Writing our Path to Peace

Poems of war and peace are part of every cultural tradition. This workshop offers historical examples of such writings. Together, we’ll explore poetry and prose about tranquility and despair. We will acknowledge world conflict—and move forward on the page, writing to a place of better self-understanding. You’ll receive writing prompts; ample time for writing reflection; and the encouraging feedback to keep going.

The Great Poetry Workshop

(with the Amsterdam Writing Workshops)
What, in these times, can poetry teach us? To write with greater passion and dignity. To find a refuge on the printed page. To express ourselves more fully. At this hands-on workshop, poet Ann van Buren and writer Lisa Friedman will explore how to use poetic techniques to enrich your prose. How to create meaning in poetry & prose. And crucially, how to concentrate like a poet.

The Sensations of Poetry

(with the Amsterdam Writing Workshops)
What are the sensations of poetry? They are various and many! In this workshop, we will use sound, sight, touch, taste, and scent to activate our memories. We’ll write to re-establish parts of ourselves that still live within our senses. And, after reading poems and short passages from literature, each person in the group will share their poetry and prose.

Poetry as a Healing Art

This workshop is designed to help us find the words that dress wounds—both through the power of witness and the process of healing. We will read poems by writers who have brought personal and political trauma to the page; and we’ll create time and space to do the same for ourselves. This class is for those of us who are struggling to cope—and those coping with the trauma of others.

Poetry as Prayer

This workshop provides the refuge of spiritural sanctuaries—and writing inspired by one’s relationship to a “higher power.” For inspiration, we’ll use the art and iconography of our immediate surroundings, as well as photographs, postcards, and articles from our everyday lives. Using the writings and symbols of different spiritual traditions, each of us will find our way to an interior space—and all the way to the sublime.

Thanks/Giving Poetry

This workshop is an invitation to a banquet of poetry. You’ll discover a table set with the objects and images that reflect everyday beauty—made even more beautiful by deep reflection and writing. This experience is for those of us who would like a few hours away from the woes of the world—as well as a chance to feel and express gratitude.

The Poetry of Hope (and Despair)

Writers have long reflected on moments of hope and despair. In this workshop, we will look at examples of writing from the darkest hours, created at times of war, famine, and loss. We’ll also buoy ourselves with poetry and prose that asserts our capacity to return to the light. The idea is to be inspired to create—and to share work of your own.