of the Year Finalist. Her essays have been noted in Best American Essays, and published in many journals including Terrain.org (forthcoming),Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, River Teeth, The Florida Review, Essay Daily, and The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, 6th edition. Her poetry has been published in places as diverse as The New Yorker and Cricket Magazine and received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations and a Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XXXVIII . Currently an editor for Humble Essayist Press, Winograd was a founding faculty member for the Ashland University MFA and now teaches poetry and creative nonfiction for Regis University’s Mile High MFA. She received her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Denver and a M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Iowa. 

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

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Holly Lyn Walrath
Journaling for Poets

Saturday, July 9th 10:00a CST

Poets are observers. One way to explore your observations and ideas is through a writing journal. In this workshop, we'll cover the basics of journaling for poets, not just as a method of processing and keeping track of your thoughts, but as a method of discovering the seeds of poems that spark a revelation in yourself and the potential reader. In this workshop, we'll cover how to examine large concepts and break them down into digestible chunks. When you find the method of journaling that works for you, you will be able to explore your ideas further.

As a bonus, journaling also improves your writing life and working towards a career as a writer because it provides a way to track submissions, create goals, revise, and more. If you feel out of sorts or disorganized in your writing life, this workshop is for you!

HOLLY LYN WALRATH is a writer, editor, and publisher. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Analog, and Flash Fiction Online. She is the author of several books of poetry including "Glimmerglass Girl (2018), "Numinose Lapidi" (2020), and "The Smallest of Bones" (2021). She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master's in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. 

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska.

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Rosebud Ben-Oni 
Elegy as Epiphany: How Grief Leads to Illumination

Saturday, September 10th 10:00a CST

In this workshop, we will examine how loss, sorrow and rituals of mourning can lead to revelations that we otherwise could not reach. We will examine work by Penelope Cray and Natasha Trethewey, and then through a series of exercises, write work that draws upon your own revelations that leads to deeper truths, as you delve deep into the disquiet. 

Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, ROSEBUD BEN-ONI is the winner of 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery (March 2021), which received a Starred Review in Booklist and was a Finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry. She is also the author of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS (Get Fresh Books, 2019) and the chapbook 20 Atomic Sonnets, which appears online in Black Warrior Review (2020) and is part of a larger future project called The Atomic Sonnets, which she began in 2019, in honor of the Periodic Table’s 150th Birthday. She has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, City Artists Corps, CantoMundo and Queens Council on the Arts. Her work appears in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Poetry Society of America (PSA), The Poetry Review (UK), Poetry Wales, Tin House, Guernica, Electric Literature, Waxwing, among others. In 2017, her poem "Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark" was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC and published by The Kenyon Review Online. Recently, her poem “Dancing with Kiko on the Moon” was featured in Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown.

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

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Becca Klaver
Strange & Sublime Similes

Saturday, December 3rd 10:00a CST

In an essay on figurative language, D. A. Powell notes that “simile has fallen out of favor in some circles of contemporary poetic thought,” and is now used largely ironically, as in John Ashbery’s “Night falls like a wet sponge.” Maligned as the black sheep of the figurative language family and considered too “elementary” by some (likely because many of us first practiced similes in elementary school), similes nonetheless continue to dazzle readers with startling, visceral, and sometimes goofy associations. Using Powell’s essay as a jumping-off point and then looking at examples in poems and songs by Lucille Clifton, Leonard Cohen, Aracelis Girmay, Chelsey Minnis, José Olivarez, Anne Sexton, and others, we’ll discuss what makes a comparison take off or crash land, and then we’ll construct poems around some of our own similes, whose strangeness might stumble into the sublime.

BECCA KLAVER is a writer, teacher, editor, scholar, and literary collaboration conjurer. She is the author of the poetry collections LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010), Empire Wasted (Bloof Books, 2016), and Ready for the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), as well as several chapbooks. Midwinter Constellation, a book cowritten with 31 other poets in homage to Bernadette Mayer’s Midwinter Day, was published in early 2022 by Black Lawrence. As an editor, she co-founded Switchback Books, is currently co-editing the anthology Electric Gurlesque (Saturnalia Books) and has created pop-up journals such as Women Poets Wearing Sweatpants and Across the Social Distances. 

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

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Gauri Awasthi
Ecopoetics and The Poet

Saturday, August 20th 10:00a CST

Initial understanding of eco-poetry was often intertwined with nature poetry. Poets for centuries have written about their environment to draw attention to its beauty. At a time when we have begun to feel the effects of climate change, contemporary poets have brought to the forefront the adverse effects of modernization of the planet.

In this workshop, we will read the work of poets such as Robert Frost, W.S. Merwin, Aimee Nezkhukumatathil, R.K. Narayan, Camille T. Dungy, and Yusef Komunyakaa. The session will combine technique, craft, writing time, and the time to share work. We will reimagine our roles in the current climate crisis via poetry, deciphering the difference between an environmental poem and an environmentalist poem.

GAURI AWASTHI is an Indian poet and sustainability activist. An MFA graduate from McNeese State University, her work has received support from Sundress Academy For The Arts, Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Kundiman.

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

Awasthi is providing two scholarships to people of color. Click here to redeem.

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Torrin A. Greathouse 
Writing the Unreliable Speaker

Saturday, October 1st 10:00a CST

Most of us are acquainted with the concept from fiction of the unreliable narrator, but this concept is far less explored in the world of poetry. Writing towards this kind of slipperiness allows poems to occupy complex spaces of memory, creating alternate, winding pathways through the poem's story. In this class, we will be analyzing the work of poets whose speakers lie, misremember, redirect and rewrite their narratives, before attempting to write our own unreliable poems. Some of the class's model texts will include by Sam Sax, John Murillo, and Jeanann Verlee. 

TORRIN A. GREATHOUSE is a transgender cripple-punk poet and essayist. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. Her work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, the New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and The Kenyon Review. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Effing Foundation for Sex Positivity, Zoeglossia, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her debut poetry collection, Wound from the Mouth of a Wound (Milkweed Editions, 2020), was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, CLMP Firecracker Award, and winner of the 2022 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.

After you register, you will receive an "admission ticket" with the zoom link information on it.

$35 or FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

Nebraska Poetry Society

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The Nebraska Poetry Society is a non-profit 501c3 organization.