01 July 2016

The Periphery Bounces Back - From Iowa

Old Capitol building on left, Iowa City, Iowa

The Periphery returns after spending 10 days in Iowa City, attending classes offered by the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Much was learned about poetry and how to craft it, including prosody; the line, metrical feet, scansion, diction, when and where to break a poem (it depends), end stopped and enjambed lines, when to use which (it depends), syntax and sentences . . .

It was a wonderful learning opportunity, and I met many new and interesting writers. There was a chance to attend lectures by the other workshop teachers, a writerly gathering place with great coffee and pastries, the opportunity to remember what green looks like -- Wyoming is a bit dry and dusty at the moment. Classes were held on the University of Iowa campus, and I got reacquainted with walking everywhere. It was enjoyable to do, despite the humidity. Our hotel was a stone's throw from the Iowa River.

I traveled with my friend Katie, and we had a great time exploring new restaurants, meeting new people, and communing with other writers. The workshop treated us well, giving us a welcome dinner, a social get together at a local book store, a dinner dance, and a nifty t-shirt to wear or messenger bag to carry our books in.

Speaking of books . . . why yes, I did come home with a few. Maybe around *mumbles* ten or so.
Some books on craft, some books on poetic criticism, more than a few books by recommended poets. All geared toward keeping that poetic momentum going. What have I been doing since I got back? Why editing poems, of course! While I thought revision was important before, I'm doubly sure of it now.

If you write, and want to learn to write better, it's definitely a place to go. They cover classes on fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, memoir, creative non-fiction among others. Classes had lots of homework to reinforce what you learned, time to do it, a class limit size of 12 and a chance to workshop your piece with other writers. There are so many classes available over a month's span, I might just have to go back and take some more!

Setting sun through carved balustrade.


Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

I need to go there one of these summers! Only ten books, huh?

Constance Brewer said...

You would love it!
Yeah, well, that's all that would fit in my suitcase without ditching my clothes...