Memories in Verse: Writing our Experiences as Poems 6-Week Generative Zoom Workshop, Starts Thursday, July 20th, 2023
Begins Thursday, July 20th, 2023
Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays, 5:30PM CST - 7:00PM CST.
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Lauren Brazeal Garza, a Ph.D. candidate in literature at the University of Texas at Dallas with an MFA in writing from Bennington College. Her published poetry collections include Gutter (YesYes Books, 2018), which chronicles her homelessness as a teenager. She has also published three chapbooks of poetry and flash fiction, most recently Santa Muerte Santa Muerte: I was Here Release Me (Tram Editions, 2023), which features fictional interviews with ghosts. Her work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Waxwing, and Verse Daily, among many other journals.
Now more than ever, poetry allows us to speak of our own experiences on our terms. Unlike prose-based memoir, which is often preoccupied with the facts of an event, or when things take place on a timeline, the poetry of memory can instead focus on the feelings and senses of a memory’s architecture, and the unique ways our memories connect to one another.
In this generative six-week workshop, we will study and discuss techniques used by a variety of poets who have written their own stories and experiences in interesting ways. You will also draft one poem each week that experiments with sharing a memory or experience and receive weekly feedback from Lauren and your classmates.
At the close of the course, each student will have six new drafts of poems that share or explore memory. Each student will choose one poem they are most proud of to share with the class during our final Zoom session as part of a celebratory reading.
Lauren will provide all course texts for free to the class. Readings include poems from Amy Nezhukumatathil, Marie Howe, Jenn Givhan, Philip Metres, and Yusef Komunyakaa.
- We will study and learn a variety of techniques used by contemporary poets who work within their own memories and experiences.
- We will explore and experiment with approaches to writing about our lives by creating one draft of a new poem each week, begun during in-class writing sessions based on open-ended generative prompts.
- We will provide and receive supportive, constructive feedback within the course’s writing community by workshopping one draft of a poem per week to the class.
- We will also gain experience reading our finished work in front of a supportive audience of our peers at the end of the course.
- We will leave the course with a better toolbox for writing poems based on our own experiences, and thinking about ways in which we might read and write memoir in verse.
- Week 1: Introduction and "Memory as a Portal"
- Week 2: "Rendering them Whole: communicating our complicated relationships
- Week 3: "The Five Senses: Writing the past though image, taste, sound, smell, and touch"
- Week 4: "Erasure: When memory will not be accessed"
- Week 5: "Grief: writing to heal"
- Week 6: "Course Finale: Final Reading, Reflections, and Looking Towards the Future"
“This was one of the most charming and well-put-together courses I've had the pleasure of taking. Discussions were open and full of ideas coupled with informative lectures. If you participated in class, the rewards were clear and obvious. Ms. Brazeal Garza was an excellent teacher for this subject and genuinely had me interested in new topics.” -Tiffany W.
"Lauren is phenomenal! She is extremely passionate, kind, and smart. She has the student's best interests at heart and makes great points on how to improve our writing. One of the best writing instructors I've had. I hope more writers take her classes in the future. She is also very organized and is an overall great teacher" -Megan K.
"This was most definitely one of my favorites from this year. The course was extremely flexible, and I found substantial value from the course material” -Mark L.
"Lauren gave me room to grow and showcase what I can achieve as both a creative writer and reader. I'm so grateful for her class and her insights, which have genuinely made me a better writer." -Alex S.
“I love love loved this course! It was super fun and I had a great time. I especially appreciated how much freedom we were given for the writing prompts, and the structure of the workshop and peer comments were so effective and helpful.” -David R.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
Instructor: Lauren Brazeal Garza
Class Starts Thursday, July 20th, 2023
Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays from 5:30PM CST - 7:00PM CST.
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
Instructor Lauren Brazeal Garza is a Ph.D. candidate in literature at the University of Texas at Dallas with an MFA in writing from Bennington College. Her published poetry collections include Gutter (YesYes Books, 2018), which chronicles her homelessness as a teenager. She has also published three chapbooks of poetry and flash fiction, most recently Santa Muerte Santa Muerte: I was Here Release Me (Tram Editions, 2023), which features fictional interviews with ghosts. Her work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Waxwing, and Verse Daily among many other journals.