Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Denise Low online poetry writing workshop begins Jan. 14, 2014

Natural Laws of Poetry Writing Workshop 2014
Denise Low, Jan. 14, 21, 27, Feb. 4.
Natural Laws of Poetry Writing Workshop 2014
Denise Low, Jan. 14, 21, 27, Feb. 4.
Why has the sonnet remained popular? What forms arise in experimental poetry? Frederick Turner and Ernst Poppel, in “The Neural Lyre: Poetic Meter, the Brain, and Time” (Poetry 1983), state the poetic line, “nearly always takes from two to four seconds to recite, with a strong peak in distribution between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds.” This writing workshop is an open investigation of the “neural lyre” of our body and how it responds to verse--and what this means for a poet. Ears, brain, and eyes are starting points. Weekly sessions begin with a presentation on poetics, discussion, and “assignment” (always feel free to bring your own project). The rest of the time goes to workshopping the “assignment” with peers through Google Groups. In addition, I will provide personal feedback on one poem or related group of poems a week (email). Respond at your convenience during the week, in pajamas if you wish. At the end of the course, you will be able to write and recognize poetry that appeals to more directly to readers.
  • Week 1-Ears. Line length, the body as a “neural lyre.” Choosing genres: Lyrics, Odes, Epics
  • Week 2-Brain, part I-sensing of reality (Consciousness). Care and feeding of your three brains: reptile, mammal, human. Choosing the right words for your content
  • Week 3-Brain, part II-imagined reality (Imagination). Closed circuit and alternate realities: making words come to life. Casting the spell with the three C’s—compression, continuity, and consistency.
  • Week 4-Eyes. Inspiring the spirit with close-up observation of objects, with focus on the works of William Stafford. Precision, revision and revelation in your poems.

Technical requirements: A Google mail (gmail) account. From that you can access documents (like this) on Google Drive. Group interactions take place in Google Groups (link provided). Your email account will alert you to all interactions.
A word about “assignments: Some of you have ongoing projects and contrived assignments will slow you down. Always feel free to bring your current work into the workshop. Please bring current writing, not old notebooks from high school (yes, I have had this happen).
Poetry or prose? This class can apply to prose as well as poetry, so feel free to join if you are a prose writer.
Cost: $35/session ($70 nonrefundable due at beginning of workshop, $70 due midway. PayPal is preferred). Contact Denise Low at kansaspoetry@gmail.com for enrollment and questions.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jacket 2 biography of Denise Low Is Up

Jacket 2 will publish papers in honor of Kenneth Irby one day soon. I'm looking forward to this as a reader, contributor of one essay, and fellow imbiber at Thurs. martini nights. Also, I'm looking forward to, in 2014, a piece of mine in Numero Cinq, about biological structures of Ronald Johnson's first poem in The Shrubberies. Viva poesia.

Denise Low

Denise Low, second Kansas Poet Laureate, has published twenty books of poetry and essays, including Ghost Stories (The Circle of Minneapolis Best Native American Books of 2010; Kansas Notable Book). She edited Kansas Poems of William Stafford...

Saturday, December 7, 2013


As the year winds down, I remember some of the exciting books published. Here is one, which I reviewed for New Letters (see link). Dg okpik is Inuit and mashes together Russian, English, Norse, and Inuit language/traditions to represent the Arctic experience. Amazing. http://www.newletters.org/UserFiles/File/79.3%20PDFs/Low_okpik%20Review.pdf