A Generative Writing Workshop with Maggie Paul

4 Weekly meetings on Mondays, 6:00 - 8:00pm, Apr 23 - May 15


How do we write of love in a time of war?

Trust, in a time of distrust?

Truth in a time of lies?

Explore the wealth of poetry from around the world that praises life even in the face of hardship. We will examine how poets over time have addressed nature, love, loss, and the divine in their work, despite, or even because of, the challenges of their own times. We will look at the work of such poets as Wendell Berry, Robert Bly, Rumi, Hafez, Kabir, Machado, Neruda, Rilke, Lorca, Jean Valentine, Ruth Stone, Czeslaw Milosz, Jane Hirschfield, Mary Oliver, and others. This gathering is designed for both seasoned and beginning writers. In-class prompts will inspire participants to generate new work to share, receive feedback on, and take home and revise. Poetry and prose writing is welcome.

In each 2 hour weekly workshop session we will begin with a study of poets and poetic history around poems of praise and affirmation for one hour followed by one hour focusing on creating our own poems using techniques for affirmative writing. You will have completed 4 hours of intensive study and discussion of poetry, and 4 hours writing new poetry and prose in a supportive group of fellow poets by the end of the 4 week session. The course meets at 1050 River St. in studio #118 in Santa Cruz. 

Maggie Paul earned an M.A. in Literature from Tufts University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has taught creative writing, composition, and literature for 25 years. Currently a writing and literature instructor at Cabrillo College, her teaching experience includes CSUMB, Gavilan College, West Valley College, De Anza, and UCSC. She is the author of a chapbook, Stones from the Basket of Others, and a collection of poems from Hummingbird Press, Borrowed World. In addition to poetry and non-fiction, Maggie writes book reviews and author interviews for publication. 

Workshop Outline:

I.               Poets in America who use nature and imagery for praise and affirmation:  Wendell Berry, Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, Jane Hirschfield

II.              How poets working in other languages use verse for praise: Rumi, Hafez, Kabir, Machado, Rilke  

III.            History of the Spanish language poetry that is rich in poetic praise:  Neruda, Lorca, Machado

IV.            How the Eastern European tradition of poetry is rich in praise:  Czeslaw Milosz and A Book of Luminous Things