Workshops

Paul offers workshops that can be tailored to suit your organization’s time and budgetary needs.  In addition to solo workshops, SPLAB-on-the-Road, a traveling workshop troupe is available, which usually includes a Poetry Bout Demonstration with other SPLAB poets. If you are interested in booking a workshop with Paul, he will be happy to work out specific details with you.

Read testimonials here. A report of SPLAB-on-the-Road at Garfield High here.


Organic Poetry
Using excerpts from radio interviews he’s done over the years with poets in the Organic (Projective, Open Form) tradition, including Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Michael McClure, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman—along with other sound—this workshop provides an overview of Organic Poetry and alternates discussion, lecture, sound bites and handouts with writing exercises that help to silence your inner editor and focus on the luminous details. Available in an abbreviated single session of 90 minutes or up to 24 hours (12, weekly 2-hour sessions), this incredible workshop will benefit writers of every skill level and broaden their knowledge of open form poetry.

Personal Mythology of Organic Poetry
Organic Poetry is one way to describe the process of training your ear to capture the chaotic energy of the moment, to make composition an occasion of experience. This is an entertaining workshop for serious writers of all levels of experience and includes lively discussions and sound from interviews with poets McClure, Myles, Rothenberg, Ginsberg, Waldman. Through a series of intensifying creative writing exercises over the six week course, you will develop an understanding of your own personal mythology and write at that deeper level of consciousness. Available in an abbreviated single session of 4 hours or up to 24 hours (12, weekly 2-hour sessions), this workshop takes participants to a deeper level in their writing that can be intense, but extremely liberating.

Keeping Your Hand (foot, spleen) in It: Poetry Writing Exercises
Finding time to write in this chaotic era can be challenging, but by experiencing a variety of writing exercises (postcards, American Sentences) we have more possibilities of finding that one project which defines us as a person/poet. Charles Olson, Jose Kozer, Anne Waldman, Nathaniel Mackey, Pablo Neruda, Ed Sanders and Lorine Niedecker are among the poets whose work or methods we may examine or use as examples. Available in an abbreviated single session of 90 minute or up to 8 hours (4, weekly 2-hour sessions), participants can expect to leave with several new poems.

Pacific Rim Poetics

People in the rest of the United States and in Europe have difficulty in adjusting to the fact that the Pacific Coast of America faces the Far East, culturally as well as geographically. There is nothing cultish about this, as there might be elsewhere. The residents of California, Oregon, and Washington are as likely to travel across the Pacific as across the continent and the Atlantic.

– Kenneth Rexroth

What does it mean to be a West Coast poet? Or to broaden the view, a Pacific Rim poet? In this course, we’ll look at some of the distinctions that make up the poetics of our region and beyond, from the haibun of Basho to the list poems of Sei Shonagon. We’ll look at the serial poems of Jack Spicer, Nathaniel Mackey and Robin Blaser and Lissa Wolsak’s phosphorus of the mystery. Class time will be given to readings (& listenings) of work, as well as writing exercises and discussion. (12.4.10 Write-O-Rama)