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Do You Think You Can't Write Poetry? Wrong!

The class is best suited for a group with little experience of composing poetry, or none at all. By the end of the course participants will have: 1) laid aside any baggage they may carry from previous negative poetic experiences; 2) demystified for themselves poetic art and craft; 3) enjoyed examples of different styles of poem; and 4) had fun creating poems of their own. Initially, participants will share a brief summary of their experience, if any, in poetry. Then, we will examine some basic features that make a poem a poem and identify some basic craft tools such as rhythm, alliteration, apposition, and white space. With helpful prompts, the class, as individuals or small groups, may then try drafting poems in simple form. The poems, if individuals are willing, may then be shared and discussed in a constructive and nonjudgmental way. In open discussion, the participants may examine some published poems in terms of their creativity as art forms and thus gain confidence in developing their own poetic voices. If time an overview of some of the most used poetic forms may feature, but this topic deserves a thorough look which may be kept back for a later intermediate class. Linda Ankrah-Dove has lived in Harrisonburg for fourteen years after a lifetime working and living internationally. She began writing poems in 2005 and has since then gained a cross-genre Master in Fine Arts specializing in poetry. Her early poetry from 2007 features in Borrowed Glint of Jade, St. Brigid Press, 2019. She has published in various journals and magazines on line and in print, recently for example, in The Virginia Literary Review, Spiritual Direction International, Hunger-X; Months To Years, Quilted Poems, Oprelle, Written in Arlington, Artemis and the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail project. Forthcoming are new poems in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Centennial publication. Linda’s recent work focuses mainly on ecology, the nature of the cosmos, and social justice. For light relief, she enjoys the whimsical and absurd. She is currently organizing her second and third poetry books.

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