International Women's Writing Guild

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Workshop: My Native Land

  • Friday, November 11, 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • via Zoom


  • IWWG Member (requires login)

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My Native Land
**Please note all times are listed in EST**

My Native Land: Writing from Our Own Personal Landscape

In this workshop, we’ll be excavating. We’ll be following Stanley Kunitz, who said that at the center of poetic imagination, is a “cluster of key images which go back to the poet's childhood and which are usually associated with pivotal experiences….” 

The richest of our writing comes from the soil we were nurtured in. It may be a smoking dump or a manicured lawn, but it gives us what we need. In this workshop, we’ll go there to see what it can yield us. The goal is to write, or begin to write, a poem that is deeply authentic. Sometimes the words will choose us, sometimes the language of our upbringing will begin to emerge. 

We’ll choose an image, something real that we remember from that place, something that we can touch, smell, feel, something that triggers all sorts of feelings for us. We’ll put it at the center of our writing. We’ll start by answering questions about the object that will help us move outward (and inward) farther than we imagined.  I hope when we’re done, we each have writing we’re invested in, that we want to keep working on. It may be a poem, or it may be the beginning of a creative essay. Or maybe a short story!

Fleda Brown’s tenth collection of poems, Flying Through a Hole in the Storm  (2021) won the Hollis Summers Prize from Ohio University Press and is an Indie finalist. Earlier poems can be found in The Woods Are On Fire: New & Selected Poems, chosen by Ted Kooser for his University of Nebraska series, 2017. Her work has appeared three times in The Best American Poetry and has won a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Her new memoir is Mortality, with Friends (Wayne State University Press, and MIPA finalist, and Midwest Book Award winner in memoir). She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware and was poet laureate of Delaware from 2001-07. 

Mortality, with Friends (essays) (Foreword Indies Gold winner, Midwest Book Award winner in memoir)  can be ordered here.  

Flying Through a Hole in the Storm, (poems) (Indie Finalist) can be ordered here

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