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Workshops are funded in part by Humanities Nebraska. 

Writing Classes & Workshops 

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Torrin A. Greathouse Writing the Unreliable Speaker

Saturday, October 22nd 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

This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska.

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Doubt Busters

Thursday, October 13th 6:30p CST

Writers are often plagued with doubt. We worry that we are not good enough or don’t have anything important to say. We allow our fear to keep us from doing what we love. The cure to our anxiety is as simple as putting pen to paper. But we procrastinate and let our doubt rule our art.

In this group, we will set individual writing goals and work toward achieving them. We will motivate, encourage, and inspire one another to keep putting pen to paper and reach our goals. We will check in and meet regularly, at times that will be determined at this first meeting.

Join us and discover how much you can accomplish by the year’s end.

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

FREE to Members

Annual Membership $35

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Toby Altman
Writing with the Image

Saturday, February 18th 10:00a CST

The image is typically treated as one tool among many in the poet’s toolbox. You use an image, to make a point, to ornament an idea. But images are really the building blocks of poetry—not an ornament, but the structure itself. In this class, we’ll study the work of Jenny Xie, a poet who shows how powerful images can be, when they stand on their own, asking us to find connections between them; or, alternately, to pause on each image, savoring its particular pungency. And we’ll talk about practical strategies for putting the image at the center of our own writing. What kind of poem emerges when your images are allowed to assemble into unpredictable, unexpected constellations, when your images are magnetized by each other?

TOBY ALTMAN is the author of two books, Discipline Park (Wendy’s Subway, 2022) and Arcadia, Indiana (Plays Inverse, 2017). He recently received a 2021 Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has held residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and MacDowell, where he was the 2020 Stephanie and Robert Olmstead Fellow. His poems can be found in Gulf Coast, jubilat, Lana Turner, and other journals and anthologies; his articles and essays can or will be found in Contemporary Literature, English Literary History, and Jacket2. He holds an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD in English from Northwestern University. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Beloit College.

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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Katie Ford
Creative Varieties: 5 Poems Finding Their Way

Saturday, May 20th 10:00a CST

How do poets find entry points to their poems? Is it via the image, a poetic form, an idea, an emotion, or something less easily named? In this short class, I’ll offer my sense of how vastly different creative practices can be engaged to enlarge one’s poetic vision and articulation. The mind of haiku is not the mind of free verse, for instance, yet both minds can be beautifully activated through study and practice. We’ll traverse international terrain to discuss poems that I hope will inspire you to begin and begin and begin, but not always in the same way. . . . All levels of experience are welcome! 

KATIE FORD is the author of four books of poems, Deposition, Colosseum, Blood Lyrics, and If You Have to Go, all published by Graywolf Press. Blood Lyrics was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and the Rilke Prize. Colosseum was named among the “Best Books of 2008” by Publishers Weekly and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

She completed graduate work in world religions, theology, and poetry at Harvard University and received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has taught poetry and creative writing for over 20 years around the country. She is currently a Professor of Creative Writing and lives in South Pasadena with her daughter.

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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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

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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Jen Harris
Defying the Internal Censor

Saturday, March 18th 10:00a CST

Modeled after The Writing Workshop KC, founded by Poet Jen Harris, Defying the Internal Censor will involve prompt based writing and sharing of these “sh*tty first drafts.” For the novice and professional alike, this writing workshop is about making time for your creative practice, building confidence in your inherent creative talents, expanding your experience, building a supportive and authentic community and, of course, defying the internal censor. By attending you can expect:

- A vulnerability and authenticity triathlon - This is not a critique workshop

- Positive feedback only

Take a chance. All will be revealed upon attendance.

JEN HARRIS is a sought-after performance artist and co-host of Confessing Animals Podcast, interviewing seasoned and fresh-faced artists of every genre to discuss how to make creativity work within the complexities and challenges of adult life. She is the founder and host of The Writing Workshop KC, whose mission is to nurture creative curiosity and inspire confidence within prompt-based writing workshops.

Jen is particularly passionate about reaching queer people and those struggling to thrive within the multitude of oppressive systems. From dive bars to performance halls worldwide, reaching audiences in the thousands from ages 10-80, Jen cultivates passion and emboldens the aspirational through her work.

She is inspired to eradicate the toxic mythology of the hapless creative, offering her students the opportunity to create, develop, edit and perform their work before engaged, paying audiences, all the while seeking validity in the process and not the outcome.

Jen challenges her students to defy the internal censor, revive or discover the joy of creating and offer themselves the gift of fulfillment through art.

Featured on NPR, TEDx, Button Poetry & Write About Now Poetry & Queer Eye, KC’s Best Poet 2021, Advocate Magazine’s Champions of Pride award 2021, Harris is the author of 3 books of poetry and the recipient of numerous accolades. 

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

This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska.

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Radha Marcum
The Poetic Line: From Breath to Perception

Saturday, January 21st 10:00a CST

How do lineation choices help poets achieve potent effects? An intuitive approach to lineation starts with the breath—with what our voices naturally do with syntax—but it doesn’t stop there. Using the work of Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown, Lorine Niedecker, W.S. Merwin, Ruth Stone, and others, as an example, we will explore how poet's use the poetic line to add layers of meaning to their work. In this workshop, we’ll attune ourselves to possibilities in lineation to build emotional resonance, enhance meaning, and delight readers.

RADHA MARCUM's work is rooted in ecological, social, and personal landscapes of the American West. Her poetry collection, Bloodline, received the 2018 New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, and her poems appear widely in journals, including Pleiades, Gulf Coast, FIELD, West Branch, Bennington Review, and Poetry Northwest, among others. Radha lives in Colorado where she writes the "Poet to Poet" newsletter (poettopoet.substack.com) and teaches at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

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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Ryan Boyland
Make-Believe in the Modern Age

Saturday, April 15th 10:00a CST

Have you ever thought about what it was like to live as a brick? Or Sweeney Todd? Or maybe even Superman? From the Academy of American Poets, persona poems are poems in which the poet speaks through an assumed voice, creating a distance between the writer and speaker that can result in finding  new truths previously left unconsidered.

 

In this workshop, we will be using the persona poem to convey thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the voice of a character of the author's choosing. In a phrase, telling our own stories through a perspective other than our own--finding our voice in another's mouth.

RYAN BOYLAND is a writer, wanderer, medical student, and amateur astronomer currently based out of Omaha, Nebraska, where his love for both science and poetry motivates him to combine the two at every opportunity.   

His work addresses issues of identity, love, and death. And stars. Because they’re cool. His goal through his performance is to touch minds and hearts around the world and considers it a victory every time he can do so.

Ryan and his work have been featured on Button Poetry, Poets and Writers, Nebraska Public Media, through Larksong Writers’ Place, in Omaha MagazineThe Cookout Literary Journal, and can be found on SoundCloud, Facebook, and YouTube.

When not writing, Ryan enjoys listening to music, stargazing, and being Black, mixed in with the occasional intense discussion regarding the validity of the Star Wars prequels.

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.