“Scott was incredible. He really knows how to teach.”
~ 2013 Summer Writing Retreat Attendee on Scott Wiggerman’s Class
Get ready to exercise! Poet and editor Scott Wiggerman returns for his seventh time to the Summer Writing Retreat in Alpine to lead participants in a week of generative writing. In 2011, Wiggerman, through Dos Gatos Press, published Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry, which has continued to be on Amazon’s list of top poetry writing books. This year the sequel, Wingbeats II, comes out with another impressive set of exercises from poets around the country—and this is your opportunity to experience an entire week of them.
“Imagination,” wrote W. Somerset Maugham, “grows by exercise.” These exercises will surely expand your imagination and your notions of what constitutes a poem, where a poem comes from, and how it develops. Letter poems, repurposed poems, Wikipedia poems? Yes, yes, yes! Ever try your hand at a landay, a haikoum, a braided narrative? You will. Both fun and challenging, this workshop will provide dozens of both orthodox and unorthodox exercises from prominent contemporary poets like Jill Essbaum, Kevin Prufer, Dean Rader, Carmen Jiménez Smith, Tim Siebles, and Cole Swensen to enliven your writing and expand your perspectives.
In addition, expect practice and discussion of techniques involving diction, voice, persona, imagery, metaphor, structure, cadence, repetition, and revision as Wiggerman leads the way through Wingbeats II with his own personal approach to the book’s exercises, including a class favorite, his own hilarious “Writing the Bad Sonnet,” because everyone can write a bad sonnet.
Wiggerman’s classes are known for their quick pace and their “out of your comfort zone” methodology. You will write in ways you never thought possible, never even imagined, and you will leave Alpine with dozens of ideas and drafts. Each year, in addition to the daily classroom activities, the class generally makes one or two outings to nearby West Texas locales for additional writing inspiration. A lunch with a certain Texas Poet Laureate who lives in Alpine is often on the agenda, as is an evening workshopping session (optional, but worth it!). Expect to work—and play—hard all week.
Requirements: Instructions will be sent to class participants in advance of the retreat detailing any materials students will be expected to bring with them.
About the Instructor: Scott Wiggerman is the author of Presence (Pecan Grove Press) and Vegetables and Other Relationships (Plain View Press), and the editor of not only Wingbeats but also the annual Texas Poetry Calendar and Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga. His hundreds of poems in print include those in the recent anthologies Forgetting Home: Poems about Alzheimer’s, The Crafty Poet, and This Assignment Is So Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching, just nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.