• Home
  • 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

  • 23 October 2019
  • 10 December 2019
  • Online
  • 0


Early Bird rate ends 2 weeks before class starts.

Want to immerse yourself into poetry you may already love or will get to fall in love while also generating a lot of new poems of your own? This six-week class leads you on a journey through sparkling poetry from many contemporary and and some more ancient poets from across America and around the world, including Rumi, Mary Oliver, Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, Tomas Transtromer, Seamus Heaney, Wislawa Szymborska, William Stafford, Pattiann Rogers, Rainer-Maria Rilke, Tess Gallagher, Audre Lorde, Jane Hirshfield, Simon Ortiz, and Gregory Orr. 

Each week features two or three of the poets, including a sampling of their poetry, links to articles and interviews, and a summary about what their work offers us as readers and writers. Additionally, each week highlights a discussion on the craft of writing poetry, writing tips, and lots of writing prompts to help you open doors to new poems. We come together to share our poetry, responses to one another's poetry, and sparks for new ways to consider the poetic power of language. By the end of the workshop, you'll have a big bunch of new poems and, through the poets we're exploring, lots of inspiring poet-companions you're now familiar with and can visit regularly in libraries and bookstores.

Here's what a past participant says of the class:

"I wanted to say thanks again for facilitating "15 Poets to Change Your Life," which really has been a life-changing class for me. It’s been such an extraordinary and confidence-building experience to be in such a kind and supportive group." ~ Joan Peters

Week by Week

Week One: Ordinary Magic – Tess Gallagher and Seamus Heaney: Looking at the poetry of people who show us the extraordinary in the ordinary – in the U.S. and in Ireland -- we'll open up our eyes to see writing prompts and potential in what's around us wherever we are.

Week Two: Wild at Heart – Pattiann Rogers and Tomas Transtromer: Poets who write deeply about the earth and sky can show us new ways to see what's in and beyond our own backyards. This week's poets, from Sweden and the U.S., open windows into the natural sciences and the mysterious living earth all around us, showing us new and ancient ways to write about what endures and what changes in the other-than-human world.

Week Three: Liberation and Illumination – Andre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and Simon Ortiz: Poets who write of transformation and freedom, including women and writers of color, illuminate what it is to break silences, speak of recovered or emerging traditions, and amplify the voices that show us more of who are as a people. Poets this week hail from the U.S., the Acoma Pueblo nation, and the Virgin Islands.

Week Four: Wandering Mystics – Rumi, Mary Oliver, and Rainer-Maria Rilke: This week's poetry takes to the less-traveled path through exploring the spirit-journeying poems of writers from Germany, Persia/Afghanistan, and the U.S. We'll accompany these poets through mystical treks accompanied by angels (Rilke), the seen and unseen (Rumi), and dogs and other plants and animals (Mary Oliver) as we wander into our own new poetry.

Week Five: Healing Fountains – Gregory Orr, Wislawa Szymborska, and Sharon Olds: Through exploring the poetry of personal and communal healing, we can find and write some of our own healing fountains, surfacing what's ripe for revising in our lives and life stories to craft more authentic and generous narratives to write and live. This week features poets from Poland and the U.S.

Week Six: Maps to Where We Live – Jane Hirshfield and William Stafford: Poetry can also help us revision where and how we live, lighting from within the details and big picture views of our lives. By considering the work of these poets who write so vividly of the present, and what it means to land in the here and now of each moment, we can better embrace the patterns our lives and poetry give us.

Note: We skip a week - Nov. 27 - Dec. 3 - for Thanksgiving.

Who Should Take This Class

This is a generative class for all people who drawn to poetry, whether you're just getting started or have a long-time practice. All the writing prompts and interactive activities are designed to meet you where you are and gather us into a vibrant poetry community for the duration of our time together.


This is an online class, yet we strive to come together in council, reaching across the miles to hold one another's words and reflect deeply on what we discover individually and together. Each week includes ample writing prompts, a short essay on the poets we're visiting with this week, a discussion and examples of the craft of strong writing, and a short meditative piece (often a podcast) about this week's theme, including considerations for your own immersion into the writing life.

Expect to spend a minimum of 2-5 hours per week on writing. Participants are also asked to respond to at least three other participants' work each week, deepening our dialogue altogether. Most of the exercises will give participants options to write in the genre of their choice.

About the Teacher

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is the author of two dozen books, and founder of Transformative Language Arts  at Goddard College where she teaches. Her books include Miriam's Well, a novel; Following the Curve, poetry; Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir; and Chasing Weather, poetry with photography from Stephen Locke. A writing and right livelihood coach, working with people to bring what wants to be written and lived into being, Mirriam-Goldberg offers community writing workshops widely, and with Kelley Hunt, Brave Voice retreats. She also co-leads the Right Livelihood Professional Training with Laura Packer. For over three decades, Caryn has worked extensively with many arts and ecological/bioregional not-for-profit organizations as a grant-writer, fundraiser, staff or board member, and consultant on collaborative and community arts, group process, and better meetings. Born hard-wired to make something (in art, music, and especially writing), Caryn’s long-time callings include writing as a spiritual and ecological path, yoga, cultivating a loving marriage, family, and community, and helping herself and others make and take leaps into the miraculous work of their lives. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com

The TLA Network exists to support and promote individuals and organizations that use the spoken, written, or sung word as a tool for personal and community transformation.

Access our policies: Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use

The Transformative Language Arts Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

1741 Valley Forge Road, #175, Worcester, PA 19490 | tlan.coordinator@gmail.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software