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If you have ever thought of writing a poem – or if you would like to improve your writing – now is the time to do it. Poetry workshops are taking place throughout Northeast Los Angeles in May, most of them free. Here’s your chance:
LUMMIS DAYS POETRY WORKSHOPS
Three free poetry workshops are yours for the taking, thanks to the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles at Occidental College and the Lummis Days Community Foundation, which has made poetry a main attractions of the annual Lummis Days Festival in NELA, to be held from May 31 to June 2. Two of the workshops take place before the festival; one is during the festival.
Rick Bursky will lead a workshop on Saturday, May 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arroyo Seco Regional Library / 6145 N. Figueroa Street in Highland Park.
Bursky has taught poetry at the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program and is an adjunct professor of poetry at USC. His most recent book of poetry is I’m No Longer Troubled by Extravagance; his next book, Where the Ocean Spills Its Grief, will be out in 2020. The theme of the workshop is “A Machine Made of Words,” a phrase that the American poet William Carlos Williams coined to define a poem.
Alicia Vogel Saenz will lead a workshop on Saturday, May 25 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eagle Rock Branch Library / 5027 Caspar Avenue.
Saenz is a poet, meditator and museum educator whose writing and teaching is informed by her queer and mixed immigrant background. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. She has also performed her poetry at venues throughout L.A. Saenz’s workshop, entitled “Meeting the Mysterious Self,” helps you slow down the chatter in your head to get beneath the surface layer, where the material is that makes for a strong poem.
William Archila will lead a workshop on Sunday, June 2 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lummis Home / 200 E. Avenue 43
Archila is an El Salvadoran-born poet and the author of two award winning poetry collections: The Art of Exile and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology. At the workshop, entitled, “Oh, How to Write an Ode,” Archila will lead participants through writing a poem in praise of a person, place, thing or idea.
WRITING WORKSHOPS LOS ANGELES
Writing Workshops Los Angeles is a series of in-depth seminars and workshops taught by professional writers in their homes or at community venues. An upcoming poetry workshop in Highland Park will be taught by
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge, and the winner of numerous poetry awards, grants and fellowships. Bermejo is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and a co-founder of Women Who Submit, a group that empowers women to submit their writing for publication.
Each class in the eight-week workshop will begin with a short lesson on form and technique before focusing on the participants’ original writing. Each session will also include a writing exercise that participants can try at home.
Enrollment is limited to eight students, all levels welcome. (If the workshop sells out, sign up to be waitlisted for a future workshop.) / Tuesdays from May 7 to June 25 / 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. / Book Show / 5503 N. Figueroa Street / $420 for new students, $380 for students who have taken a workshop before with Writing Workshop L.A. / For more information and to register, visit: writingworkshopsla.com
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel, and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times. Hendrickson is committed to local news reporting and to finding a way forward for local news outlets in today's challenging media markets.