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Get Your Verses Ready, April is National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives. Visit poets.org to learn more about this month’s celebration and how you can participate. National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) also kicks off on April 1st, encouraging participants to write 30 poems in 30 days. Visit NaPoWriMo.net for details.

Need inspiration? We have a new class just for you! Learn more and register at ce.harpercollege.edu.

POETRY WRITING WORKSHOP (LLA0024): Study and imitate the styles of famous poets such as John Donne, Lewis Carrol, James Joyce, and others. Imitation can be the best route toward helping you perfect your own unique style that expresses you as a writer of poetry. Bring your works to engage in friendly analysis and critique with your classmates. Our focus will be on rhythm, structure, and imagery! If you want to grow as a poet, or a writer, this is the class for you! Saturdays, 4/6-4/27 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Week 1:Shakespeare, Donne, Dr. Seuss, Rhythm, Meter, and Rhyme Scheme. An introduction to the basics of constructing rhythmic phrases by working through some of the works of the more classic poets. Shakespeare and Donne provide a basic groundwork for understanding poetic meter. Seuss is excellent at helping people understand syllabic emphasis.

Week 2: Nontraditional/Non-Western Poetry, Prose, Nonsense Poems. Nonsense poetry, wordplay, and gibberish. The Jabberwocky is a famous example of how words can essentially just be invented on the spot to serve a rhythmic purpose while also communicating meaning effectively. Flanagan provides some examples of wordplay that may not be quite as effective!

Week 3: Music as Poetry. Whether it’s Rock, Pop, Hip-hop, Country, or Rap, music follows similar rules to poetry and it’s a fun break to try to look at something that you think you know pretty well from a different angle. We don’t have to write our own song lyrics, but I’d encourage you to think up a few songs with lyrics that really strike home.

Week 4: Workshop Day. Our last day together! We’ll go over every previous workshop piece that we haven’t had time to go over as well as any particular pieces you’ve been sitting on that you want an additional pair of eyes on.

About the Instructor:

“I was raised in Hoffman Estates, went to Fremd, off to Harper for two years, and then finished my degree in English at Northern Illinois University. I received my certificate for creative writing the same year that I was the president of the art and literature magazine for NIU. I believe that storytelling isn’t just something you can do as a hobby in the form of short stories, poems or essays. Telling a story is something that I think is integral to the human experience. If I can help someone get a story of theirs on paper, then I’ll call it a win!” Eric McPherrin


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