Frequently Asked Questions about Poetry Writing for Non-Poetry Writers

What’s special about this course?

This online writing class demystifies the poetry-writing process and focuses on elements like imagery, metaphor, and structure to give you insight into how to strengthen your prose writing using the tools and devices of poetyr.

What will I learn?

You’ll learn how to mine your memories for original prose which you’ll then transform into poetry using all of the above techniques. You’ll learn how to read and appreciate the poetry of others – that of the “greats” as well as that of your classmates. You’ll learn how to polish and revise your poetry using tips provided by an instructor who believes poetry is as much about taking risks and breaking rules as it is about adhering to them. Most importantly, you’ll learn how these techniques are applicable to fiction and nonfiction.

How do I interact with my classmates and teacher?

Each week, you submit your weekly writing assignment to the entire class and to your instructor via email anytime prior to midnight EST on Sunday.

Each week, you also create a brief response to the writing of your classmates, as they, in turn, will do for you. These are due anytime prior to midnight EST on Tuesday. You’ll receive instructions for how to create these responses.

The classmate responses and those of your instructor are gathered into a single convenient email which you receive on Wednesday or Thursday. You may also email your instructor at any point during the course to discuss course-related issues, either about your work or the assigned readings.

How is my writing critiqued?

Your writing will not be “critiqued” in this class because criticism inhibits your creative spirit. In Poetry Writing for Non-Poetry Writers, you will receive supportive feedback that highlights your strengths and helps you pinpoint the essence of what your poem wants to say and be. Your instructor and classmates will look at how you apply the poetic techniques under discussion. They’ll make suggestions about incorporating effective imagery and evocative language. They’ll also give you valuable insight into the emotional response you can expect of your readers.

Describe the classroom environment.

Your virtual classroom – meaning, your weekly interactions with classmates and instructor – will be a judgment-free space where you can feel comfortable experimenting, sharing drafts and learning new things. No one will be expected to write a perfect poem because there is no such thing as a perfect poem! The only requirements are mutual respect and an enthusiastic attempt to apply the techniques you’re learning.

What is the time commitment for the course?

Your weekly assignment – writing and reading – will probably take about one hour to complete. Responding to the work of your classmates will probably take an additional half hour. Three hours a week is the maximum estimated commitment.

How many people are in a class?

This class will be capped at 7 participants.

When does the class meet?

There are no required meeting times in this online writing workshop. Assignments are submitted weekly at your convenience, anytime prior to the deadline of midnight EST on Sunday.

Do I need computer skills to participate in this online writing program?

All you need is a basic familiarity with e-mail and your computer keyboard, and an ability to click on links on the Internet.

Do I have to purchase anything?


How much does it cost?

The Poetry Writing for Non-Poetry Writers online writing course consists of 5 weekly sessions and costs $265. If you enjoy PART ONE, you may continue on into PART TWO (another 5-week segment).

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When's the next class?

New online poetry writing classes start up continually throughout the year. The next one begins Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.

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How do I register?

You may register online by paying with your credit/debit card through PayPal.  No additional forms are needed.

You may also register by check using a printable form.

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