Peggy Shumaker

Rules of the road to start with: anyone, especially class members, is welcome to post, as comments, pieces of writing in response to the prompts or homework assignments given for the next two weeks. Your comments will take a little while to appear, as I have to approve them–but that’s mostly a guard against spam posts.

Today was mostly introductory. Peggy Shumaker started out by getting us to meet each other and introduce the person next to us.

David Crouse

David Crouse satisfied himself with a group exercise that involved no writing and no homework today–but I don’t expect that to last! He had us think about who we were writing for–to answer the question, “what would ________ think of this? and invite us to develop critics, based on people we had known, in our heads. Then we discussed the qualities of our perceived audience. (I wish all of us could have the audience we wound up describing!)

Jeanne Clark

Jeanne Clark did have us writing in class–twice. She recommended word lists as prompts, and our homework for today is to start our own word lists. For today she read us a poem–A Blessing, by James Wright, and asked to write down interesting words from that poem. Then we had to add more words of our own, and pick at least five from the combined list. Finally we were to write a short piece, poetry or prose, giving images on a journey familiar to the writer and using all five words in some form.

The normal schedule will be Peggy, David and Jeanne (in that order) in the morning, with varying activities in the afternoon, but for this first day, Peggy took the first hour of the afternoon. She gave us a website to investigate: Then she talked about compression, using Ted Kooser as an example. Finally, she passed out postcards (large ones, thank goodness) and asked us to write something that would fit on them–again, prose or poetry. This writing assignment was to be based on an image which was combined with something totally unlike that image. Copies of this assignment from some of the students will be passed on to one of the painting classes as possible inspirations for their paintings.

Finally all three of our guest writers talked about revision. Jeanne gave us a prompt to revise something we had written earlier in the day–write the opposite of what you have written. She also had us take our lines out of order. Several short poems written earlier in the day actually benefitted from this treatment.

Since this was the first day, I’ll give the afternoon schedules for the rest of the week here:

Tuesday we visit the UA Museum, touring the galleries on our own, gathering ideas and writing.

Wednesday we will have Theresa Bakker as a guest writer.

Thursday we have no afternoon class session, but our three faculty members will be giving a free reading at the Museum Education Center from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Friday volunteers read for Tom Nixon’s painting class and possibly bring back paintings to inspire us. We also have a visit scheduled to the Georgeson Botanical Gardens–if the weather permits. (For what it’s worth, the current forecast is mostly cloudy with chance of showers, high near 70.

I’ll post my responses to the prompts as comments. Hope more of you do the same!