Peggy ShumakerA very quick post today, as I have to take off at noon tomorrow. Our first teacher this morning was Peggy Shumaker, the state poet laureate and for many years in charge of the creative writing program, which she initiated. She passed around a number of books by Alaskan authors. She then handed out a poem, “Forms of Love,” by Kim Addonizio, and challenged us to write a poem using the words “I love you” and making them fresh. Peggy will be giving the sampler class tomorrow afternoon, where we will have a number of additional students for a single afternoon. She will also teach for an hour Friday, but I won’t be able to make either. If I have time, I’ll add her additional book recommendations to the list that will go up Thursday.

Rob discussed the importance of titles, pointing out that they may supply a hook, give information, location, or theme, establish tone or create expectation. He handed out a poem by James Wright, “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” as an example of a poem where the title give information critical to understanding the poem. He listed a number of other Wright titles that do similar work.

As an in-class assignment he gave us a number of titles, and challenged us to write a poem fitting the title. His list was:
Accidents
Because
Can You Feel It?
Don’t Think About it Anymore
Evidence
Family Mistakes
Guys Like That
How to Hurt Them
I Am Born
Jailbird
The Kindergarten Teacher
Little Sister
My Father’s Women
No Sleep For You, Baby
Outrage
Places I Might Be Going
Questionaire
Rainy Morning, September 17th
Something to Remember Me By
Thank You For Saving My Life
Ugly Children
Videotapes
Where Are You Taking Me?
Xerox
You Must Relax!
The Zodiac

Jeanne revisited the Viet Nam poem from yesterday, and handed out a new one: “the Unwritten” by W. S. Merwin. She had us take the objects we brought as part of today’s assignment, get inside the object and let it get inside you, and write a piece in the present tense.

Home Play assignments in all cases were to complete the drafts started in class.

In the afternoon, we each read something we had written and then, in honor of Bill Kloefkorn, met at Hot Licks for ice cream..

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