Poetry for Beginners

Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), a leading non-profit organization connecting individuals from underserved populations with transformative career opportunities, is hosting another free SERIES - Poetry for Beginners. Each session is designed for individuals of ALL AGES and is aimed at expanding their horizon in the arts.

For thousands of years, poetry has been a bridge that connects one human experience to another; expressing universal and personal truths all in one breath. Join us for this four-part virtual workshop series to take part in this timeless tradition, forging lyrical bridges between us and the world around us. Each week, Urban Word Mentor and Poetry Slam champion Tony McPherson will be our guide as we journey through writing exercises, freewriting prompts, and take deep dives into the work of some of the world’s most exciting contemporary poets. Urban Word’s scaffolded approach to teaching the art of poetry utilizes media and text to spark compelling dialogues that will inspire you to write and share your work in a supportive environment. Regardless of your skill level, you’re invited to experience the dynamic potential of the written word and share your unique perspective with the world.

This experience is designed to stimulate creativity.

  • Tuesday, April 4: I Am What I Am: This introductory workshop will explore the world of “I Am” poems, inspired by the works of poetry legend Carl Sandburg, youth poet Ava Shicke, and contemporary spoken word poet, Rudy Francisco. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own pluralistic identities before composing their own contributions to the canon of “I Am” poems.
  • Tuesday, April 11: Ode to Odes: From the legendary Pablo Neruda to the contemporary YA icon Elizabeth Acevedo, this workshop invites participants to take a deep dive into the world of odes, a poetic device born of the tradition of lyric poetry. They will learn about the elements that constitute an ode and what it takes to write one of their own, exemplifying what it means to choose celebration over all things.
  • Tuesday, April 18: Personas & Auras: Why not take a break from the business of being YOU and step into the life of another person…or animal…or household object. Utilizing poems by RJ Walker and Lucille Clifton, this class will define and illustrate another classic poetic form– persona poems– inviting participants to embody something or someone outside of themselves, as a means to writing empathetic and intriguing poems.
  • Tuesday, April 25: Pantoum - Braiding the Poem: Lines that echo across stanzas. Quatrains and couplets and syllables– oh my! At face value, writing a pantoum can seem like an arduous task, but this workshop will demystify this curious poetic form, making it accessible to writers of any experience level. Through the work of Kiandra Jimenez and Natalie Diaz, we offer a look at the patterns that make up the basic structure of a pantoum before challenging participants to write their own.

Each session is free and is provided by Workforce Opportunity Services.

Series Dates and Times:

Dates Session Time Theme
April 4, 2023 5:00-6:00 pm EDT I Am What I Am
April 11, 2023 5:00-6:00 pm EDT Ode to Odes
April 18, 2023 5:00-6:00 pm EDT Personas & Auras
April 25, 2023 5:00-6:00 pm EDT Pantoum - Braiding the Poem

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable ALL individuals to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Amy Dolph at amy.dolph@wforce.org