(Poetry Diary 274) – 7/6/17) I’m going to be blogging a little here & there this month on an online poetry class I’m taking through The Poetry Barn, esp. as online writing workshops are a relatively new phenomenon and the Poetry Barn seems to be a particularly good pioneer. From what I’ve seen so far it’s drawing high caliber students, some of whom have significant publications already and who are using the workshops to develop their work even more. Others, like myself, did the MFA/MA route in their 20’s and are coming back to writing seriously after careers and life got in the way for a while. There also seem to be a number who didn’t write poetry seriously before taking the workshops but have used what they learned there to launch themselves into burgeoning literary careers.
The instructors are well-credentialed as well, which is probably one reason they’re drawing serious students. Another draw is that their classes cover complicated themes. The one I’m taking is on “hybrids” (How to Build a Platypus: A Hybridity Workshop) and is taught by Brenda Mann Hammock. She has a book called Humbug: A Neo-Victorian Fantasy in Verse which itself is a hybrid of poetry and prose.
Here’s one of her poems:
Brenda Mann Hammack
Some things we don’t mean to collect,
like ailments and disappointments,
She keeps hers in a cabinet:
all those should-have-been
children, those premature Ophelias,
who died before they could cry.