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Reading & Writing Poetry: A Workshop

Reading & Writing Poetry: A Workshop

Thursday, March 7, 2024 (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM) (EST)


Are you a poet and you know it already, or do you know it deep down but haven’t yet put pencil to paper? For ages 13 and up!

No matter your comfort or experience with reading and writing poetry, this workshop will serve as a fun and freeing opportunity to engage with other writers and exchange respectful feedback on one another’s work. I’ll assign a number of readings to excite and challenge what we think is possible in poetry, and some of the class will be spent discussing craft and technique, using the readings as our analytic examples. I’ll also offer writing prompts and give short lectures on form, so you’ll never be at a loss for inspiration or ideas of where to begin. This workshop will be as generative as it will be informative, and our group will have a stack of fresh material to show after our six short weeks.

No special materials required. Students can use whatever writing tools they prefer for composition, though I’ll encourage the group to write things out by hand, and we’ll have a number of in-class writing exercises, so they might like to keep a notebook just for this workshop.

Because this runs from March through April, students will have the opportunity to participate in (or simply attend!) an open mic night for our last class (April 11th), in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Open Mic Info:
April at the Vinton Library: In celebration of National Poetry Month, the library will host a reading and open mic night on Thursday, April 11th, beginning at 5:30. Local poets Jeanne Larsen, Melanie Almeder, and myself will be featured readers, but anyone who would like to read at the open mic is welcome. I've been in touch with Molly Meador, who's organizing the event, and she's agreed for any interested Bower Center students from my class to have first dibs on the sign-up sheet! So I'll promote it in our workshop and get a sense of participation ahead of time, but students are welcome to attend the event without having to read (if they'd rather not), as well. This will be a fun outing for our class to cap what we've discussed and hear some local poetry read aloud. 


Chelsea Harlan is the author of Bright Shade, selected by Jericho Brown as the winner of the 2022 American Poetry Review / Honickman First Book Prize. She holds a BA from Bennington College and an MFA in Poetry from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry Daily, Shenandoah, The Greensboro Review, Raleigh Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and elsewhere. She serves as a visiting lecturer in creative writing at Hollins University and works at a public library in her small hometown in Bedford County, where she lives with her husband and menagerie of critters.

Cancellation Policy:

· Cancellations made 1 week or more in advance of the class date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made within 3 - 6 days will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations made within 48 hours to the class will not be refunded.

o Students will have the option to transfer registration to another class in place of receiving a refund.

o Special consideration will be given to cancellations due to health-related issues and family emergencies.

· If you plan miss a session of class, please inform your instructor, or email our Program Coordinator, Lauren Hood, at

o There will be no refunds or discounts given for missed classes.


$145 Per person

Bower Center for the Arts
305 N. Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523 United States
Event Contact
Lauren Hood
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Thursday, March 7, 2024 (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM) (EST)
Thursdays from March 7th to April 11th, 5-7pm
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