Posted June 2, 2021.

“Mastering Traditional Poetry Forms” Workshop with John Sibley Williams

July 14, 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone

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.

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