$30 – $35

Workshop with Joy Priest: The Failure of Inspiration - Getting Past the Fir...

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Spartanburg County Public Library

151 South Church Street

Spartanburg, SC 29306

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The Failure of Inspiration: Getting Past the First Line of a Poem - A Workshop with Joy Priest

At 93, blind and in possession of her poems only through memory, Ruth Stone said, “I’ve lost most of the poems that came to me. I didn’t get them down because I never felt that I wrote them anyway. I would feel them coming from way off, and then they would come toward me, and if I didn’t catch them they went through me and went off.” How to catch a poem? How to get a poem down once you’ve snatched it from the air? Often, we go long periods without writing a poem and we blame it on a lack of inspiration: “I haven’t felt inspired lately.” Or, sometimes we have a strong notion, idea, or first line that we cannot figure out how to travel beyond, and down the page. It’s time we think about inspiration or “writer’s block” differently: as small snares, rather than problems to be intimidated by. We don’t have to wait on inspiration to be a conduit for the divine, to grab the music or message out of the air and materialize it onto the page. This workshop will offer several strategies for getting us past the blank page and beyond the first line of the poem. We’ll talk craft aspects such as subtext and lineation, among others. We'll look at craft essays/talks and poems, and discuss them alongside the strategies offered before delving into our own work.

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Spartanburg County Public Library

151 South Church Street

Spartanburg, SC 29306

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