Carried Away: How to Make Your Next Poem Take Flight
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If you’re a poet, you already know that an outstanding poem is one that virtually “takes the top of your head off,“ as Emily Dickinson once so memorably put it. They’re the poems that have managed to morph into something considerably more than the sum of their parts. How? By merging three essential elements: (1) a convincing voice, (2) an identifiable mood and (3) a clear point of view. With these three elements in mind, participants will try out some concrete, workable ways of achieving extraordinary results. To be more specific, much of our time will be spent discussing and experimenting with the most evocative language and the poem-specific imagery that best serves a particular poem’s purpose. Participants will also read a selection of works by well-known poets (including Dickinson), to see if filching some of their creative strategies can help us further expand our own. Participants will be urged to try out some strategies they might never have incorporated into their work before. By the end of the week, participants are very likely to have internalized some brand new skills for writing your best poems ever.
Marilyn Taylor is the former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, and the author of six poetry collections, the newest of which, Step on a Crack, was published in 2016. Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Measure, Able Muse, American Scholar, and the Random House anthology titled Villanelles. She has been awarded First Place in a number of national and international poetry contests, most recently the 2015 Margaret Reid Award for verse in forms. Taylor currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and regularly offers independent poetry workshops and presentations statewide and elsewhere—including programs sponsored by Western State Colorado University, Poetry by the Sea in Connecticut, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. This is her thirteenth consecutive year facilitating poetry seminars at Bjorklunden.