downloadby Makayla Wamboldt

The Spark Center is offering a workshop on writing long and linked poems February 27th and March 5th from 4:00-7:00 pm, entitled “Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?” While this line from one of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” may elicit fear at the thought of writing your own long or linked poem (it does for me), local poets Maya Jewell Zeller and Laura Read will be lending their expert hands to assist in the writing process every step of the way. Laura Read is Spokane’s Poet Laureate and her first poetry collection, Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral, won the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Maya Jewell Zeller is also a Northwest native, English professor at Gonzaga University, and author of Rust Fish and most recently Yesterday, the Bees (2015).

The workshop will first examine a variety of examples of successful poems of this style, including, of course, Eliot’s “Prufrock.” This poem is one of my favorites, and after studying it with three different English professors at Gonzaga, I can understand why it’s one of theirs too. Maybe it’ll become one of yours too, or maybe you’ll write your own new favorite. Anything could happen. With Eliot’s 140 lines of dramatic monologue as your guide, the rest of the workshop will take you through a variety of generative exercises that will stretch your lyric and narrative writing muscles to produce long texts or a series of pieces that could work together as linked poems. The workshop will also offer revision strategies, group feedback, and the means to create a final project.

The cost of the workshop is $30 and includes both sessions. Register here. Happy writing!

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