Each year, Poets & Patrons hosts workshops, led by established poets, editors, and teachers from Illinois and surrounding states
Our Next Workshop
Chaos In Fourteen Lines:
Writing Sonnets In Your Own Words
In Our Own Times
Led by Debra Bruce
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Harold Washington Library
400 S. State Street
Room 3rd Floor-6N
In this workshop, we will be evaluating sonnets, and how they fit into the categories of traditional, contemporary or modern. Debra Bruce will also give hints to help poets write sonnets. Here are two sonnets by Debra Bruce:
Certain Conversations In Bed
I felt his whole body misunderstand
as I described a woman I’d seen in the shower
after my swim. He moved a little closer
as if to watch her drop her soap again,
stretching to where it slid, scooping it up.
And then? He stirred the sheets, all innuendo.
Had I led him all this way to show him my mind
mixing blues to paint the tones of her thigh,
etching or smudging the outline of her breast?
Could I at least concede his point about my timing?—
Now we lay in silence as she grabbed
a gym towel off a hook and wrapped herself,
the smack of footsteps as she walked away.
Our sighs had a serrated edge, not quite seething.
(Tar River Poetry Review, Spring 2019)
A girl holds her baby on a hint of hip.
She'd never known that word before—injunction—
until the lady outside the clinic stepped
as carefully as counting and did not come
too close or shout but spoke to the core
of a girl going in, whose name she didn't know,
(Amber)—volunteers in pink at the door. Then Amber—just a few more steps to go—
walked away. Now she yanks a pillow
under her boyfriend's head—didn't he promise he'd babysit although it's not even his,
until he gets a job? And then the girl,
just like the lady said, will find a way.
She hasn't seen the lady since that day.
(Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formal Poetry by Women, Vol 10, issue 2.)
Optional Workshop Assignment
You may send one poem preferably a sonnet, for critique. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org (Note that this is a new address for submissions) with “Sonnet Workshop” in the subject line. If you do not have email, mail your poem to Caroline Johnson, P.O. Box 469, Willow Springs, IL 60480. Deadline: received by August 7.
Fee: The workshop is free if you do not submit a poem. If you submit a poem for critique, the fee is $10 for non-members, $5 for members. If you submit a poem, you must pay the fee even if you do not attend the meeting because the poems are critiqued in advance (leader feedback will be mailed to you if you are unable to attend the meeting). Please pay at the meeting, or mail your check to Poets & Patrons to the treasurer Beth Staas, 1725 35th St. #2101, Oak Brook IL 60523. Membership dues of $20 are due at the beginning of the year, and can be also paid at the meeting.
Debra Bruce’s latest book of poetry Survivors’ Picnic, was published by Word Tech Press. She is the author of three previous collections, Pure Daughter and Sudden Hunger, both from the University of Arkansas Press, and What Wind Will Do, from Miami University Press. Her work has been published widely in journals, including The Atlantic, Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Salamander, and many others. Her poems can be found online in recent issues of Shenandoah and The Innisfree Poetry Journal: (http://www.authorme.com/innisfree.htm)(https://shenandoahliterary.org/
Sudden Hunger received the Carl Sandburg Award from the Chicago Public Library, and Debra’s work has also received grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the Poetry Society of America, and Poetry magazine. She lives in Chicago where she is a professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University.
Lunch with Other Poets
Some of the poets gather at Panera, on the Southeast corner of State and Congress, between 11:30 and noon to have lunch or a cup of coffee together before the meeting. You are invited to join us there.
Past Workshops and
June 22, 2019
A Moment in Time
Led by Donna Pucciani and Pamela Miller
April 27, 2019
The Name Game
Led by Gail Goepfert and Patrice Boyer Claeys
February 23, 2019
Led by Jenene Ravesloot and John O’Connor
August 25, 2018
Time for a Turn
Led by Sandra Marchetti and Krystal Languell Saturday,
June 23, 2018
A Poem in Dialogue with Another Poem
Led by Jan Bottiglieri and Tony Trigilio
April 28, 2018
Verbalize It: How the Best Action Word Can Enliven Your Poem
Led by Poets & Patrons workshop chair Wilda Morris, author of Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant.
February 24, 2018
Weaving Magic into Poetry
Led by Rockford poet Christine Swanberg, author of THE RED LACQUER ROOM, WHO WALKS AMONG THE TREES WITH CHARITY, THE ALLELUIA TREE, and most re-cently WILD FRUITION: SON-NETS, SPELLS, AND OTHER INCANTATIONS.
October 14, 2017
Golden Shovel Workshop
Led by Linda Wallin, president of Poets and Patrons and retired Special Education teacher.
August 26, 2017
Sonnets Are Fun!
Led by Mary Hanford, retired English professor and author of Holding to the Light (poetry), Dr. Sally’s Voodoo Man (novel), and Swimming at Villa Hugel (memoir).
June 18, 2017
Let Art Inspire Your Poetry: How to Be Ekphrastic
Led by Beth McDermott, Assistant Professor of English, St. Francis University, Joliet, and Associate Editor of RHINO
April 29, 2017
Led by Caroline Johnson, Vice President and former President, Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and author of two chapbooks
February 25, 2017
What the Heck is a Prose Poem?
Led by Kathleen Rooney, Co-founder of Rose Metal Press and Senior Professional Lecturer,
October 29, 2016
Music as Muse
Led by Wilda Morris, Former President, Illinois State Poetry Society, and Workshop Chair, Poets & Patrons of Chicago
August 27, 2016
Using Fairy Tale, Myth and Legend in Your Poetry
Led by Jennifer Dotson, Program Coordinator, Highland Park Poetry, and winner of Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award
June 25, 2016
The Shape a Poem Makes
Led by Christine Swanberg, author of three books of poetry, workshop leader at The Clearing,
Door County, WI
April 23, 2016
What We Can Learn About Writing Poetry from Shakespeare
Led by William Yarrow, Professor of English, Joliet Junior College
February 27, 2016
In Praise of Praise Poems
Led by Tom Roby IV, President, Poets Club of Chicago and creator of The Poetry Wheel, and Jenene Ravesloot, author of three books of poetry
October 17, 2015
Surrealist Game Poetry
Led by Pamela Larson, poet, artist and photographer
August 22, 2015
Led by Debra Bruce, Professor Emeritus, Northeastern Illinois University, and Andrea Witzke Slot, prize-winning novelist, poet and essayist
June 27, 2015
Writing the Spiritual Poem
Led by Judith Valente, winner of the Aldrich Poetry Prize and a Catholic Book Award, and correspondent for PBS
April 25, 2015
Love Poetry with an Attitude
Led by Marilyn Taylor, former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin
February 28, 2015
Led by Albert DeGenova, publisher and editor of After Hours
October 25, 2014
The Fun Art of Haiku & Senryu
Led by Charlotte Digregorio, Midwest Coordinator, Haiku Society of America and author of Haiku and Senryu: a Simple Guide for All
August 23, 2014
Ekphrastic Poetry: Writing Poetry about Other Forms of Art
Led by Donna Vorreyer, author of 5 chapbooks and two full-length manuscripts, and Cynthia Gallaher, designated by Chicago Public Library as among its “Ten Top Requested Chicago Poets”
June 28, 2014
The Short Poem
Led by William Marr, author of more than 20 books of poetry and former President, Illinois State Poetry Society, and Patrick Dunn, Associate Professor of English, Aurora University
April 26, 2017
Led by Caroline Johnson, author of two chapbooks, and Wilda Morris, author of Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant
February 22, 2014
Led by Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody, Distinguished Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Kennedy-King College, and Donna Pucciani, widely published, award-winning poet