Through the Classes & Workshops program, the Poetry Center offers continuing education in creative writing and literature: writing workshops, generative writing studios, and literary seminars--in poetry and prose. Noncredit courses are taught by local and visiting writers, including University of Arizona faculty. There is room in our Classes and Workshops program for writers and readers of all levels of experience.
Our 2017-18 need-based Campau/Inman Scholarship program provides full tuition for four students each season with financial need. Applications for Summer 2018 scholarships will be accepted April 30-May 14 here. General registration for Chris Martin's classes is open now. General registration for other classes will open on May 29.
This summer, we're thrilled to be offering five opportunities at the Poetry Center. Descriptions appear below.
Class Meetings: Tuesdays, June 12-August 14, from 5:00-7:00PM, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207. A link to register will be posted HERE on May 29th.
Registration fee: $324
One of the universal catalysts for authors to begin writing is falling in love with our own characters. We know them well, we can hear them speak, we sometimes, not always, base them on people we know and love. But too often we become so enamored of the characters we've invented that we become content to just watch them exist; we forget to give them something to do.
In this ten-week course, students will learn to move their characters from point A to point B (and C and D and E) by distinguishing between character-based and plot-based fiction. We will learn how to give our characters agency by giving them tangible choices to make throughout the narrative; we will compel the action forward and keep our readers from asking, "Why should I care?" Using examples from film, theater, and short fiction, we will bring the action back to good writing and allow our characters to function properly within it.
Professional Development Session: How Poetry Can Help ASD Students Reach their Expressive Potential, with Chris martin
Class meeting times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 6/18-22, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Register here.
Registration fee: $150
This class is geared toward teachers, teaching artists, and other professionals who work with or are interested in working with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students.
Recent studies have shown that poetry is often the most direct linguistic expression for many on the autism spectrum. Poet and Unrestricted Interest co-founder Chris Martin will present a series of five pedagogy workshops for teachers and other professionals focused on the power of poetry to transform the lives of students with autism. Learn why poetry is an ideal teaching tool for students with autism and how you can use it to turn a student’s restricted interest into a portal for discovery. The poems your students write will serve as unparalleled advocacy tools in and out of the classroom, forging a path of expression that can lead to greater autonomy, confidence, and engagement.
Each workshop will provide a different access point to teaching poetry in the classroom. Because form is crucial to all writing, the tools you learn in these workshops will serve students across the neurological spectrum. Bringing the best out of your students with autism means bringing the best out of everyone! Topics will include individualizing form, remixing language, harnessing the senses, writing ekphrasis, utilizing the natural world, and adapting familiar forms to serve new purposes. Another focus of the workshops will be fostering literacy skills through creative reading.
Class meeting time: Saturday, 6/23 10:00 am – 1pm. Register here.
Registration fee: $25 per parent/guardian and student
This workshop is geared towards children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parents/guardians.
Recent studies have shown that poetry is often the most direct linguistic expression for many on the autism spectrum. Beyond the inherent pleasure of writing and reading them, poems can also serve as unparalleled advocacy tools in and out of the classroom, forging a path of expression that can lead to greater autonomy, confidence, and engagement. In this one-day workshop, poet and Unrestricted Interest co-founder Chris Martin will show why and how poetry can be the ideal vehicle for transforming the lives of people with autism. Come learn practical tools for turning a so-called restricted interest into a portal for discovery. Our most direct task will be creating individualized poem forms to fit specific passions (diagnostically known as restricted interests). We will also be looking at exploring approaches to poetry based on number patterns, sensory perception, and borrowed language. This class is open to ASD students of all ages, and the registration fee covers a student and one parent/guardian.
This event is co-sponsored by the CITY Center for Collaborative Learning and the University of Arizona Medical Humanities Program.
Class Meetings: Mondays, July 9-August 13, from 5:30-7:30PM, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207. A link to register will be posted HERE on May 29th.
Registration fee: $196
This six-week class explores the art of submitting written work, for writers of all levels. We will critically examine the submission process in an attempt to dismantle notions of success and what it means to be a “real” writer. With a focus on support, encouragement, and humor, topics will include the processes and history of submitting, changing markets, organization systems, disparities in the system, submission as an act of literary citizenship, and alternatives to traditional publishing. Participants will be introduced to useful resources, reading practices, and revision techniques (addressing what it means for work to be “done”—is publishing the only end point?). We will spend one full class submitting work together and other classes reading, writing, in discussion, and crafting. The course title comes from a Samuel Becket quote, the unofficial motto of Submittable’s CEO Michael Fitzgerald and the epigraph for Anne Carson’s Red Doc: ‘Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better’ (Westward Ho).
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, July 11-August 1, from 5:00-7:00PM, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207. A link to register will be posted HERE on May 29th.
Registration fee: $132
This four-week course will consider the ways in which language shapes our understanding of our bodies and how it impacts our experiences of good health and illness. Through readings, conversations, and writing and movement exercises, we will explore how we describe our bodies and their functions (or dysfunctions), how medicine and healthcare systems describe our bodies and their functions, and how poetry regards both. With a focus on inquiry and creative thinking, students will engage with texts—both their own writing and the writing of others—to explore how we name the body in health, disease, ability, disability, and more.
Some understanding of the fundamentals of lyric writing, including syntax, diction, structure, image, address, and rhetorical devices, is necessary, but this course is open to writers of all levels who want to engage with narratives of the body, health, healthcare, and illness.