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[ai1ec view="monthly" cat_name="readings,workshops,conferences,calls-for-submissions,volunteer-opportunities"]
“Mastering Traditional Poetry Forms” Workshop with John Sibley Williams
Jul 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Title: Mastering Traditional Poetry Forms: Haiku, Sonnet, Ghazal, & Pantoum

Two Workshop Times:

Wednesdays, July 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2021 @ 2-4pm PST


Fridays, August 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2021 @ 2-4pm PST

Platform: Zoom

Tuition: $150

To register, email [email protected]

Our last workshops sold out, so register soon!

More information available at:

About the Workshop:

In the words of Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, “Forms are not locks, but keys. They don’t just open doors; they can start a journey and ultimately determine where you land.”

A poem can contain many elements to give it structure. Rhyme, meter, sound, repetition, experimentation, and so many others bring us back to poetry’s roots in traditional oral forms of storytelling. And there are so many profound reasons why traditional forms have survived the centuries, inspiring new poets and evolving to fit modern modes.

In this intensive, four-class workshop, we will explore the many facets of the haiku, sonnet, ghazal, and pantoum form, focusing on our personal relationships with sound and rhythm and refining our relationships with form and content. We will learn the rules, yes, and when best to break them, fostering a new understanding of and appreciation for these unique poetic approaches.


· to introduce the conventions of the haiku, sonnet, ghazal, and pantoum forms and how these rules can support your own themes, experiences, and ideas

· to introduce a number of strategies to get into a traditional poetry writing ‘headspace’

· to equip you with creative techniques to generate initial ideas and images

· to develop your ability to shape your initial ideas into strong first drafts


· Weekly 120-minute live writing workshop with Q&A

· Multiple writing activities each session

· Professional critique of one new poem each week

· Bonus exercise provided between sessions

· Active discussion of sample poems from diverse contemporary poets

· A chance to more intimately engage with a small, focused writing community

About the Teacher

John Sibley Williams is the author of six collections, including The Drowning House (Elixir Press Poetry Award), As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press), and Summon (JuxtaProse Chapbook Prize). A twenty-six-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and founder of the Caesura Poetry Workshop series. Previous publishing credits include Best American Poetry, Yale Review, Verse Daily, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and TriQuarterly.

Reading Diane di Prima’s LOBA, led by Lauren Mallett @ Soapstone, Inc. via Zoom
Sep 18 @ 10:00 am – Oct 9 @ 12:00 pm

Reading Diane di Prima’s LOBA, led by Lauren Mallett
Four Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. PST
September 18 through October 9 via Zoom
$50, scholarships available
Limited to 16 participants

In an interview with Jacket magazine, Diane di Prima said, “I wanted everything—very earnestly and totally—I wanted to have every experience I could have, I wanted everything that was possible to a person in a female body.… So my feeling was, ‘Well’—as I had many times had the feeling—‘Well, nobody’s done it quite this way before but fuck it, that’s what I’m doing, I’m going to risk it.’”

Di Prima (1934-2020) was a poet of the Beat movement and the author of more than 40 books. She was born in Brooklyn and grew up on the East Coast. As an adult she ventured out west and settled in California. Di Prima taught at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Amiri Baraka was one of her closest collaborators.

Di Prima’s LOBA is the most ambitious of her writing projects. Adrienne Rich described LOBA as “An epic act of language, a great geography of the female imagination.” This four-part study group will focus primarily on LOBA’s form, content, and craft. We’ll discuss the risks di Prima takes, and what she achieves as a result. The facilitator, poet and long-time LOBA fangirl Lauren Mallett, will provide brief excerpts from di Prima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik and Recollections of My Life as a Woman to complement our discussion of LOBA. On our final Saturday together, we will also consider di Prima’s legacy in contemporary poetics.

Our required text is the expanded edition of LOBA by Diane di Prima (blue cover, Penguin Books, 1998). Interest in the divine feminine, second-wave feminism, and literary myth-making is far more important to our conversation than poetry experience or vocabulary.

Lauren Mallett (she/her/hers) is a poet, teacher, doula, and mushroom forager. She has lived and studied in Guanajuato and Xalapa, Mexico. Lauren taught dual-language immersion fifth grade in Richmond, California. She earned her MFA and was the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Salamander, Passages North, Fugue, Tupelo Quarterly, and other journals. Lauren is a 2016, 2019, and 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. She has taught for Purdue University, the Lafayette Writers’ Studio, and the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop. She lives on Oregon’s north coast, on the traditional homelands of the Clatsop people.