How to Begin a Poem

Regular $70.00
Member $63.00
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Open to All Levels
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
Single Session
Class Poetry Genre Rectangle

How often do you sit down to write a poem, but are unsure of where to start? The beginning of a poem teaches a reader how to approach the poem—how to understand its tone, form, and subject matter. It serves as a doorway. But a doorway can take many shapes. How do we decide the right one?

In this generative session, we’ll consider multiple approaches to beginning a poem—techniques you can use to get those first words on paper. We’ll discuss openings used by poets like Alberto Ríos, Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, Tiana Clark, Larry Levis, Allison Adair, and more. After identifying the shape of these poets’ doorways and what makes the doorways suited to the poems that follow, we’ll write several beginnings of our own. We’ll also talk about getting over writer’s block. Writers are welcome to bring drafts of poems they’re already working on and to begin brand new poems together. Writers can expect to leave with several beginning drafts and a deeper understanding of how, and why, to craft a good beginning.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.