Workshop

2017 WORKSHOPS AT BOWERY POETRY   

Bowery Poetry offers poetry and writing workshops, taught by some of the most exciting poets, artists, and educators New York City has to offer. Scroll towards the bottom to view an archive of past workshops.

While enrolled in a workshop, you are invited to come to any Bowery produced event for free. Scroll down to see all workshops offered through December, as well as past workshops.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS


RADICAL POETIC IMAGINATION    5-week poetry workshop w/ Janet Hamill

DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: October 22, October 29, November 5, November 12, November 19
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 Bowery
INSTRUCTOR: Janet Hamill
Register Here

This workshop explores the picture-making and inventive aspects of the imagination as manifested in the work of some of the most original poets of the past two hundred years: Blake, Coleridge, Poe, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Apollinaire, Reverdy, Tzara, Breton, Lamantia, Ginsberg, Guest, and Ashbery. Each poet will be examined against the backdrop of his/her historical period and the visual art of that period. Each session will involve a generative exercise.

Janet Hamill’s first book of poetry was published in 1975. Troublante (Oliphant Press), was followed by The Temple (Telephone Books), Nostalgia of the Infinite (Ocean View Books), Lost Ceilings (Telephone Books), Body of Water (Bowery Books), Tales from the Eternal Cafe (Three Rooms), and Knock (Spuyten Duyvil). Her work has been nominated for the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Tales from the Eternal Cafe, her first collection of fiction, was named "One of the Best Books of 2014" by Publisher's Weekly. Janet has also released two CD’s of spoken word and music. Janet’s paintings have been exhibited at the JP Art Market in Jamaica Plain, MA and galleries throughout New York's Hudson Valley, where she now resides.

HEAD FULL OF POEMS    3-week poetry workshop w/ Paul Mills (Poez)

DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: December 3, December 10, December 17
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 Bowery
INSTRUCTOR:  Paul Mills
Register Here

This 3-week workshop is about learning your favorite classic poetry by heart, for dramatic presentation to others, or just to hear in the dark by yourself -- the only way to possess a perfect copy of an artistic masterpiece on your person, in your mind and in your heart, forever. We will explore how this can impact your own writing by making you fluent in the rhythm and language of classic poetry. This is a noncompetitive workshop that anyone can participate in, enjoy, and benefit from, regardless of their level of skill or experience writing or performing poetry. 

Paul L. Mills aka Poez, an honors graduate of Columbia University (Writing and French Literature) began performing classic, original, and improvised poetry in the street, in cabarets, concert halls and theaters, on radio and television, in the US and Europe, more than 40 years ago. He has been described by the New York Times as a “Spoken-Word Pioneer”; by Bowery Poetry founder Bob Holman as Greenwich Village’s “Top Spoken-Word Cat”; by Le Figaro (Paris) as “etonnant et imprevu”; and by the New York Daily News as “a young man with a flow of words like a river … like a jazz instrument.”  Bowery Poetry released a volume of his writing in 2007, “The Poetry Dollars,” and is preparing to issue a revised, updated edition later this year. He has performed at The Bowery Poetry Club, The Bitter End, The Cornelia Street Café, St. Ann’s Warehouse, CBGB, Symphony Space, Le Poisson Rouge, The City Winery, and about a zillion other places. He lives on the upper west side of New York with his wife, singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega, and also practices as a civil rights attorney. 

CURRENT WORKSHOPS


RADICAL POETIC IMAGINATION    5-week poetry workshop w/ Janet Hamill

DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: October 22, October 29, November 5, November 12, November 19
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 Bowery
INSTRUCTOR: Janet Hamill
Register Here

This workshop explores the picture-making and inventive aspects of the imagination as manifested in the work of some of the most original poets of the past two hundred years: Blake, Coleridge, Poe, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Apollinaire, Reverdy, Tzara, Breton, Lamantia, Ginsberg, Guest, and Ashbery. Each poet will be examined against the backdrop of his/her historical period and the visual art of that period. Each session will involve a generative exercise.

Janet Hamill’s first book of poetry was published in 1975. Troublante (Oliphant Press), was followed by The Temple (Telephone Books), Nostalgia of the Infinite (Ocean View Books), Lost Ceilings (Telephone Books), Body of Water (Bowery Books), Tales from the Eternal Cafe (Three Rooms), and Knock (Spuyten Duyvil). Her work has been nominated for the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Tales from the Eternal Cafe, her first collection of fiction, was named "One of the Best Books of 2014" by Publisher's Weekly. Janet has also released two CD’s of spoken word and music. Janet’s paintings have been exhibited at the JP Art Market in Jamaica Plain, MA and galleries throughout New York's Hudson Valley, where she now resides.

QUESTIONS? – Contact Anton Yakovlev (yakovlev7@gmail.com

ENROLLMENT – Workshops fill up on a first-come, first serve basis. For this reason, we encourage you to sign up early. You're officially enrolled in the workshop when we've received your full payment. 

REFUNDS – You are entitled to a full refund before the workshop begins. This refund does not include the credit card processing fee from Brown Paper Tickets. After the workshop begins, no refunds are available.


PAST WORKSHOPS

2015
USING RADICAL FORM IN POETRY AND VERY SHORT FICTION

Getting out of our comfort zones and into a white heat
Instructor: BIANCA STONE
In this class we will explore unconventional form in poetry in response to weekly exercises. There will be in-class and out of class writing and reading. The classroom will be formulated similarly to a poetry workshop where students read and respond on one another’s work, but we will focus more on production, exploration and imperfection. Our goal will be to push our poetry and (short) fiction into new realms. The forms we’ll explore are: new uses of ekphrastic, erasures, poetry comics, video, pastiche, and others. Students will be encouraged to bring in their interests and personal skills, and collaboration is inevitable.

TOTAL LYRIC: POETRY OF THE PRESENT
Exploding the lyric's relevance in the contemporary moment 
Instructor: ANA BOŽIČEVIĆ
Put simply, a lyric is a poem that expresses deep personal feelings in the same way as song. Audre Lorde says that "our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real." If the lyric is a poetry of present tense and our presence, how do we sing more deeply now that the personal is made public, commodified, and more ephemeral than ever? And what can our song make real? In this workshop we will consider the history of the lyric: from ancient fragments to tweets, karaoke, and protest chants. Join us in writing, performance, and poetic engagement across the media as we foster the practice of a radical lyric. 

SOUND, SUBJECT, IMAGINATION: EXPLORING THE THREE PILLARS OF POETRY
Exploring your imagination through the music of poetry
Instructor: ROWAN RICARDO PHILLIPS
For writers who wish to study how the imagination and sound work together to enhance the subject of their poems. A poem is always about the relationship between its sonic and imaginative parts, this is what convinces the ear that the subject is not only real but important. We will study techniques used by poets across various eras as well as workshop your own poems extensively in search of the keenest balance in your work between these three pillars of the art of poetry.

2016
NO SECRETS
How to go off on a tangent and never return...
Instructor: LEWIS WARSH
We’ll explore the way daydreams, memories and fantasies are the key to who we are and to the dark and light sides of the stories and poems we write, using sentences and lines that might go on forever. How to go off on a tangent in the middle of a sentence, or in a conversation, or in the middle of a thought, or a poem–-and never return. We’ll explore possible ways of including our ideas about politics, our feelings of empathy or apathy about what’s going on in the world (our rooms, our neighborhoods, our cultures--and everything else). We’ll discuss different levels of openness in the poetry and fiction of Frank O’Hara, Renee Gladman, Ted Berrigan, Akilah Oliver, James Schuyler, Wang Ping and Lydia Davis, among others. As much time as possible will be spent reading and discussing our own work. This workshop is open to both poets and fiction writers.

PHYSICIANS, POETS, PATIENTS: CREATIVE WRITING FOR CLINICIANS + OTHERS
Learn ways to develop voice, narrative, and meaning in a medical memoir
Instructor: DONNA BULSECO 
This writing workshop will focus on the techniques of close reading, responsive writing, and the analysis of students' current work during each session. Students will be introduced to memoirs, poetry, creative non-fiction, and graphic narratives by writers such as Elizabeth Bishop, Byers Shaw, Marry Karr, Lillian Ross, Ian Williams, MK Czerwiec, and Atul Gawande. Their texts will serve as examples of the many ways of finding voice, narrative, and meaning when writing about personal experiences. Each week, students will do structured in-class writing to a prompt. The goal of the workshop will be to complete an essay, poem, or graphic narrative to review and send to a literary journal for consideration.

HOW TO SING ON THE PAGE 
Instructor: CORNELIUS EADY 

MEMORY CAN COLLAPSE THE BODY
What conversations can our memories have with an audience of bodies? How can different forms of poetry contribute to the memories & maintain a solid voice?
Instructor: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE
A generative workshop facilitating discussion, analyzation, performance techniques, and writing prompts that incorporate the body, and memory as language. We will be generating new poems & analyzing the technique and craft of poets like: Aracelis Girmay, Patricia Smith, Jake Adam York, Corneilus Eady, Chris Abani, Rickey Laurentiis, Ocean Vuong, Claudia Rankine and Toi Derricotte. 

Camp Lawless with AMY LAWLESS
With Amy Lawless, the author of two books of poetry including My Dead (Octopus Books, 2013), and co-author of I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected (Forthcoming from Pioneer Works Press). At Camp Lawless, your primary goal is to develop new poems: a quantity of your own original writing. And like any Summer Camp, you will emerge as a somewhat unrecognizable but more experienced form of yourself. Our generative format will allow you to develop your voices, write voluminously, journal (yes, you may write home!), and scare yourself. This class will be playful, harness the fun of summer sun and Sundays, but it will also be hard work! We will study non-traditional forms, collaboration, ekphrastic writing, elegy, using the self, hybrid, anti-poems, found, nature, formal, conceptual, dreams, Twitter, and more. Class time will be spent on active writing, workshops, experiencing, listening to, and responding to fabulous visitors, a little editing, and you will also practice performing your new work. We will be visited by three amazing working poets, and read poetry, words, and letters from the past and present. Since it’s SUMMER, we will take a writing excursion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as to the sidewalks, parks, and even poetry bookstores of our city for inspiration and writing. We will feel the summer heat, eat pizza, eat watermelon, and write hungrily, constantly, responsibly, and recklessly. The summer will end with a capstone project: a chapbook manuscript! If you’re doing it right, you’ll cry tears of joy and tears of wild emotion: either way changed and renewed.

WRITING ON THEME AND IN SERIES w/ BC Edwards 
Creating a unified collection of work at first feels like an insurmountable task. One of the simplest ways to tie a your work together is to create a constructive device, a cementing theme, or find source material from which a group of poems can be adapted. Instead of approaching poetry on a piece-by-piece basis, this course examines entire collections as single work and studies sources of inspiration and methodology to write multiple poems centered around one single theme or constructive device. Over the 5-weeks we will will explore many techniques, focusing primarily on constructing a thematically unified series of poems and adapting poems from non-poetic and poetic materials alike, as well as how these two methods can work in tandem with each other. Students will bring several pieces of new work to each class for review and discussion as well in class exercises to generate new work. We will look at a wide variety of poets such as Bidart, Carson, Lawless, Bang, Berrigan, Legault and many others. 

LET'S MAKE A LONG POEM, YA? w/Tommy Pico 
Hi. I’m not a poetry scholar, so I can’t offer you a comprehensive review and dissemination of the tradition of epic poems in the English language. But I write book-length poems, I believe in and am obsessed with them, and I make zines, so: In this generative workshop we’ll embark on our own creative odyssey toward making a long poem. We’ll discuss how we enter them, how to make the meat, and ultimately how to leave. We’ll read (and experience) longer work with a special emphasis on voices who have traditionally been denied the epic: Robin Coste Lewis, Jeffrey Yang, r. erica doyle, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, Beyoncé, and more. We’ll talk about form, collage, narrative, and other concerns of the long poem. We’ll practice poem-generating exercises, both during and outside of class, and welcome guest instructors Jason Koo and Stacy Szymaszek! The goal is: to make writing a daily practice wherein during the final workshop you’ll come in with enough material to make your own ~20 page, zine-length epic that I will help you construct, reproduce, and distribute punk af. 

2017
DOUBLE LIVES w/Lewis Warsh

We all lead double lives--internal/external, past/present--so part of our exploration as poets and fiction writers will be looking at the ways to articulate the interactions between the two. All the details of what goes in in our various worlds--memories, fantasies, observations, dreams, distractions--are the raw material for the poems and stories (or back stories) we try to tell. We’ll tap into writers who work with numerous narratives: Marguerite Duras, Renee Gladman, Ted Berrigan, Bernadette Mayer, W.G. Sebold and Georges Perec among others. This workshop is open to both poets and fiction writers. As much time as possible will be spent reading and discussing our own work.

EKPHRASIS: BEYOND DESCRIPTION w/Jennifer Franklin

In this workshop, we will write a series of ekphrastic (from the Greek, “to speak out,” “to tell in full”) poems. Since Homer described Achilles’ shield in the Iliad, Western poetry has had a tradition of responding to art. This workshop will examine ekphrasis on a deeper level than the occasional tool for writer’s block. The emphasis is your poetry but I will provide examples of how the form is used to explore personal, political, and social issues. More than honing language of description, students will learn the nuances writing about art. Photography, graffiti, outsider art, architecture, sculpture, music, painting, and literature will be open to mine. Sometimes considered a form dominated by male poets, we will read work by Griffiths, Fragos, Brock-Broido, and Cruz that will help shatter that stereotype as we compose a short manuscript over the five weeks. Bring a poem based on another work of art to the first class.   

ALTER/ALTAR: MEMORY/MIRROR/MONUMENT/MAP w/Lynne DeSilva-Johnson
For this workshop we will shred, table, excise, burn, and deconstruct the boundaries of poetics, both considering and creating works that challenge the genre. Can a hybrid documentation — that which invites in / explores historical and quotidian context, ephemera, detritus, found language, list making, and letters — alongside and in conversation with poetics — be a powerful, political, act of radical self-and-community archive-building? Can it be an act of healing? YES. Here is a small window into the vast resources of explorations with text coming from outside an academic / “writing” based relationship with the medium, rather, approaching text as one of many tools in an arsenal of exploration, documentation, and challenge. We will engage with work that resists categorization, exploring these interstices, and create our own short zine-style hybrid chapbooks.
http://www.theoperatingsystem.org/alteralter-memory-mirror-monument-map-workshop-spring-2017/

CAMP LAWLESS w/Amy Lawless
At Camp Lawless, your primary goal is to develop new poems: a quantity of your own original writing. And like any Summer Camp, you will emerge as a somewhat unrecognizable but more experienced form of yourself. Our generative format will allow you to develop your voices, write voluminously, journal (yes, you may write home!), and scare yourself. This class will be playful, harness the fun of summer sun and Sundays, but it will also be hard work! We will study non-traditional forms, collaboration, ekphrastic writing, elegy, using the self, hybrid, anti-poems, found, nature, formal, conceptual, dreams, the internet, and more. Class time will be spent on active writing, workshops, experiencing, listening to and responding to visitors, a little editing, and you will also practice performing your new work! We will be visited by two amazing working poets (TBA), read poetry, words, and letters from the past and present. And since it’s SUMMER, we will take a writing excursion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as to the sidewalks, parks, and even the New York City Poetry Festival for inspiration and writing. We will feel the summer heat, eat pizza, eat ice cream and write hungrily, constantly, responsibly, and recklessly. The summer will end with a capstone project: a chapbook manuscript! If you’re doing it right, you’ll cry tears of joy and tears of wild emotion: either way changed and renewed!

IS POETRY THEATER? with reg e gaines
It's no accident the workshops are rooted in the familiarity of other writers' work. Sessions arent about memorization techniques but love and respect for printed text. Focus is placed on emotion as key in lifting words from the page. Well-written text shows, through imagery, what one feels. Once this decision is reached, there become options in dramatic interpretations. This is the basis of a series of sessions which will aid artists in analyzing text, creating new work, revisiting unpolished pieces, and sharpening performance skills. Over a five-week period, participants learn the similarities between poetry, hip-hop inflected spoken word pieces, soliloquies, monologues and poetry/theater. Suggested texts used in preparation for the workshops include poetry/theater by Miguel Pinero, Patricia Smith, Paul Beatty, Suheir Hammad, Lemon Anderson, Dierdre Moses, Danny Hoch, and selections from the anthology Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. This book is a part of almost every public library's poetry collection in the United States and should be easily attainable at no cost.

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THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED, IN PART, BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.