Poets know that there are two kinds of landscapes—first, the kind we experience with our own five senses, ready to be remembered or forgotten at will. Then there are the landscapes that take shape in our minds, reflecting a distinctive tone, an identifiable mood, a clear point of view—creating overtones of love, anger, fear, contentment, hope, grief—even spirituality. By extending this broader concept of what a “landscape” can be, this seminar will offer poets techniques for bringing these subtleties and shadings to the surface. We’ll start out by spending some time discussing and experimenting with the imagery and diction of successful “literal" landscapes—outdoor, indoor, local, foreign, past, present, or future. Then, using many of the same strategies, we’ll transpose them, creating memorable poems about the emotional landscapes we all experience, each in a different way, a different context. Please consider joining a group of dedicated, supportive poets as we help one another move closer to, and feel more comfortable with, the emotions that shape the landscapes of our lives.
Marilyn L. Taylor holds an MA in linguistics and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Formerly the Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, she is the author of eight collections of poetry (most recently Step on a Crack from Kelsay Books), and serves as co-editor for two poetry publications, Third Wednesday and Verse-Virtual. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Able Muse, Measure, Light, and The American Scholar. She’s been awarded First Place in a number of national and international poetry contests, and recently received the Margaret Reid Award from Winning Writers for verse in traditional forms. Taylor was also named a Finalist in the 2018 international Howard Nemerov Sonnet Contest. A former Milwaukeean, she now lives in Madison where she continues to present readings and independent poetry workshops locally, statewide, and elsewhere.