From Writing Circle to Poems in 8 Contemporary Forms (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
with Susan Vespoli
Want to write from stream of consciousness in writing circles and then turn that raw fodder into structured poems such as Diane Seuss’s Pulitzer Prize winning sonnets? Want to learn a variety of forms to contain your poems and express your words? Want to be a part of a supportive writing community, keep your writing practice going, and expand your poetic repertoire?
If the answer is yes, please join us for From Writing Circle to Poems in 8 Contemporary Forms. Each week, all you have to do is click on the Zoom invitation you’ll be sent twice a week, show up on your computer screen for 1.5 hours, armed with pen and notebook, ready to write as fast and messily as you can.
Write, vent, laugh, and honor with 16 Zoom writing circles: a chance to let it all out onto the page. We’ll write in timed bursts, read aloud to each other, read/study form poems by world-class poets and respond to weekly poem prompts and assignments.
Weekly Zoom Schedule
We will meet twice a week on the following days/times:
Tuesdays @ 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Saturdays @ 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time
WEEK ONE – HAIKU
In Week One, we will begin with the 17-syllable classic haiku, then expand them into multi-stanza poems made of linked haiku.
WEEK TWO – HAIBUN
In Week Two, we will practice writing haibun, which combines short blocks of prose and a single haiku.
WEEK THREE – MODERN SONNETS
In Week Three, we will take a look at the contemporary sonnet, a form that has been flipped on its ear over the years. We will study classic sonnets, modern versions, and write one ourselves.
WEEK FOUR – ABECEDARIANS
In Week Four, we’ll read and write poems that have been strung together alphabetically. We’ll examine individual abecedarians, explore entire books made up of poems written in variations of this form, and try our hand at ordering a poem using one of the techniques.
WEEK FIVE – GIGANS
In Week Five, we’ll read and write the gigan, which is an invented form created by poet Ruth Ellen Kocher. She named this poetic form after her favorite monster in Godzilla.
WEEK SIX – ANAGRAM POEMS
If you are a fan of word games, here’s your chance to play and write at the same time as we read and craft anagram poems.
WEEK SEVEN – VILLANELLE OR PANTOUM
In Week SEVEN, we’ll read and study villanelles and pantoums, and then you’ll get to decide which one you want to write.
WEEK EIGHT – CUT UPs & FOUND POEMS
In Week Eight, we’ll play with words by harvesting existing text to create new poems.
Student Feedback for Susan Vespoli:
The weekly meets up have been a blessing in these unusual times. I have felt lifted after every session. It's incredible to participate in a creative space that is encouraging and kind. Natalia Evans
Susan is inspirational--positive, thoughtful, and always willing to help. She is not just a teacher, but also a peer and a fellow writer guiding the class through the journey. John Johnson
Susan Vespoli is a wonderful teacher/facilitator. She creates a safe space for each group, gives us realistic timed writings with soft landings, and makes sure that no one is ever left out from reading. Most all of us show up for the twice-a-week group, and as the days go by, our writing gets deeper into meaning. We truly end each session not just knowing each other better, but with a deep caring toward each other. This is my fourth group in the circle with Susan, and I hope there will be many more to come. Andrea Gordon
Really great writing circle. Lovely group of writers, great feedback given and received, and a wonderful experience writing together. Made me realize the importance of a good writing community. Susan's writing circles are a gift. I learned so much from everyone, and am immensely grateful for the opportunity to write with this group. Amy Smith
Susan's class was a joy. It was well organized and interesting. Susan is a caring and very invested teacher. She was very present all during the class and her feedback was well thought and helpful. Ariela Zucker
I started taking Susan’s classes almost 2 years ago and never stopped.What a blessing for my writing and my mental health. Her writing circles are a place to let loose and get creative. She does an excellent job of making it a safe space to share. Wild writing has been pivotal for me as a writer. It is where I come up with new material for poems and prose, and has also grown into a spiritual practice. I have grown so much as a poet from Susan’s feedback and encouragement. Ten out of ten, highly recommended to take again and again! Dean Angeles
This was my first writing circle course; I've been dabbling in poetry for a while now but had not interacted with others in this sort of setting. Susan created a welcoming, open environment for all of the students and chose some terrific poems as prompts. I am now inspired to go to the next level and workshop my poems rather than just writing from prompts. Tom Kerr
Excellent. The whole class—teacher and fellow writers—are so supportive and encouraging. Cheryl Treiber-Kawaoka
This is my favorite of the three courses I've taken with Writers.com. The Zoom writing circles were incredibly powerful. Susan is a great facilitator. She was always timely in feedback and had a well organized course that was easy to navigate. Tamara Kreutz
Susan is a truly gifted teacher, whose presence and generous spirit create a safe environment in which to write and share freely. I appreciate her openness, the lack of judgement, and her willingness always to share her own writing. Lovely circle! Sarah Putnam
Susan was lovely and responded in a timely manner. She gave detailed feedback... The content of this class was PERFECT. Lessette F. Altamiranda.
Susan brought together a group of strangers from all walks of life and all points on the continent, and under her calm and insightful leadership encouraged us to find our own writing styles, speak our own truths, and support each other as a community. Jennifer Burton
Susan's feedback and promptness were very professional. Her lessons are packed with information and ideas. And, after the class was completed, she kept the site open for additional time to finish assignments, which I greatly appreciated. I look forward to interacting with her in another class! Joan Connor
This was a terrific class. The lessons were well-organized and stimulating. They had excellent "lectures" and plenty of additional resources and ideas. I will be able to refer back to them for inspiration for months. Susan was a thoughtful and resourceful teacher. She was able to nurture an especially lively and collegial relationship among the class, as we discussed the lessons and responded to each other's writing. Please encourage Susan to offer this class again! Marge Osborn
I have taken a number of courses at Writers.com and I have always found the teachers did a good job. My all- time favorite teacher is Susan Vespoli. She did an excellent job of providing readings that set a creative tone and she chose excellent prompts. She assured us that it was not necessary to use what she provided. I appreciated the manner in which she responded to our shares. At no time did I feel that I was taking a risk in reading what I wrote because Susan had created such a safe place. Jane Knox
Taking Susan’s workshop helps me generate tons of ideas for my fiction writing. It also helps me write regularly. I cannot wait to join her next session. Sharon Mirza
The writing circles on Zoom have been my favorite part of this class. Being able to write at scheduled times rather than around the clock really helps me to set writing dates and to write with others. Also, I like the spontaneous nature of the writing on Zoom meetings, and being able to see and hear the other students and the teacher. Noa Granot
This class was amazing! Susan did a fantastic job with the curriculum and with keeping the group moving with discussion and encouragement. Susan created a very safe experience for all of us. She's a fantastic facilitator - providing poems and lines from those poems that somehow really tap into things for me. Andi Reed