First up was How Writers Write Poetry 2015, an International Writing Programme from the University of Iowa which offered an interactive progression through the principles and practice of writing poetry. This free online course presented a curated collection of short, intimate talks on craft by two dozen acclaimed poets. Craft topics included persona, note booking, the line, the turn, form, and the lyric. The talks were designed for beginning poets just starting to put words on a page as well as for advanced poets looking for new entry points, engagement with process, or teaching tips.
This is also where I came across the pantoum poem. The pantoum poem is a poem of any length composed of four-line stanzas. In each stanza, the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The last line of a pantoum is generally the same as the first line. Believe it or not, there is a sense of freedom writing in this form as it removes certain elements of choice for you as a poet.
Here is a link to my first pantoum poem, now published on Jackee Holder's wonderful tree blog:
Still a Tree
Currently, I am participating in House and Universe: the Poetry of Home and Domestic Objects, an online course run by the Poetry School. The course involves studying contemporary poems set in kitchens, bathrooms, sitting rooms, bedrooms, gardens, contemplating what is this idea of home? I will be exploring the drama in domesticity, the importance of objects and possessions, the pull of memory and nostalgia, and the ideas of privacy and space. The aim is to create a 'house of poems' of my own.