Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Westside Poetry Workshop

tools_01 NEW:
I. Poetry Workshop WEST!
Fourth Thursday of Every Month
7-9pm @ Visible Voice Books
1023 Kenilworth Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113

UPDATE - "Just wanted to let you know if you are interested, we've dropped the tuition fee for the Poetry West Workshop with Claire and Lou. It will now have a suggested donation of $10 per session, so people who can't otherwise afford it can still come." 

Fall Session Begins Wednesday October 27, 2010.
Finally! The LIT's Public Poetry Workshop comes to the West side, Poets of all ages and backgrounds are welcome once a month to bring a work-in-progress and receive recommendations for improving it. Our goal is friendly, yet serious critiques by emerging and experienced writers. Improvement of craft through reading, writing, and work shopping with Instructors Lou Suarez and Claire McMahon.

Lou Suarez is the author of two book-length collections of poetry, Traveler (2010) and Ask (2004), both published by Mid-List Press (Minneapolis), and three poetry chapbooks, Losses of Moment, The Grape Painter and On U. S. 6 to Providence. He is professor emeritus at Lorain County Community College and lives in Sheffield Lake, Ohio, with his wife Debby.

Claire McMahon has an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University (Boulder, Colorado) and a Ph.D. in 20th Cent. American & British Poetry from Kent State University. She is co-editor of MoonLit poetry journal (Drag City Press, Chicago) and the author of a book of poems entitled, Emergency Contact (Van Zeno Press, Cleveland). She has taught English writing courses locally at Lake Erie College, Baldwin-Wallace College, Cuyahoga Community College, and Chancellor University. Currently, Claire is an Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Bowling Green University’s Firelands campus.


John B. Burroughs said...

I highly recommend Lou and Claire and would love to take this workshop if I could afford it. Hope they do it again in the future - but not on Wednesday nights when I'm already committed elsewhere. ;)

John B. Burroughs said...

Scratch that last part. Since this is only on the 4th Wednesday of each month, I'm available. ;)

Anonymous said...

Poetry needs more MFA/academic pablum.

John B. Burroughs said...

[And apparently more cynicism]

People are dying in Iraq
and elsewhere for lies
and poets are hiding in
closets railing in vain
against MFAs

Anonymous said...

You are right.

MFA/Academics have rescued poetry from poets.

They have made it an art form which everyone reads, respects and values.

Poetry and poet is no longer the punch line to a joke.

What topped the last three NY Time best sellers lists - poetry.

Poets show up each night on Leno and Letterman and Kimmel.

Poets are a stable in news round-tables discussing the issues of the day.

Because the people want to know what would Jesus do & what does the poet think.

And the fall TV schedule - filled with poetry.

Poetry and MFA Poets (because there is no poetry without the approval of MFAs) has: stopped the war in Iraq; stopped the escalation of war by the Obama administration in Afghanistan, Stan; stopped the continuation by the Obama Administration of the Bush policies on torture and rendition (the outsourcing of torture); eliminated the use of Blackwater et al; eliminated the cozy relationship of the Obama (is Bush light copyrighted?) administration with Wall Street and the Bankers. And those folks who got everything wrong – Geitner, Summers, Bernacke – that Obama has chosen to lead us out of the economic mess they lead us into – little known fact – they have seen the error of their ways and are now on-line MFA course of study low residency poets.

When did this golden age of MFA poetry start?

Was it the stirring academic (mistakenly characterized as a boring snooze fest at the time of delivery) MFA poem of Elizabeth Alexander at the Inauguration?

Perhaps it was at the Obama White House Def Poetry Jam? Wherein the poets confronted the Bush light (copyright pending) policies and showed Obama the way - because Jam Slam is all about confronting the Man regardless of his title or back story.

Let's leave that question for future generations.

But we can all agree it is a Golden Age of Poetry. And Poetry and Poems have solved the world's problems. For that we have MFAs and Academics to thank, for showing us the light under the door of the closet.

Though I'm not sure what my sexual orientation has to do with this.

John B. Burroughs said...

[and sarcasm, apparently]

Since I don't even have a BA, I am probably unqualified to speak. But it's not like academics (or Republicans) hold a monopoly on pablum (or hate).

William Blake said "to generalize is to be an idiot" - and I think he has a point, whether we generalize about Muslims, black people, a political party, or MFA poets. It's ironic that Blake's statement is also a generalization.

But the point of this post is a workshop by two very good poets - and my judgment of them is based not on what degrees they do or do not possess, but on the content of their writing and personal character.

Reasoned debate and disagreement is one thing. But if you're gonna broadcast muddy generalizations that smack of indictment, at least have the courtesy (and courage) to
show your face to the accused.

Shelley Chernin said...

Wow, pack a few boxes and miss the fun. Thank you, Anonymous, for livening things up. We do tend to kiss each others' asses here perhaps more than we should.

So let me get this straight -- the objection to this workshop is that it's being led by 2 academics, one of whom is brave enough not only to admit that she has an MFA, but, OMG, a Ph.D? (Maybe Lou is the one "in the closet," since he fails to reveal his degrees.)

Potential participants, beware! Poetic pablum will most certainly be implanted in your pliable pates.

LOL. I have nothing to add to this conversation. I just wanted to play. I have a J.D.

Can I get my MFA if I attend the workshop? 'Twould be worth the $90.

John B. Burroughs said...


Claire McMahon, Ph.D. said...

Yes, immediately following the workshop you will be awarded a Ph.D. or an MFA, whatever you wish! Come on down!

Dr. McMahon

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anonymous--

Show some guts and sign your name next time!

John B. Burroughs said...

UPDATE - everyone can come (and we encourage you to do so). Judith at The LIT says, "Just wanted to let you know if you are interested, we've dropped the tuition fee for the Poetry West Workshop with Claire and Lou. It will now have a suggested donation of $10 per session, so people who can't otherwise afford it can still come." Thank you! I'll be there.

Claire McMahon, Ph.D. said...

This workshop occurs on Thursday nights now (4th Thurs. of every month). Can someone update this? It is also on the Visible Voice calendar. Grab a slice from Crust pizza across the street & wine at VV!


Johnny Cashless said...

I can't update the blog post itself. Since Salinger is the author, I suspect only he can edit it. But I did at least update the CP calendar atop the blog to reflect the new day. Happy Thursdays!

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I can edit it.

Is the update that says
"Just wanted to let you know if you are interested, we've dropped the tuition fee for the Poetry West Workshop with Claire and Lou. It will now have a suggested donation of $10 per session, so people who can't otherwise afford it can still come."
still correct?


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau