deeper practice, more poems
your longing to read & write more poems
in weekly activities, exercises & discussions that will make your practice feel integrated, satisfying, deep
your poetry so that it occupies its rightful place in your actual life
through a thoughtful regimen of mentored reading & writing,
create patterns of behavior that lead to stronger poems,
collaborate & create
I’ll help you prioritize your creative work in the context of a busy life …
take your ideas, urges, drafts, & transform them into successful poems.
for poets & aspiring poets who
seek the structure & accountability of an online course & mentorship, & enjoy spending 2-4 hours each week reading & writing, alone & together
include selections from Audre Lorde, Patti Smith, Anne Truitt, Rainer Maria Rilke, The Hagakura, William Stafford, Stanley Kunitz, & a diversity of contemporary poets.
to be a poet in the world / radical presence / pathfinders / in the way of art / more human / a natural idiom / poetry as transformation / not letting go of the thread
in addition to writing eight new poems, you have the opportunity to work on a Personal Canon, comprised of formative & empowering texts that have shaped you as a poet. I’ll guide you through some of the ways this document can empower your personal & public life.
You’ll receive weekly lessons on eight consecutive Fridays, including a brief essay on the week’s topic; selected readings; occasional videos & resources from other writers; as well as a writing assignment (& variations) to help you explore some dimension of what we’re seeing in the work we’ll read by master poets.
I’ll host two live, interactive workshops via video and recordings of these sessions will be made available after the fact
I’ll send you thoughtful feedback on up to 8 poems &
you’ll have the opportunity to meet with me via phone for a private tutorial to discuss your process, my feedback, or the course content.
New in Fall 2017: Our course now happens in an online space, hosted by Pathwright, allowing for ample interaction, and a greater sense of community. I love this way of being together and you will, too.
“Wow, your feedback is amazing—helpful and encouraging! Seeing handwritten comments reminded me of everything I loved about writing classes in college. Thank you for the time and attention you put into this, and for validating my creative efforts as worth continuing. ” Kelli Fitzpatrick
prepare to prioritize your creative practice.
enjoy the weekly lessons & selected readings.
engage with the assignments.
benefit from our conversations about your work.
submit your work in progress for private feedback.
“Holly Wren Spaulding is one of the best teachers I have ever had. If you are craving more time reading, thinking and writing, I recommend this course.”Melanie Parke
particulars. spring session 2018
our theme for this session is deeper practice. we’ll open up our definition of what it means to “write” by considering what it means to be a poet in the world. we’ll assemble a Personal Canon, draft new poems, and engage with a range of influences and Tutelary Spirits including Patti Smith, Anne Truitt, Audre Lorde, and others, meet for two live workshops via video, prepare a final portfolio, and receive feedback. I will also be available for office hours and private tutorials.
“Having taken numerous workshops and worked with Holly closely over many years, I can say that to watch her work with so many different people is thrilling. I’ve seen her discuss craft with an accomplished poet one minute, then coax four lines from a hesitant 18 year-old the next minute. I’ve seen her offer encouragement, passion and deep editing, all with precision and attention to the work and the individual. Not everyone can do this—many teachers think they can, but few have this magic. Holly knows how to start things, understand a vision, generate ideas, make a plan, and then make that vision a reality. I’ve come to realize that this is a really rare talent. What I really want to say is that she’s the full package, the real deal, the cat’s meow, you know: fantastic!” –Kris Kunz
new work, improved craft, a steadier writing practice
q & a
Are there any prerequisites for participation in this course?
You may enroll in this course if you’ve taken at least one other course with me, whether online or in person. Otherwise, all that’s required is weekly access to email to collect the lesson, and a genuine interest in apprenticing with me, and with the writers you’ll encounter during the session.
How does this course differ from the Poetry Apprenticeship Program?
Poetry Immersion is an expanded version of my apprenticeship program and aims to meet the needs of serious writers who prefer to study from home. I developed this program with an understanding that many writers wish to advance their craft, and complete more poems they can be proud of, but are unable or uninterested in returning to school for a degree in creative writing. Likewise, most conferences and live workshops involve travel and considerable expense. Having taught college-level creative writing for many years, I bring the same seriousness of purpose and commitment to the study of this art form, and trust that you can engage in a similar spirit, without receiving grades or a degree.
What happens during the poetry tutorial?
We can discuss anything that’s on your mind, but it’s often useful to talk about your practice, as well as any challenges having to do with craft.
How many poems can I submit for private feedback?
I will read and comment on eight poems during the session. You can always make arrangements with me to send more than work, for an additional fee, if you like.
What if I have questions along the way?
I’m always available to you via email and our tutorial will provide an opportunity to explore deeper issues and questions when you have those.
When and how does the workshop via live video happen?
Near the beginning of the session I’ll offer a live workshop via Zoom. You can join me from anywhere in the world for a friendly meet-up in which I’ll provide some orientation to the course, and offer a live writing prompt. You can also ask questions. I will send the link to our online meeting space, which is easy and intuitive to use even for those uncomfortable with technology. The date for this workshop will be announced in the first lesson.
“Thank you for helping me to write again. Your tutorials and my responsive writing time made a difference. I call it the Residual Holly Effect, because now and after our official times are over, I still write.” –Vicki Stewart