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About The Workshop

One of the oldest love stories is the love story of the Oral and the Written Traditions. They have been married since the beginning of the written word and they renew their vows again and again as each well-composed poem comes into existence. The attempt to divorce these two is at the heart of what is missing in contemporary poetry.

This weekend workshop will begin to explore how we can rejoin these traditions so that a newer and more powerful generation of poems may come into being.


Friday 7-9 p.m.
We will begin with the Hooley Tradition of poetry in Ireland where each member of the family or clan would say or read a poem to entertain the group. In this tradition one was expected to know the values of words and the way to fill the silences so that the silences spoke back to the words. It knew how the words approximated song without singing them. It allowed the silence to do the singing and the words to encourage the silence to break into song.

In the Sufi tradition it was "the music no fingers enter into." In Zen it was "the sound that keeps coming from the flowers."

We will learn to read poems so that there is a marriage between the visible and invisible and learn to write poems so that we encourage the silences to sing.

Saturday 9:30 am - 6 pm
Although each poet must develop her/his individual voice, poetry also needs a community. Many of the great periods of creativity in poetry have taken place with poets working with others. There was the Pound/H.D./ Williams/Yeats community, the Bishop/Lowell/Moore community, the Bly/Wright/Kinnell/Knight community, to give just a few examples.

It is equally true the the individual voice has to be encouraged and not just subsumed into some kind of generic group poem. Each of the poets mentioned above gave the world something important and unique. We will begin the process of nurturing and balancing both the individual and community aspects necessary for creative growth.

Finding and Mining Our Poetic Heritage

The poetic community includes a partnership with both the living and the dead. Dante knows he must sit at the feet of Virgil as Kinnell does with Dylan Thomas and Whitman. We must create mentors both inside and out. We will dedicate the morning session to how we accomplish this partnership without hampering individuality

Each participant will learn to read from modern and contemporary poetry paying special attention to the sound quality of the line, the stanza, the pitch patterns and the tempo of each poem.

Finding Your Voice

In the afternoon we will develop a peer group that responds to new writing generated from the discoveries of the morning session and provides feedback on that writing. We will place special emphasis on the reading of poems by participants and strategies for revising.

Sunday will be dedicated to the individual. Each participant will meet one-on-one with the instructor for a half-hour to discuss either something he/she has written or to discuss a problem he/she is having in the reading or writing of poetry. 100% of the time will be given to each person's potential.


Each participant will have a one-hour follow-up consultation over the phone and by e-mail paying attention to what develops in response to the weekend workshop.

Register Now

Workshops – $300
Registration fee is payable by check or money order. Mail checks to: Fran Quinn, 4602 N. Washington Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46205.

Cancellation Policy
Any cancellation less than one week prior to
the workshop will result in full forfeiture of workshop fee (can be
applied to future workshops).

For any cancellations prior to one week $75.00 of the fee will be
retained to cover administrative costs.

Phone [317] 926-6339