Hoa Nguyen poetry workshop
Hoa with participants of the summer 2010 Alice Notley Grave of Light class.

This is poetics workshop and a lab for writing.

Workshop forming: Reading and Writing through Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets
May 11 through July 20, 2014


We meet every Sunday 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 two pages. 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.

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.

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 write up, podcast, and optional video phone).

Write to me at for more information.


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