poem it out
Poetry is a lifeline for me.
I think it could be one for you, too.
Poem It Out is a way of living. My way of living. The way I move through the world, through my grief, through my fears, through my joy. I poem. I read poetry. I write it. I put pen to the page and find my way.
My life changed forever when I read Derek Walcott’s poem “Love After Love” in 2005. It was like looking into a mirror, and when I saw my reflection, I knew I would never truly be able to believe my self-talk the next time I felt so damn lonely.
Because there would always be poetry.
Poets somehow just get it, this life thing. They get it with their words and their truths and their “let’s just get to the point and tell the story” way.
And I think you might love poetry.
Because this is what I know: You are a poet.
You have a poet's soul inside you.
Come along and dive into the world of poetry.
In Poem It Out, you explore the world of poetry from a place of wonder and healing. You read poems that invite you to nod your head and say, “Me too…me too.” You face the blank page and say, “Bring it” and write the words that are ready to burst out of you.
You stop everything to Poem It Out.
It's like a switch has been turned back on, and I have been startled and delighted to find that the electricity is still flowing after so many years of living in the dark without writing, especially poetry. I've read every lesson, watched every video, and read every bit of writing posted in our sacred space here, most of each more than once, so all of you have played a big part in my awakening, and I thank you all so very deeply for showing up here and being brave along with me. Hearing poetry in my head again is like the best kind of healing music.
Dates: Ongoing (you can sign up for Poem It Out at anytime and you will have immediate access to the course content).
Where & How: The course is divided up into four weeks of content. It is hosted in a private classroom and you receive all the information in the classroom at once so you can go at your pace.
Lessons: More than 2.5 hours of video lessons plus written lessons that include topics like:
Tools to use when you face the blank page
Writing and poetry prompts you can turn to again and again
Poetry creative adventure assignments
Photography prompts to connect you with the world around you (and with yourself)
Stories about my own poetry adventures
Stories about why I poem and how it helps me sift through the beauty and the rawness of life
Inspiration posts that will introduce you to poets, poems, and other good things
Journal/notebook and favorite pen/pencil
A camera (any camera is fine, including a camera phone)
To register, just click the button above, which will take you the checkout page over on Teachery - the website that hosts my ecourse classrooms. You’ll receive access to the course website and the lessons will be available on the website.
More participant testimonials
I took this course to renew my love for poetry. I thought it would ignite a spark that was lying dormant within for quite some time...It did all that and so much more. I look at things more deeply, I listen carefully to words spoken around me, I look at the beauty of my world, I read more intently, collecting thoughts and words along the way. This course came at the perfect time in my life and gave me my voice back, thank you for that.
It's 1:02 AM and I am snuggled in bed with husband asleep beside me (hardly ever awake at this hour; at least not by choice) searching for and reading poetry on my iPhone. I just thought you might like to know this as I wonder whether Poem It Out can just go on forever.
So many things are coming to the surface for me as I soak in each lesson. So many doors opening inside me. Stories emerging. I have taken so many notes and have scribbled things down I don't want to forget...This is a whole new approach to writing for me and I am digging deep in my dig site. It is a comfort to know I am not alone...I love your videos and love hearing your voice. I wish I could hear you read a poem every single day. I feel so safe here. My heart is opening; my stories are emerging. I knew this class was going to be good, but I had no idea I would go so deep.
What does it mean to POEM IT OUT?
Life hands us so much. Our brains and bodies become so filled with information and worry and uncertainty and beauty and joy and silliness and loneliness that we can sometimes feel empty.
And when I need to fill the well within, I turn up Mumford & Sons and dance in circles until I feel only my heartbeat. I take a self-portrait to remind myself I am not disappearing. I call a friend. I sit and just try to breathe. I eat a dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Trader Joe’s.
But when I really need to clear my mind and reboot, I poem it out.
I read a poem to feel less alone and less crazy and more in love with this moment right here and the world around me. I pull Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, or William Stafford from my bookshelf and read out loud until the rhythm of their words quiets my breathing and I feel space within again.
I turn to the blank page to write a poem to unearth the moments that make up all of who I am and where I have been and what I have seen. Sometimes I try to drill right down to the truth and the pain and the beauty so that I will not forget. Other times, I just write a few words that make me happy and bring in lightness and silliness and remind me of my grandmother’s laughter.
When I poem it out, I find my way back to me.
Why should I take a Poem It Out class?
Poetry has been calling to you, and you are ready to admit it.
You want to write (right now) and you long for a kindreds to support you as you begin.
You dabbled in the world of poets and poem notes when you read my book Inner Excavation, attended one of my retreats or workshops, or have taken another online class with me, and you want to spend more time reading poems and writing poetry.
You know people who love poetry but you just don’t get it (but you kind of want to).
You want to gather with others who share your love of poetry.
You need to tell your stories but you don’t know where to begin.
You need an excuse to pick up your camera and a pen.
You enjoyed Poetry Thursday when it started years ago here on my blog (and you miss it).
There is a poet waiting inside you and you know it (even if you aren’t saying this out loud yet).
Are parts of this course going to feel like those few weeks in high school where we read and wrote poetry and I kind of hated it?
So you had one of those experiences with poetry? Yeah, me too.
If you have read this far, I am guessing you know this class won't be like that kind of experience. I share poetry that I believe is accessible in the sense that, as Billy Collins says in his book 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, the poems will have “a clear entrance, a front door through which the reader may pass into the body of the poem.” This means that when I invite you to head over to a site like Poetry Foundation to read a poem, we won’t be trying to figure out what the poet meant by each word he used and so on.
Will you critique my poetry? Can I connect with you during the class?
Poem It Out workshops are not academic poetry classes or classes where we will “workshop” our poetry. I will not be offering critiques. You can send me an email with your poems or writing you do while taking this class, and I’ll reply within about a week. note that my replies will be encouraging but will not include specific thoughts on your writing. So yes this is an online poetry workshop, but we will not be "workshopping" our poetry. If you'd like to work with a writing coach to improve your writing, I'm happy to suggest a great one.
Are we going to learn about different styles of poetry and how to write using those styles?
In Poem It Out workshops, we focus more on experiencing poetry and writing a poem for the joy of it. We might, for example, explore the form of haiku and ways to write haiku poetry, but we don't get into technical writing details.