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In this workshop we take the methods and the organismic stance toward poetics (& life) and continue to investigate how to deepen one’s own work and life through spontaneous writing, rituals, honing the intuition, exercising the imagination & discovering the joy of seriality. In five weeks Poetry Postcard Fest co-founder Paul E Nelson will guide you as you investigate several approaches toward serial form, read essays, read and write poems, engage in discussion and have related outside-of-class activities suggested to deepen one’s relation to this stance. The course will be offered:

Thursdays at 4pm PST:

  1. January 13, 20, 27 & Feb 3 & 10.
  2. March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 & April 7
  3. April 28, May 5, 12, 19 & 26.

WEEK ONE, 13-JAN-2022

WATCH (or listen):


A Little History: The Deeply Personal as Political


Japanese Poetic Diary


Start writing a poem called 2022. You can change the title later in the year, or add a subtitle. This will be a poetic journal of your work. Occasionally there will be exercises assigned that will be part of this journal. Best to open a file, Word, Pages and start there. If you have a subject that interests you, or is in the news, or something you’ve ever wondered about, you can use that as a subject. Extra points if you include history, your place, indigenous history of your place and always luminous details. Feel free to explore past forms/prompts from this class, or look elsewhere on this site for writing prompts, such as Haibun or American Sonnet, or Berrigan Collage Sonnet. It will not be necessary to share work in the class. In the weeks ahead there will be some examples of journal-style poetry. Ping me if you have questions. Come to class ready to discuss materials.

WEEK TWO, 20-JAN-2022



Here is the Joanne Kyger chapbook I mentioned. Notice her journal-style, her weaving of the everyday into the poems, the references to Buddhist practices & other artful subtleties. Feel free to use the Cover Poem exercise using any of the poems in this chapbook to build your 2022 serial poem. You don’t have to agree with her, or you can go off on your on tangent.)





CLICK ON THIS: Stefanie Heine/Paul Celan Recycling Cannibalizing (Ricercar)

Add to your 2022 poem and consider reading some in the workshop.

Material from last year’s course I mention and which you may have missed:


Denise Levertov: On the Function of the Line


Laurie Anderson/NY School “I Did This, I Did That” Sonnets



Watch: Heart of a Dog

For the workshop in January, you could read this on the Saturation Job, this on Creativity & the Fully-Developed Bard and this on Investigative Poetry.




  1. Intro to Basho’s Ghost by Sam Hamill


Poetry as Healing, Poets as Healers: The Legacy of Robert Bly (1926-2021)

4. Joanne Kyger Phenomenological


(At least three of these:)


LISTEN: b.p. nichol

After listening, think about the element of sound in your poems. Have you ever recorded yourself reading a poem? Sony IC Recorders are WONDERFUL and cheaper now than when I bought mine 20 yrs ago. Of course you can use your cellphone and Imovie is decent software that can allow you to make a videopoem and Audacity is good FREE audio editing software. Consider playing with sound recordings of a poem.


For anyone who has not tried this:


Introduction to Organic Poetry

For those who were intrigued by Kyger’s Phenomenology and/or those who carry the Olson legacy: (I think it is an amazing project.)

Challenge: Can you put a line from HERE in a poem? Extra credit for making it pop with Surprise Mind.


Week 5, 10-FEB-2022


Specifically the Fred Wah reading from the CPL Imbolc/Lunar New Year reading. He starts at 31:16, but the whole reading is worth watching twice at least. I call your attention to the notion of Proprioception.


(Click on image)








Against the Source”:
Daphne Marlatt’s Revision of Charles Olson


& The Pandemic is OVER!

& Daphne Marlatt – Imperial Cannery, 1913


You could continue your journal, use any of the previous writing prompts, graft from something you read in the last session or do THIS:

Exercise: Listen to:

Two ways to do this exercise. 1) Put the music on in the background and when a tune catches your ear, note the title, write it down and do some research on the “topic” or inspiration it alludes to. You can search the tune, get personnel and other info about it at:

When you get a chance to write, write a poem using that title while listening to it over and over. Note the little green 1 on the right side of this which indicates the tune will repeat:


2) You can also use this playlist as background to write, can incorporate the title into a segment of a serial poem on which you are working, can add associations that come up for you when listening, research the biographies of the key personnel on the tune and incorporate that, incorporate multiple song titles &c.

This is a LOT of content and since it’s the last week you’ll have time to let it sink in. We will resume March 3 and go 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. If you are having a financial hardship, please discuss with me and we can make arrangements. If you know a poet friend who couple benefit from this, please let them know. Register HERE.

Bhakti and I leave for Grants Pass on Thursday the 10th, but I am optimistic I can be in front of the Mac at 4pm PST. I will be in touch via email if something changes that plan. With deep appreciation for your inspired participation.