18 March 2010

(Hobart) Poetry alive: A long course in poetry with Anne Kellas

Poetry alive: A long course in poetry with Anne Kellas

Over a six-month period, develop a body of new work through this series of supportive monthly poetry workshops. Through the course material and the monthly workshops, you will find your poetry comes alive in a new way.

In the weeks between workshop sessions, you will be sustained by course material that will attempt to anticipate individual needs, tastes and interests, and this private work is at the heart of the course. While the group setting allows for times of sharing, the workshop sessions will focus primarily on individual learning, with participants working alone on tasks and themes set by the workshop facilitator. The workshop facilitator aims to structure group sessions so that new work is shared in an atmosphere of trust that is balanced and constructive for all participants.

This course will focus on the writing process, rather than on getting published. It will address specific questions about the music inherent in poetry, common errors with voice and tense, and questions about practice, such as:

  • What do you do with a poem that is (still) not really finished after many months? And how do you know when a poem is complete?
  • Why do good titles matter (and how do you find them)?
  • How poems end.
  • When is a poem a poem and not a piece of cut-up prose?
  • When and how are reflective diary notes and journalling useful starting points for poems, and when are they distractions?
  • Exercises, traditional forms, and finding your voice.
  • How does the written poem use line endings, stanza breaks and white space effectively?
  • How do other art forms (music, art) usefully influence a poet's practice?
  • In what ways do readings of other poets help or hinder?
  • What can re-start your creativity in times of drought?

At the end of the course, participants will hopefully come away not with “workshop poems” but with a new direction and energy for their writing life.


This course is suitable for those who have already set off on the path of writing poetry rather than those who are at the beginning of the journey. It is hoped that intending participants will already have a store of unpublished poems or work in progress to bring to the first workshop, and will be committed and open to exploring the intensive workshop setting over six months to reinvigorate their writing.

About the facilitator

Anne Kellas ran a popular series of poetry workshops for TAFE in the early 90s and in 2007 for the Tasmanian Writers Centre. She grew up in South Africa and emigrated to Australia in the dark days of apartheid in the mid-80s. Her first book (Poems from Mt Moono, 1989) was published in South Africa. In 1993 she received Tasmanian arts funding for work on what later became her second book, Isolated States (2001), and more recent funding support from an Australia Council grant is currently sustaining her work on a third collection. She graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA in English and German. Though tempted by an academic career, she studied librarianship and later, teaching. After a career in youth studies, she now writes full-time.

Dates and times:
Poetry Alive will run as a monthly session of 2.5 hours, from May to November. This would be a total of six sessions. Sessions would be held on a Monday evening from 6.30 pm to 9 pm, on the first Monday of the month:

Monday 3 May

Monday 7 June

Monday 5 July

Monday 2 August

Monday 6 September

Monday 4 October

Venue: Tasmanian Writers' Centre, first floor, Salamanca Arts Centre.

Fee: $300 to members. There are 10 places in the course, which will only run if all places are filled. Payment must be received to secure your place.

Bookings: Contact the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, email: admin@tasmanianwriters.org or phone the centre on: (03) 6224 0029 to make a credit card payment.


Alan said...

Here's an essay on a young poet's journey through craft and the lessons learned along the way. Please read it at http://wp.me/pC3Xj-dK

Anonymous said...

The course is now full (as at 29 April 2010) or so I am told.


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