Thursday, February 15, 2007

Workshop Methodology

So here's a question to all of you who've either taken a poetry workshop or conduct poetry workshops. How do you run a poetry workshop or how was your poetry workshop conducted?

Here's one example:

1. Students receive specific writing assignments beforehand.
2. Students come to class with multiple copies of poems from said writing assignment.
3. The poems are distributed throughout the class.
4. The writer of a poem reads the poem. The rest of the class including the instructor discusses the poem while the writer remains silent, listening to the feedback.
5. At the end of the discussion, the writer whose poem was up for discussion, addresses the workshop, asking questions about the feedback.


Here's another example:

1. Students prepare a poem for class that is not from a specific writing assignment.
2. The student distributes the poem ahead of time so that both the instructor and the students have an opportunity to read the piece before workshop.
3. The writer of a poem reads the poem. The rest of the class including the instructor discusses the poem while the writer remains silent, listening to the feedback.
4. At the end of the discussion, the writer whose poem was up for discussion, addresses the workshop, asking questions about the feedback.


And another example:

1. Any variation of #'s 1-2 from the above examples.
2. The students are then put into small groups (3-5 students per group).
3. They then discuss the poems within the group.
4. The instructor does not see the poems until the end of the class period when the students hand them in.

There are, of course, many other methodologies, but these are ways I've handled workshop. I prefer having the poems "cold." Lots of my peers like to have the poems ahead of time so that they can provide prepared feedback. My take is that if I misread something in the moment, that's feedback. Anyway, I'm always interested in what y'all do.

***

Week 6 of a 10 week quarter and I'm loopy. It's been a quarter of lots and lots of meetings, a pre-tenure review, manuscript copy-editing, and chemotherapy. I'm ready for the Spring.

***

Meredith and I have been singing Kate Bush's "Babushka" to each other. I don't know why.

***

I'm going to buy four sheets of drywall, some drywall screws, some seam tape, and some electrical boxes. Yes, more bathroom demolition this week. I've got to move the wiring for the old, nasty flourescent ceiling light over to the wall for a new light fixture. Check me out, trying to define a "new" Asian American masculinity. *wink*

2 comments:

oscar said...

time permitting, this is my favorite breakdown:

1. Students receive specific writing assignments beforehand.
2. Students come to class with multiple copies of poems from said writing assignment.
* students read & discuss poems related to the next writing assignment *
3. The poems are distributed throughout the class.
4. The writer of a poem reads the poem.
* another student reads the poem to the class *
The rest of the class including the instructor discusses the poem while the writer remains silent, listening to the feedback.
5. At the end of the discussion, the writer whose poem was up for discussion, addresses the workshop, asking questions about the feedback.

i think everyone should hear how their poems sound when someone else reads them.

dat is all.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thanks Oscar. Yeah, I've had other people read a writer's poem before, and that's an interesting exercise. Especially if a workshop member reads the poem aloud before the writer reads the poem aloud.