Reading and Writing through Philip Whalen: Poetry Workshop Forming

Reading and Writing through Philip Whalen’s Collected Poems: a poetry workshop spanning 14 Sessions from Sept. 1 to Dec. 8, 2013 (Cyberspace and Toronto, ON)

In this workshop, we will study the work of Philip Whalen, engaging his Collected Poems edited by Michael Rothenberg. This book of poetry will generate conversation and strategies for the writing we enact.

To inquire about becoming a virtual or in-person student, please contact me at I will gladly send you a sample and answer questions.


We spend one hour reading poems aloud and another hour writing. The writing portion takes the form of starting points & prompts drawn from the poems as well as those of my own design. Writing sessions are formalized into poems—participants gather works into mini-manuscripts for review and commentary in the final class or, in the case of virtual students, in one-on-one consultations with me.

All students may keep abreast of the material via weekly email summaries; these provide continuity and content regardless of whether attendance is possible to all meetings.

More Details on the Workshop:

Both in-person and virtual students have found that the workshop’s weekly engagement has generated poems, lead to revision of older work, given new understanding to poetics, and triggered the reworking of dusty manuscripts.

Attendance is in cyberspace (a weekly email) or, for Toronto poets, in my home near Chester Station. Meeting time for in-person attendance is 4 PM to 6 PM each Sunday.

Required text:
The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen (Wesleyan University Press)

In addition to the required text, I provide suggested reading (print and online) as we go forward.

History of the Workshop, Cost and How to Join:
I have been leading poetry workshops like this one for 15 years. The focus is poetics, transmission, absorption and enacting. Previous workshops have engaged the poetry of Creeley, Olson, Kyger, Ted Berrigan, Spicer, Stein, Dickinson, Notley and Niedecker. An essay on the class is included in the anthology Poets on Teaching (University of Iowa, 2010).

Donations accepted.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 at 10:56 pm and is filed under How to Write Poetry, Workshops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.