How to use this workshop


Patterning Chaos!



Do not use this Workshop without a draft of a poem to put through it and to tinker with. That would be like trying to learn carpentry without any wood.

It can be frustrating and wasteful doing the work on-line. That isn't necessary. You will need time to think. Work on your poem without feeling pressured, and then paste it in.

Examples are useful, but also distracting. Those of you who are used to surfing will know that the "Back" button on your browser will return you to where you were. Download material and read it at leisure if you like.


What you will be doing

Essentially you'll be releasing creativity through discipline. The workshop is almost like a machine or a toy in that a draft of your poem goes into it and a shaped and polished version emerges! It is, however, a machine that is dependent on you and that you will control. Your aim will be to enable your poem to emerge in its truest and finest shape.


Which Poem?

You can decide to use the poem you start with all the way through the programme; or you can decide to use different poems, or parts of poems, in different sections. Either way, you will be able to identify what you need to do to make the best version you can of your poem. Some of the work done will be posted on "Showcase" unless there's specific request to the contrary.


Which Path?

For the most clearly observable results, work through the sections and the pages in each section, in the sequence given, i.e from "The Speaker" to "The Whole Poem". Within each section the page to go to next is shown at the bottom of the page you are on. You can, if you prefer, make your own sequence - but you will find it harder that way to identify which kinds of changes are most useful for your work. (You can return to the beginning of a section by clicking on the ikon.)


Which Process?

You can choose between three methods of working:

1. Thoroughly, and with a tutor, the programme takes 5 weeks. You and the tutor complete one section per week, giving time for you to tinker with your poem, send it in, and receive feedback once a week. The path you take is straightforward. You begin at the beginning and work through to the end.

The "Showcase" page at the start of each session is an "extra". It is there for you to check any additional weekly information which may be added from time to time, and to see if any work by participants has been posted. It is also designed to offer and receive feedback from fellow participants.

2. Thoroughly, on your own, you can take as much or as little time as you wish. Don't try to do everything all at once. Do one section at a time. Do the last section last. Do not forget to tinker with your poem, even though you may feel you are "only" sending it to yourself, so to speak. The work you do on your own poem is the most crucial part of the workshop.

3. Quickly, for a specific purpose. If you feel you have a specific problem with your poem which you want to check - just for the sound, or just for the imagery, for example - then go through that section. Once again, do not forget to tinker with your poem.


What you will learn

You will learn how to practise with the tools of the trade in order to make the best versions of your poems that you can.

You will also learn, almost incidentally, how poems work from the inside; and because of that, you will read other people's poems more easily, more accurately, and with greater pleasure.

And, again almost incidentally, you will gain some idea of how you might use the Web as a medium for poetry.


Map of the Workshop


Return to the Entrance