Poetry Lab


Letterpress blocks spelling out 'Poetry'Overview:
This is a peer-driven workshop for poets of all levels. You will work with other writers to encourage the art of poetry where your peers offer honest, positive and constructive feedback on your work. An ideal setting if you like writing poetry and want to improve your writing skills and develop your ‘voice’ in a supportive environment.

The final session will be a live class poetry reading.

Pre-course activity:
Please bring 1-3 examples of your original poems to the first class.

Target audience:
This course is ideal for poets of all levels hoping to improve their writing skills, develop their voice and get feedback on their work.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Feel more confident in your ability to analyse, interpret and give feedback to your writing peers.
  • Be comfortable with listening to feedback on your own writing and deciding whether to accept or disregard that feedback for the betterment of your poetry.
  • Have a small collection of poems (5-10) poems of your own creation.
  • Participate in a real poetry reading for your family and friends!

Course outline:
Each week includes a short presentation of things to think about during the session and the remainder of the class will be spent workshopping your poems.

  • Session 1- How to Experience a Poem
  • Session 2- General Introduction: Getting to know your peers
  • Session 3- Finding Inspiration
  • Session 4- Avoiding the Cliché
  • Session 5- Bringing Out Your Voice
  • Session 6- Embracing the Page
  • Session 7- Reading Your Poetry Out Loud
  • Session 8- Live Class Poetry Reading!

There is a short break half-way through each session, and tea/coffee is provided. You are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 12 participants, so please enrol early.

Richard Hoffman is an American poet from San Antonio, Texas. Richard has studied writing and poetry under some of the most influential writers of today including Naomi Shihab Nye, Yusef Komunyakaa, Mark Doty, Li-Young Lee, Chuck Palaniuk, Margaret Atwood, Grace Paley, Irvine Welsh, and Wole Soyinka.

In 2006 he was named Alden B. Dow Creativity Fellow of Northwood University for his “contributions to American poetry” and for developing and naming the poetic form known as Parallax Poetry.

He currently resides in Wellington, New Zealand with his wife and two sons.

Relevant links:
International Institute of Modern Letters

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email: conted@vuw.ac.nz

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.