Saturday, May 23, 2009

Frank Walsh's Summer Poetry Workshop


Each workshop begins with at least a 15 min. non-secular Buddhist Samantha- Vipassana meditation session with the object of calming the mind and body and building mental concentration, lessening distraction, to better serve the student in their pursuit of writing and poetry in particular. Cushions to be supplied by workshop participants.

Also Shamanistic techniques and body “work”-- Chi-gong, yoga, spontaneous vaudeville dance routines, etc.-- will be employed if agreed upon by the workshop participants.

1. Poem as portal, entry, into the deep present, whereas the significant past is seen as “texture” supra-imposed by which individual emotions and intellect gain “traction”.
(a). Memory and perception are identified.
(b). Other art forms such as painting, music, and sculpture will be observed to reinforce this.
Exercise: Familiarity with every America literary movement of the last hundred years, such as Imagism, Post- Apocryphal, Objectivism, Black Mountain School, Beat, Amodernism, etc. will be lightly cultivated through historic and contemporary examples.

2. Poetry as direct action, experience, that initiates transformation and change in the socio- economic environment, as well.
(a). Experience and experiment are related by reflection.
Exercise: “Copying” the techniques and styles above in kind. Reading aloud the result of such to an audience as a way to enhance critical abilities.

3. And “meaning” is only that that is a possible future brought into play by making sense of the poem as the poem is made. Meaning is given to the poem by the reader and/ or listener.
Exercise: Getting the feel of the senses involved in the appreciation of the creative and tuning those sensibilities.

4.The Poem as the process and pursuit of truth and beauty and resolution, focused in thought and breath, coincidentally, and “measure”, verging on the real news per se: a non-didactic, ultra- temporal, non- fictional narration accountable to the skillful extent of self expression and communication.
(a). Urban oracle and games of chance explored.
Exercise: Exploring the graphic look of the poem in print as like musical notation and in turn the banner and headline type nature of the line, stanza, overall form through which certain facts are brought to light especially as regards the relationship and function of the individual and societal milieu, especially nature with a big “N”.

5. Whereas form and parts-of-speech are “occasional” yet necessary and organic adept and ever having a body of formal and traditional reserve at hand during the critical point of composition and “making”.
Exercise: The student will consider and in part accomplish various occasional pieces, such as for a wedding, a memorial, an elegy for the dead, love, and good luck in business and travel.

6. Poetry as an art form proper exists in the instant as an aural phenomenon, conditioned, ultimately by audience disposition-- triangulated in space and time by the listener on either side of its effective sufficient performance.
(a). Vowel modulation beyond mere rhyme.
(b.) Extended metaphor and metonymy beyond image become “vision”.
Exercise: Getting the drift of the American spoken language by embracing the street, and the context of parlance in social situations. Seeing past signage and outdoor advertising.

Bottom line and goals---
Public performance, action- reading, facility in the accomplishment thereof, will be emphasized.
Gaining skillful means though listening while alternately engaging with purpose in everyday speech and parlance.

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