Hoa Nguyen poetry workshop

Photo of the Lorine Niedecker Workshop 2013 by Joan Guenther


This is poetics workshop and a lab for writing.

Workshop forming: Reading and Writing through Kyger’s Collected Poems
September 7 to December 14, 2014 

Virtual or in Toronto: Format

We meet every Sunday (virtually or in-person) and begin by reading the selected text aloud for the first hour. We literally give it breath; we breathe it and feel it in our bodies, release it into the air and let it circulate, come back into our ears and our skin and additional sites of reception. We each read a page or a poem. I provide some context to the poems and will occasionally define or locate a reference, but do not otherwise explicate the work.

In the second hour we write. I draw us back to the text then, pointing out various writing strategies and also bring other strategies to bear on the upcoming writing, with the goal of entering a liminal space where we can write, write with an unstructured, inviting mind.

Following this experience, I send detailed write-ups of the workshop each week. Both virtual and in-person poets take this material and respond to them in/on their own time. “Write-ups” doesn’t describe the written material accurately. The written materials include, typically, introductory and contextualizing commentary, supplemental material, the span of pages to read, observations of what is happening in the text, and inventive writing prompts. These provide continuity and content regardless of whether attendance is possible to all meetings. One may also return to the materials iteratively.

At the close of the workshop, our 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 phone consultations with me.

Both in-person and virtual poets 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 written materials, podcast, and optional video phone).

Write to me at for more information.


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