Midwest Writing Center Offers a Six-Week Virtual Poetry Workshop Series This Fall

What: 10,000 Poems – A Generative Poetry Workshop Series

Instructor: Ryan Collins

When: Every Monday evening, November 9 – December 14 (6 weeks), 6-8 p.m. CST

Where: Virtual Meetings using Zoom and Wet Ink

Cost: $220 for MWC Members, $250 for non-members – scholarships also available for those with financial need; please contact MWC at mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org for more information

Space: Limited to 10 participants

Workshop Description

10,000 Poems – A Generative Poetry Workshop Series

“When you begin writing, you don’t know how to write. Presumably most of you have already begun, but it’s never too late to begin over. I mean it’s necessary to begin over constantly…

Now it’s important when you write poems, to write good poems. Better yet, it’s not so important to write good poems, because, that’s what academics do; what it’s important to do is write terrific poems. And there’s no reason why you can’t do that. All you have to do is look at lots of poems by poets that are terrific, whose poems are terrific, and see what makes up a terrific poem, and then write some terrific poems yourself.” – Ted Berrigan, “The Business of Writing Poetry”

You might be familiar with the idea of needing 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of a skill, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell. The great American poet Ted Berrigan had a similar idea—that one must write a great deal of “terrible” poems before one starts writing “terrific” poems. This workshop is for anyone pushing toward more terrificness in their writing, or for those already writing terrificly, but looking to be terrific in new and diverse ways. And while we won’t actually be writing 10,000 poems in this workshop, we will certainly do our best.

This six-week workshop will feature a range of readings—poems, craft essays, etc.—that will offer a wide range of formal/stylistic diversity for us to examine and experiment with in our own work via prompts, exercises, and collaboration via group critiques and one-on-one meetings with the instructor. The goal will be to produce as much new work as possible that is ready to be shared in performance and/or in print (we’ll talk about the submission/publication process as well), and to push ourselves and our writing to make new moves and be as terrific as we can possibly be.

This workshop will use Zoom for all group and 1-on-1 meetings, and will use the Wet Ink platform to help facilitate collaboration, comments, and revisions. Learn more about the platform here: https://wet.ink/features

Please not that this workshop is limited to 10 participants max, so register early to reserve your place.

Workshop Schedule

  • Group Meetings: Every Monday evening, 6-8 p.m. CST, November 9 – December 14 (6 weeks)
  • 30 Minute 1-on-1 meetings: By Appointment, December 8-14

Cost

Registration for the workshop series is $220 for MWC Members, $250 for non-members – scholarships also available for those with financial need; please contact MWC at mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org for more information.

Register today using the PayPal link below:

Registration

Instructor Bio

Ryan Collins is the Executive Director of the Midwest Writing Center, and an English Instructor at St. Ambrose University. He is the author of the poetry collection A New American Field Guide & Song Book, and five poetry chapbooks. His work has appeared in many anthologies, journals, and magazines, including American Letters & Commentary; Another Chicago Magazine; Booth; Columbia Poetry Review; Crazyhorse; DIAGRAM; Forklift, Ohio; Handsome; Ninth Letter; PEN Poetry Series; Poor Claudia; Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland; Spork; Third Coast; Verse Daily; and Zócalo Public Square.

He has led writing workshops for many organizations, such as Quad City Arts Metro Arts Summer Youth Employment Program; Lincoln Summer Arts Academy; the Figge Art Museum; Living Proof Exhibit; the Moline, Bettendorf, and Geneseo Public Libraries; CommUniveristy; Mid-City High School (Davenport, IA); Family Resources; Arrowhead Ranch; the Children’s Literature Festival; and the Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program, which he has directed since 2007. He was a featured author at both the Luther College Writers Festival and the Iowa City Book Festival in 2016, and at the Des Moines Area Community College Celebration of the Literary Arts in 2018. He lives in Rock Island, IL.  

This workshop is made possible thanks in part to the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council Agency.