From Writing Circle to Poems of Kindness, Wonder, Connection & Joy (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
with Susan Vespoli
Want to walk a kinder path with poems of connection, joy, and wonder? Want to witness the world and your life as it is today with all its pain and beauty and embrace the “what is” of it all? Want to connect with other writers, keep your writing practice going, read encouraging poems and write a few yourself?
If your answer is yes, please join us for From Writing Circle to Poems of Kindness, Joy, Wonder, and Connection. 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 eight 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 uplifting poems by world-class poets and respond to assignments from two texts (not required): The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy, edited by James Crews, and Wonder Seeker by Andrea Scher.
Weekly Zoom Schedule
We will meet twice a week on the following days/times:
Zoom Video Class Schedule
Tuesdays @ 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Saturdays @ 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Writing Circle Course Syllabus
Week 1 – Lens of Kindness
In Week One, we will practice seeing and writing through the lens of kindness. Poet Dannusha Lameris lists the small often overlooked kind acts in her poem “Small Kindnesses,” and asks, “What if they are the true dwellings of holy, these fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here, have my seat.”
Week 2 – Wonder in Nature
Nature is just waiting outside our doors and windows to provide an abundance of wisdom, beauty, and writing material. In Week Two, we will embrace the muse of the natural world in professional poems, as well as our own.
Week 3 – Power of Connection
In Week Three, we will practice being a witness and a storyteller through our writing circles and poems. These are important acts of connection. As author Barry Lopez said, “Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”
Week 4 – Joy Bringers
In Week Four, we will study and write poems of joy. Joy shows up more when we notice it. As Andrea Scher says in her book, “Joy is a practice…a muscle.” We will practice, read, write, and build muscle.
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