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Circle of Associates: Two Day Poetry Workshop with BJ Ward

11/10/2019 12:00 PM - 12/08/2019 03:00 PM ET


Adult Classes + Workshops




Start with an object and write from there. Study strategies by known poets and then create a work based on a prompt.... (click title for more info)

Two-day poetry workshop exploring compositional strategy. In the first session, we will examine and discuss several poems after which participants will receive a writing prompt. In the second session, we will reconvene to discuss resultant poems with compassionate feedback.
Teaching Artist: BJ Ward
Workshop Dates/Times: Sun. Nov. 10, 12-1: 30 pm and Sun. Dec 8, 12-3pm
$80 Member | $88 Non-member


Much emphasis in contemporary writing workshops is placed on “writing until you discover something you didn’t know you knew.” It’s terrific advice, but how does one do that? One path to consider is starting with an object and writing outward (as opposed to the inward-gazing of many poems with first-person narrators). Examples of this compositional strategy can be found in poems by Yehuda Amichai, Tracy K. Smith, W.B. Yeats, and Li-Young Lee, among others. We will examine and discuss these poems during the first session after which all participants will receive a writing prompt. Then, after time away to develop your work, we will reconvene to discuss the resultant poems with honest and compassionate feedback.

Teaching Artist:
BJ Ward is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013 (North Atlantic Books), which received the Paterson Award for
Literary Excellence. His poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The New York Times, and The Sun, among others, and have been featured
on NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” NJTV’s “State of the Arts,” and the website PoetryDaily. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships
from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. 2018 appearances included The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, University of Delaware, Rutgers (New Brunswick) Writers’
Conference, Monmouth University’s Bruce Springsteen Symposium, Lewes Writers’ Conference, the Princeton Public Library, and The Stanhope House. In a piece entitled “10 Dynamic Jersey Artists Not Named Springsteen,” The Star-Ledger citedWard as “making a difference,” noting his poetry’s “music and physicality.”  His website is


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