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The Poetry of Voice

The Poetry of Silence

a workshop with poet Fran Quinn
New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Hoboken, Los Angelas

About The Workshop

One of the oldest love stories is the love story of the Oral and the Written Traditions. They have been married since the beginning of the written word and they renew their vows again and again as each well-composed poem comes into existence. The attempt to divorce these two has caused confusion and that confusion has caused much of what is missing in contemporary poetry. This weekend workshop will begin to explore how we can rejoin these two traditions so that a newer and more powerful generation of poems may come into existence.

A Map For The Weekend

Friday Night

We will begin with the Hooley Tradition of poetry in Ireland where each member of the family or clan would say or read a poem to entertain the group. In this tradition one was expected to know the values of words and the way to fill the silences so that the silences spoke back to the words. It knew how the words approximated song without singing them. It allowed the silence to do the singing and the words to encourage the silence to break into song. In the Sufi tradition it was "the music no fingers enter into." In Zen it was "the sound that keeps coming from the flowers." We will learn to read poems so that there is a marriage between the visible and invisible and learn to write poems so that we encourage the silences to sing.


Although each poet must develop her/his individual voice, poetry also needs a community. Many of the great periods of creativity in poetry have taken place with poets working with others. There was the Pound/H.D./ Williams/Yeats community, the Bishop/Lowell/Moore community, the Bly/Wright/Kinnell/Knight community, to give just a few examples.

It is equally true that the individual voice had to be encouraged and not just subsumed into some kind of generic group poem. Each of the poets mentioned above gave the world something important and unique. Therefore we will begin the process of nurturing and balancing both the individual and community aspects necessary for the proper care of the creative inside of ourselves.


Finding and Mining Our Poetic Ancestral Heritage…

When talking of the community we must put ourselves into partnership with both the living and the dead. Dante knows he must sit at the feet of Virgil as Kinnell does with Dylan Thomas and Whitman. We must create mentors both inside and out. Therefore the morning session on Saturday will be dedicated to why we must experience this level and how to do it in such a way that we do not hamper our own individuality.

Each participant will be asked to learn to read from modern and contemporary poetry paying special attention to the sound quality of 1) the line, 2) the stanza, 3) the pitch patterns and 4) the tempo of each poem.

Finding Your Voice in Your Own Poems…

The afternoon session on Saturday will be dedicated to producing a peer group that can encourage both our production and give feedback on each other's poetry.
There will be exercises in writing related to what we learned in the morning session and to the development of group response based on the magazine model. There will be a special emphasis on the reading of poems by participants and some strategies for revising and some exercises for writing.


Sunday will be dedicated to the individual. Each participant will meet one-on-one with the instructor for a half-hour to discuss either something he/she has written or to discuss a problem he/she is having in the reading or writing of poetry. 100% of the time will be given to each person's potential.


Each participant will have a one-hour follow-up consultation over the phone and
by e-mail paying attention to what has developed in response to this weekend's workshop.

Workshop Hours

Friday 7 - 9 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Workshop is Available at the following locations...





New York




call 781.643.5942
call 610.566.2810
call 201.659.8873
call 212.831.6467
Hoboken Workshop

Friday October 6th - Sunday October 8th, 2006

...Please Specify location you would like to attend workshop via email at the following address:

About Fran Quinn and his students...

Robert Bly calls Fran Quinn "one of the greatest poetry teachers in the country." He was poet-in-residence and director of the internationally known Visiting Writers Series at Butler University,

Indianapolis for fifteen years. His students have gone on to such programs as Warren Wilson, Bennington, Purdue, U. Mass and UCLA. They have become editors, teachers and poets throughout the country and have won several prestigious awards including the National Poetry Series.Their books have been published by such presses as Random House and Graywolf. Fran's poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and won the Hopewell Prize. He has published three books of poetry, the latest being The Goblet Crying for Wine.

Registration Fee - $250.00
payable by cash, check, money order or Paypal.

Cancellation Policy
Any cancellation given less than 1 week notice before workshop dates will result in a full forfeiture of workshop fee. You may apply it to future workshops.
For any cancellations prior to a 1 week notification, $75.00 of the full fee will be retained to cover administrative costs.
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