Workshop Forming: Reading and Writing through Alice Notley’s Grave of Light

Reading and Writing through Alice Notley’s Grave of Light:
a poetry workshop spanning 14 Sundays from September 9 to December 9 (Toronto, ON or Cyberspace)

General Description:

In this workshop, we will study the work of Alice Notley, engaging her book Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005. This book of poetry will generate conversation and strategies for the writing we enact.



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 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 on-location in my home near Chester Station in Toronto or in cyberspace (in the form of a weekly email).


Meeting time for in-person attendance is 4 PM to 6 PM. No class on October 7.

Required texts:

Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005 (Wesleyan University Press)

Suggested text:

Coming After (University of Michigan Press)

History of the Workshop and How to Join:

I have been leading poetry workshops like this one for 14 years. The focus for it is transmission, absorption and enacting. Previous workshops have engaged the collected works of Creeley, Niedecker, Kyger, Ted Berrigan, Spicer, Stein, and Whalen as well as Olson’s Maximus and Collected Prose. An essay on the class is included in the anthology Poets on Teaching (University of Iowa, 2010).

To reserve a space or for more information, please contact me at hn2626 AT gmail DOT com. Donations accepted.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at 5:00 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.