The Great Poetry Workshop

See what people are saying

  • “The workshop inspired me to write more about my daily life and to read daily.

    The class also gave me greater flexibility and freedom in showing my feelings—by using (as inspiration) humor, food references, parts of the body, etc.

    What I appreciated most about the workshop was the respect shown by the instructors and my colleagues. No one criticized each other’s poems. It was very intense and emotional. I felt that everyone was sailing on the same ship. No one was left out; we were there to learn from each other. I felt that the instructors really managed to draw out the best work from us; this boosted my self-confidence.”

    Ana Cristina, March 26, 2017

  • “I enjoyed the workshop and learned that everyone can write poetry. The poems written by class members were so good, so moving. In addition to constructive criticism, Ann made wonderfully positive comments on all of the poems, pointing out what was original, and what was particularly interesting. I left the workshop full of questions, which is surely a positive outcome!”

    Annie, March 26, 2017

  • “The poetry workshop was an amazing experience for me. It showed me I can experiment with different styles and explore different directions. We wrote our poems in only a few minutes, and it came so easily! What was it about the workshop that’s most usable in my day-to-day writing life? I discovered that, while technique is important, the lack of total technical mastery doesn’t have to stop you from writing. And reading poetry prolifically will eventually help you to recognize the techniques you can use, the skills you need.”

    EC, March 26, 2017

  • “The main thing I took away was the need for authenticity. The exercises were useful starting points for triggering me to write, and the selection of poetry was very enjoyable and diverse.

    It had been a while since I had written anything; it was nice to have a reason to make time for writing again. I came away from the first part of the course with a head full of ideas, so it wasn’t hard to start writing.

    Sign me up for the next poetry course (whenever that is!)”

    Franchesca, March 26, 2017

  • “I learnt to put my feelings and impressions on paper in a creative way.
    The handout was really helpful; there was much more to it than I expected. When I left the workshop on Saturday, I was thinking “OMG, I don’t have enough material to start writing a poem. The workshop today was too short, and the handout only contains poems as examples.” However, I started reading the handout (mainly the sections we hadn’t covered at the workshop) at home, and I found out that the tips and examples were very useful for me. I even came up with an idea for another poem while reading the handout :)”

    Vanessa, April 26, 2015

  • “This class helped me to reconnect to the diversity of poetry. The handout is great for the writing prompts and the reminders about ways to work on craft.

    I always find the idea of writing overnight stressful. In practice, however, the process never fails to be brilliant. Spending so much intense time during the day, followed by the writing, puts me in a totally immersive place. It’s the place I am always trying to reach when writing.”

    Sara, April 26, 2015

  • “At this course I learned to be free to just write and try out the form—just to have fun. It feels easy to write a poem overnight. The fragments and fragmented sentences came naturally,

    Life-changing workshop: I found my voice.”

    MJE, April 26, 2015

  • “Writing poetry always seemed unattainable to me. It was far too mysterious and complex and difficult a goal for me to achieve. I have never been happier to have been proven wrong in my life. Not only did I actually write poems in the workshop, I now can’t stop writing them! Ann Koshel van Buren is an excellent teacher: passionate, understanding and filled with love for her subject. Poems are still mysterious and complex to me but no longer unattainable. Ann made them tangible and real and taught us how to capture that sense of wonder and lyricism that had escaped me until now. Plus there was delicious food and hot chocolate! It was the perfect day. Thank you.”

    Zered, December 15, 2009