Poets have long relied on field sketches and field descriptions more commonly associated with scientific nature study than with literature. Participants in this workshop will learn some techniques of field study in order to generate new poems and effective revisions. Accompanied by our field notebooks, we will take a group walk with periodic pauses for writing and drawing experiments. In the studio, we'll develop these visual and verbal sketches with the help of magnifying glasses and art materials. By honing observational and descriptive skills, participants will learn to see in a magnifying, meticulous way. Participants will read sample poems that use metaphor and other figurative language to powerfully illuminate their subjects and will adopt some of these techniques in order to leave the workshop with a handful of new poem drafts and new techniques for revision.
Karen Holmberg's two collections of award winning poetry are The Perseids and Axis Mundi. In addition to publishing widely in poetry, she also writes young adult fiction; her YA novel, The Collagist, is forthcoming from Regal Press in 2024. She teaches poetry in the MFA program at Oregon State University, where she also teaches letterpress printing and paper arts.
• An unlined field writing notebook.
• A lined poetry journal
• Good quality pencils and an eraser
• Colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor paint set
• A magnifying glass
• If possible, participants would come with a poem draft they want help revising