Poetry of Praise with Maggie Paul

Two Day Workshop 1pm-5:30pm: Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd, 2017


Poems of Praise
Poetry that interprets life with affirmation

Explore the wealth of poetry from traditions around the world that praise life in its various forms. We will examine how poets address nature, love, loss, and the divine in their work, with an eye toward creating our own poems of praise. Works  include the poems and essays of Wendell Berry, Robert Bly, translations of Rumi, Hafez, Kabir, Machado, Neruda, Rilke, Lorca , A Book of Luminous Things by Czeslaw Milosz, Jane Hirschfield, Mary Oliver, and others.


This two day works shop runs from 1:00pm and until 5:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday and is divided into four 2 hour segments. In each 2 hour segment there will be a study of poets and poetic history around poems of praise and affirmation for one hour followed by one hour focusing on creating poems of praise and learning techniques for affirmative writing. The first 2 hour segments are Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm- 3:00pm followed by a half hour break for coffee and light snacks at the nearby ArtBar cafe available for purchase. The second 2 hour segments are from 3:30pm - 5:30pm both Saturday and Sunday. At the end of this 2 day course you will have completed 4 hours of study and 4 hours of generative writing. You'll also have a chance to get to know your fellow poetry participants to make supportive connections with other poets. 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