Crafting of poems that students bring to the “feast of words.”
Longo suggests how to improve specific poems and offers commentary on poetry writing in general, including the structure, emotional content, language, imagery, rhythm, what strengthens a poem, and when it is not working, why. Assignments are given each day.There is some writing in the workshop. Students need to bring typed copies of their poems they want crafted and 10 copies to distribute for workshop participants to also give comments.
Message to Students
Focusing on the importance of language, imagery and figurative speech, structure and rhythm, helps us all say what is difficult to express in a fresh way that lasts after the last line. If it’s your first time the conference, come as you are and be prepared to leave forever changed.
As a past Santa Barbara Poet Laureate (2007–2009), Perie Longo learned how poetry is a meaningful link to her community, and that writing about what lives in our backyard often connects us to the wider world in significant ways. Longo has published four books of poetry: Milking The Earth,The Privacy Of Wind,With Nothing Behind But Sky: a journey through grief and Baggage Claim. Nominated for the Pushcart prize three times, her work has appeared in Askew, Atlanta Review, Connecticut Review, International Poetry Review, Miramar, Nimrod, Paterson Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Quiditty, Rattle, South Carolina Review and several others. Longo is also a contributing poet in several anthologies. She was also a poet in the schools for over twenty-five years and continues to teach privately. As a psychotherapist, she often integrates poetry for healing. In 2005, Longo was invited to the University of Kuwait to speak on Poetry as a Path to Peace and give workshops. She has been teaching poetry with SBWC since 1984 and loves doing so for poets and prose writers alike.
Writing Tip I Live By
Read great authors but don’t write to be great. Write to create, to inhabit a world you can grow into.
Literary (and other) Heroes
Longo’s favorite poets are William Stafford, Philip Levine, Hilda Raz, Pablo Neruda, Lisel Mueller, Anna Akhmatova, Edna St.Vincent Millay, W. S. Merwin,Ted Kooser, Sharon Olds to name a few, and she recommends Best Words, Best Order by Stephen Dobyns and Walking Light by Stephen Dunn.