Jun
24
to Jul 15

Summer Strange Series: Writing Outside the Rut

Do the same images or people pop up in your poems again and again? When you start to write a poem, do you know how it’s going to end? Do your besties ask you, “Is this poem about [insert name of ex here]?” If the answer’s “yes,” you may be in a writing rut.

Most of us are in some kind of rut, because a rut is the brain’s strategy for avoiding failure and expediting processes. As the creative brain is the same brain that goes to work and the grocery store and brushes our teeth, etc., it’s always looking for ways to accomplish tasks more efficiently. It does so by skipping over details we already know. If we had to re-learn how to brush our teeth every time we did it, we’d never make it out of the house.

A writing rut is our brain’s way of saying, “I know a short cut to the end of this poem, so I don’t have to sit here in front of my computer and feel/think new things, which are scary and might make me look stupid.” So we often unconsciously begin the writing process in a familiar head space, writing in the same way, using the same diction, images or form.

These four sessions will help us consciously connect to our unconscious minds while adding new strategies to our poetry tool chests. We'll approach the subject visually, sonically, through the image, and the speaker’s voice. Ideally by the end of the series, the practice of writing should feel less like practice and more about surprising yourself with what is already in your head.

Each week, we’ll read, discuss and write poems based on innovative work by contemporary poets. Students will post the poems they’ve written based on the prompts in the online forum for feedback from other students and myself.

WHAT WILL WE DO?
* Meet in Zoom meeting for four one-hour sessions. These will be viewable on video anytime, so if you can’t make some sessions, you can still take the class and fully participate.
* Read (prior to class) and discuss (in class) the work of contemporary poets (one poem per week).
* Write on different prompts during our sessions to get us loosened up
* Write four poems, one per week, based on prompts and post them in an online forum.
* Read and comment on the poems of other students outside class (est. time = 1/2 hour per week) in the online forum.

WHERE WILL CLASS BE?
The class will be held online via Zoom Meeting, and the class video will be available online. We’ll post our poems and comment on others’ poems in an online forum. You'll need a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet, with a camera if you want to be seen and a mic if you want to be heard. We’ll be able to see each other all at once on a grid, as well as see the websites and your work on the screen.

Summer Strange Series: Writing Outside the Rut
120.00

15 spots, all levels
There will be four live classes that you can watch via video anytime. So if you can’t make a session, you can watch it at your leisure and still participate.

Live Class Time: Mondays, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. central time
Live Class Dates:
Monday, June 24
Monday, July 1
Monday, July 8
Monday, July 15

$10 from every sign-up will go to the Midwest Writing Center, which facilitates the work of writers of all ages and teachers through conferences, workshops, contests, readings, and discussions. MWC Members receive $10 off the sign up fee with code at checkout. Email MWC for the code.

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Mar
2
1:00 PM13:00

Publishing Your Poems

“Jennifer is kind and evaluates work with a big heart and a sharp eye. You will come out of her classes ready to take on the world of submissions!"

”The class and Jennifer are terrific! Great for folks who have never submitted and are not sure how and where to start.”

Writing is a personal process that can bring us solace while simultaneously connecting us to the universe. Sharing your writing through publishing is a totally different ballgame. If you’re ready to get your poems off your hard drive and into a magazine or even a book, this class is for you.

What kind of poetry do you write?” can be a daunting question, but we must answer it in order to determine what publications are good fits for our work. So we’ll begin with a self-assessment of style. We’ll tour a few online publication directories, and discuss how organization affects the information we receive. We’ll analyze some very different publications to see how submission rules vary, and how to spot a good match for your work. We’ll walk though Submittable, the most widely used online submission tool. We’ll wrap up with tips for book contests and handling acceptances AND rejections.

By Monday, February 25, choose five poems you feel are ready (or almost) to be published and send them to me. I’ll send you the instructions for your submission after you register.

WHAT WILL WE DO?
* Choose and email 5 poems by 2/25
* Complete a style self-assessment and share the results
* Visit online publication databases
* Analyze the needs of different publications and presses to see if your work is a good fit
* Walk through the Submittable process and tracking submissions
* Discuss cover letters, submission guidelines and contests

WHERE WILL CLASS BE?
The class will be held online via Zoom Meeting—you'll need a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet (with a camera if you want to be seen). I’ll email you a link, you’ll click on it at 1 pm midwest time. We’ll be able to see each other all at once on a grid, as well as see the websites and your work on the screen.

Publishing Your Poems
60.00

Class: Saturday, March 2
Sign up deadline: CHANGED TO FRIDAY, MARCH 1! But the sooner you sign up and send your poems, the more time I’ll have to give them feedback.
Select and submit five poems in one file by the deadline. Instructions for the submission will be emailed to you when you register.

20 spots, all levels, 1-3 pm Iowa Time
Email jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

$10 from every sign-up will go to the Midwest Writing Center, which facilitates the work of writers of all ages and teachers through conferences, workshops, contests, readings, and discussions. MWC Members receive $10 off the sign up fee with code at checkout.

Image by Loïs Marcinkowski. It occurred to me that publishing is like sending poems into space.

Quantity:
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The payee on your credit card or bank statement will show as Saltlickers (and if you’re wondering what that’s all about, click here!).

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Oct
28
10:00 AM10:00

"Writing Poems that KILL!!!!!!!!!!"

150.00

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2018
10 spots, Intermediate level, $150
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

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When most people think of "poetry," they think, "love," "heartbreak," "beauty," and "nature." They don't think "Richard Ramirez, AKA the Nightstalker." But there IS a thrilling intersection between poetry and crime, noir, detective lit, suspense, and horror that's dying to be explored.

Normally, poetry lights up the same part of the brain that music and meditation engages—heightening our introspectiveness. It's an "I" thing. But suspense and fear light up the same part of the brain that comedy engages: surprise. After the adrenaline drains, we feel more interconnected, like we're all in the same boat. It's a "we" thing, and we're going to tap into that "we.” As all writing is a way of understanding and engaging with the world, writing about these subjects can help us view actually traumatic situations in a less triggering way.

WHAT WILL WE DO?
* Read 8 poems before class starts
* Observe and compile an informal list of thoughts on a topic before class starts
* Write responses to 6 prompts during class
* Read and comment on the work of other participants during class

WHERE WILL CLASS BE?
The class will be held online via Zoom Meeting—you'll need a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet (with a camera if you want to be seen). I’ll email you a link, you’ll click on it at 10 am midwest time on Sunday. We’ll be able to see each other all at once on a grid, as well as read poems on the screen. When you're finished writing a poem, you’ll upload it to a shared folder; I’ll post it on screen, so everyone can read and discuss. 

UPDATE: The materials are ready to peruse. If you’d like a sneak peek, email me at jenniferlknox @ gmail.

10-10:45 am
Introductions
Inventory: what scares us
Creating fear, suspense, and narrative in the limited, distilled space of a poem

10:45-11:30 am
Poem 1: Hypnagogic hallucinations
“I wake to sleep”
Writing, reading and discussion

11:30-11:45 am
Break

11:45-12:30 am
Poem 2: True crime and DNA
”Not buried deep enough”
Writing, reading and discussion

12:30-1:00 pm
Lunch, stretch, meditation break

1:00-1:45 pm
Poem 3: Mass psychogenic illness 
”What’s up with all the zombie movies?”
Writing, reading and discussion

1:45-2:30 pm
Poem 4: Voices of the dead 
”Know-it-alls”
Model: Margaret Atwood, "This is a Photograph of Me"
Writing, reading and discussion

2:30-2:45 pm
Break

2:45-3:30 pm
Poem 5: The Shadow 
”It's been inside you all along”
Writing, reading and discussion

3:30-4:00 pm
Poem 6, lightning round: Ghost stories
”Bloody Mary”
Writing and reading

#ssadgm

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Aug
12
2:00 PM14:00

SOLD OUT Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10 spots
$150 for six sessions
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks

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Aug
5
2:00 PM14:00

SOLD OUT Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10 spots
$150 for six sessions
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks

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Jul
29
2:00 PM14:00

SOLD OUT Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10 spots
$150 for six sessions
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks

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Jul
22
2:00 PM14:00

SOLD OUT Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10 spots
$150 for six sessions
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks

340f380cc1607cee6460efa5b2ec82b7-1.jpg
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Jul
15
2:00 PM14:00

SOLD OUT Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10 spots
$150 for six sessions
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks

340f380cc1607cee6460efa5b2ec82b7-1.jpg
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Jul
8
2:00 PM14:00

SOLD OUT Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10 spots
$150 for six sessions
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks

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Mar
25
10:00 AM10:00

SOLD OUT! Writing from Your Intuition & Subconscious Mind

Sorry, this class is sold out! Sign up for our class email list at jenniferlknox at gmail.com for a head's up on classes.

You don't have to be a special super-sensitive genius to write poems. Your mind already has everything it needs, but logical sense often gets in the way. Allowing your subconscious mind to drive a poem is a thrilling experience—one beyond words—that connects you to the universe. But how can you tap into it? We'll dust off the cobwebs of winter and spring clean our brains with prompts that work our intuition through sound, deep images and pure nonsense. All levels welcome but a fair tolerance of ambiguity is recommended. 

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DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: March 16, 2018
10 spots
All levels
$80
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

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Jan
15
6:00 PM18:00

Graduate Poetry Writing at Iowa State University

Cédric Villani & His Prepared Mind

Cédric Villani & His Prepared Mind

Spring 2018, Mondays, 6-9 pm
Open to former 306 students

In his book on the origin of ideas, Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure, mathematician Cédric Villani concludes that illumination cannot occur in a vacuum. It presents itself to the “prepared mind” in a process that moves from hard work to illumination then back to hard work. That hard work and preparation, according to Villani, entails seeking out diverse ideas, solutions, thought processes, etc. and incorporating them into what we already know—i.e. folding new ingredients into our cake batter. Our work in this workshop will be to prepare our minds for illumination.

As a facilitator, my goal is to create a space where diverse ideas are heard, valued, and can be acted upon. The workshop is the ideal setting for this exchange, which is why poets at all levels return to workshops, residencies, writing communities, etc.: the more contact with ideas and artists who differ from us, the more connected, relevant and awake our work will be.

We’re all trying to make different music. Some of us are trying to make music that hasn’t been heard yet—not even by the people who are trying to make it. To pursue music that has yet to be heard (only knowing it must be heard) is difficult. My objective is to create a community in which those poets can manifest their unprecedented solutions to the unprecedented troubles of our time. Other poets have heard the music they’re working hard to make. Let’s listen to it.

The community we build together could be one of your strongest assets as a writer. That’s not hype. While my MFA professors at New York University had a profound impact on my poems, my classmates continue to have a profound impact on my life—from artistic and emotional support to professional opportunities—over fifteen years later.

Never have we been able to connect with so many other poets, ideas, and meaningful, sustainable opportunities for artists. Though the current political climate can feel unbearably isolating, in reality we are unprecedentedly connected.

Sessions will be mostly reserved for workshop. We will collectively determine the structure, time allotment system/s, and frequency we wish to use. Poets from outside the class will be read to energize discussions of craft and publishing. Participants will also be asked to give short informal presentations on influences and illuminations. Regular conferences with the instructor and poetry dates with colleagues will be scheduled. 

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Dec
17
10:00 AM10:00

SOLD OUT: PROMPTLY 2: ANOTHER FAST-PACED ONLINE POETRY BOOTCAMP

Are you ready stretch your muscles and get writing? In this six hour class, divided into 10 half-hour, fast-paced mini-sessions, we'll write poems based on a variety of open-ended writing prompts. We'll utilize classic and contemporary poems as models, share our drafts, and discuss each others' work. This workshop is open to all levels. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up at jenniferlknox at gmail.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 6 p.m.
10 spots
$80
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with a 30 minute lunch break at noon and two 15 minute breaks throughout.

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Nov
19
10:00 AM10:00

SOLD OUT: PROMPTLY: A FAST-PACED ONLINE POETRY BOOTCAMP

THIS CLASS IS SOLD OUT. JOIN US FOR ANOTHER "PROMPTLY" CLASS ON DECEMBER 17!

Are you ready stretch your muscles and get writing? In this six hour class, divided into 10 half-hour, fast-paced mini-sessions, we'll write poems based on a variety of open-ended writing prompts. We'll utilize classic and contemporary poems as models, share our drafts, and discuss each others' work. This workshop is open to all levels. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up at jenniferlknox at gmail.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 6 p.m.
10 spots
$80
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with a 30 minute lunch break at noon and two 15 minute breaks throughout.

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Sep
23
to Sep 24

StoCo's "Wild Women of the Woods": Powdering the Wow

For Story County Conservation's Fifth Annual "Wild Women of the Woods" conference at Hickory Grove Park. Due to popular demand, this event will be extended to offer an optional two nights of camping! Participants can choose from many different sessions including Archery, Paddle Boarding, Campfire Cooking, Animal Tracking, Meditation Coloring, Regatta Rowing, Creating Backyard Habitats, Knot Tying, Fishing, Music, and much, much more! 

THE CLASS: Using a simple dehydrator and a coffee grinder, we’ll create some inspired seasoning blends with dried veggies, herbs, mushrooms and some surprise ingredients. We’ll experiment hands on with balance, heat and sodium levels to develop your perfect personalized blend. More sign up info coming soon!

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Jul
9
2:00 PM14:00

Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 2
10 spots
$50 per session or $125 for all six.
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks.

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Jul
2
2:00 PM14:00

Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 2
10 spots
$50 per session or $125 for all six.
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks.

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Jun
25
2:00 PM14:00

Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 2
10 spots
$50 per session or $125 for all six.
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks.

340f380cc1607cee6460efa5b2ec82b7-1.jpg
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Jun
18
2:00 PM14:00

Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 2
10 spots
$50 per session or $125 for all six.
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks.

340f380cc1607cee6460efa5b2ec82b7-1.jpg
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Jun
11
2:00 PM14:00

Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 2
10 spots
$50 per session or $125 for all six.
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks.

340f380cc1607cee6460efa5b2ec82b7-1.jpg
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Jun
4
2:00 PM14:00

Six-Week Online Summer Sunday Workshop

Get those poems off your wall and down on paper with this six-week summer online workshop. You must have some workshop experience to join us. Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

In this six-session online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read each other poems as well as poetry that inspires us to write and take risks. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work. I'll email you instructions and reading materials when you sign up.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FRIDAY, JUNE 2
10 spots
$50 per session or $125 for all six.
2 pm Iowa time-4 pm with breaks.

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Feb
18
10:00 AM10:00

"Love is a Four-letter Word"

Breakups: they're AWESOME inspiration for poetry. After all, who writes poems when they're in love? But how many ways can you say, "You broke my heart, and I'm so sad!" So how do you get out of a heartbreak writing rut? In this day-long online workshop in Google Hangouts, we'll read poems that explore heartache and lost love using surprising moves, like resurrection and revenge! During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work, and take risks. I'll email you instructions and reading materials the week before the class starts.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: FEBRUARY 10, 2017
10 spots
All levels
$100
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

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Oct
30
10:00 AM10:00

NEW! "Scaring is Caring"

This day-long online workshop conducted in Google Hangouts will help you construct scenes in poems and fiction that scare the reader, and maybe even yourself! We'll look at five ways to catch a reader's attention and turn on their alarm bells...then move in for the kill. You'll be expected to read the works of four writers and watch one film before class starts, write responses to five prompts during class, then read and comment on the work of other participants. I'll email you instructions and reading materials on Thursday, October 27, before class starts.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2016
10 spots
Intermediate level
$100
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

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Aug
21
10:00 AM10:00

"Writing Funny Poems" SOLD OUT

THIS WORKSHOP IS SOLD OUT!

This day-long online workshop in Google Hangouts is designed to help you recognize styles of humor in poetry and utilize them for a great effect.  You'll need 8 original poems to participate. You'll be expected to read the other participants' work before the workshop and formulate comments. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work, and take risks. I'll email you instructions and reading materials the week before the class starts.

DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP: AUGUST 14, 2016
8 spots
Advanced level
$125
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

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Jul
24
10:00 AM10:00

"Moves That Surprise in Poetry" SOLD OUT

This day-long online workshop in Google Hangouts is designed to help you unstick yourself in poems with moves that surprise—even you.  You'll need 8 original poems to participate. You'll be expected to read the other participants' work before the workshop and formulate comments. During the session, you'll be asked to write, read, talk, share your work, and take risks. I'll email you instructions and reading materials the week before the class starts.

8 spots
Advanced level
$125
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email me at jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

THIS WORKSHOP IS SOLD OUT.
NEXT WORKSHOP IS AUGUST 21.
DEADLINE FOR SIGN UP IS AUGUST 14.

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Jun
8
7:15 PM19:15

Poetry Writing Night @ Des Moines Social Club, session #5

In preparation for the open mic on June 29, we're switching gears this week. If you plan to attend this week's session, email (jenniferlknox at gmail) or FB message me two poems you've written by noon on Wednesday. Choose fresh poems that you love. I'll make copies and we'll discuss them, Workshop Lite-style. Feel free to email or messenger me!

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