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How to Make a Poem Fly: Writing Life-Affirming Poetry  

Diane Frank Poetry is the language of the soul. This workshop provides a safe and supportive environment to transform the significant moments of your life into the imagistic language of poetry. All writers are welcome – from raw beginners to seasoned poets who need a jumpstart for their inspiration. Students will gain a deeper understanding of poetry, a deeper love of language, and a stronger mastery of the techniques which make a modern poem work. Week 1 – Turning Points: Introduction including artistic and inspiring ideas about poetry, inspiring quotes from famous writers, and ten practical ideas about how to write poems that are authentic to your inner vision. Feedback framework will be outlined, a gentle way to give feedback to other workshop members, followed by a provocative seed idea to inspire the first new poem.The seed idea will be developed by demonstrative readings of expressive, powerful language. Week 2 – Dream Poems and Surrealism in Poetry: A new seed idea and illustrative reading of poems. “The Writer’s Toolbox,” will be shared with ideas and techniques which serve as a catalyst to the writing process. Issues that come up in each writer’s creative process will be dealt with as needed, and ideas shared which help develop ease and skill in writing. Each writer will receive personal attention which will serve as a catalyst to create a significant leap in their writing style. Feedback circle, where writers will have the opportunity to read their poems and receive praise and suggestions from other members of the workshop. Week 3 – Day Language, Night Language, Dream Language: The seed idea this week helps poets develop texture in their language. This is followed by “The Writer’s Toolbox” and a feedback circle. Week 4 – The Object Poem: The first three weeks of the workshop are an exploration of the inner world. This week, we take the poet’s eye and vision to the outer world with two seed ideas designed to explore the process of seeing and the way living in the world speaks to the soul. This is followed by “The Writer’s Toolbox” and a feedback circle. Week 5 – Imagism and Understatement: Imagism is the art of expressing your thoughts and feelings with images instead of saying it directly with ideas. Understatement is writing below the poem and being subtle instead of putting everything on the surface of the page. Anyone who studies these techniques will become a better writer in every genre of writing. We will discuss text and subtext in “The Writer’s Toolbox,” followed by a feedback circle. Week 6 – Love Poems: Love inspires all of the wild and subtle feelings that connect us to the deep place inside ourselves where poetry is born. You can find love poems in every culture and every time. As a seed idea, love connects the inner and outer world, inspiring self knowledge, celebration, and images of healing. We’ll continue “The Writer’s Toolbox” and a feedback circle. Diane Frank is an award winning poet and author of six books of poems, including Swan Light, Entering the Word Temple, and The Winter Life of Shooting Stars. Her first novel, Blackberries in the Dream House, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her new novel, Yoga of the Impossible, was an Amazon bestseller for metaphysical fiction, #1 on their Hot New Releases list. Her new book, River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century, features more than 100 poets, mixing poets who have won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, along with lesser known poets who also deserve to be read.


  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University
    835 Market Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Phone: (415) 817-4243 Website: