Filling Your Bucket

Last March I finished up the revisions of my second poetry manuscript,
and for some time afterwards I felt like an empty bucket. All those poems had been
filling the bucket, sloshing around, creating new poems by some sort of mysterious intricate crystallization process.  But
now, the poems had been poured out onto the page and the bucket was filled with
Every writer goes through this process thousands of times.
The blank page. The “what now?” As you move through your writing career, you
become more adept at finding the spigot that will fill the bucket. But
sometimes, it just doesn’t work. For whatever reason, that pump has lost its
prime. Never fear, you can get it back. Soon your bucket of writing will be
overflowing again.
One way to do this is to take a workshop that introduces you
to a new technique. If you live in Anchorage, Sitka, or Juneau, you’re in luck.
In December, Caroline Goodwin, San Mateo County Poet Laureate and former
Alaskan, will be teaching a class called List and Litany. She describes it:
This class is designed to help you
walk confidently into the metaphorical “blank page.”  As writers, we must
do this again and again, regardless of whether we are seasoned artists or just
getting started. Our minds contain many doors, our imaginations many openings
and opportunities. In List and Litany, we will spend the first hour responding
to a series of specific prompts. These will take us through several imaginative
doors. Next, we will read and begin to shape our writings, looking for any
patterns that present themselves. We will listen to Christopher Dewdney perform
a section of A Natural History of Southwestern Ontario and we
will read a few poems that use listing effectively. The workshop will conclude
with a reading and discussion of next steps in developing the writing. Every
student will have the opportunity to send a piece of writing to the instructor
via snail mail for a brief written response.
This class will be held on:
  • In Anchorage on December 12 from 6-9pm at the Alaska Humanities
  • In Juneau on December 17 from 6-9pm at Taku Graphics/Shorefast
    Editions, 5723 Concrete Way
  • In Sitka on December 19 from 9am-noon at the Island Institute, 304

Register at the 49 Writers website.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Here at 49 Writers, we’re grateful for all of the amazing writers and readers who make Alaska such a vibrant literary community. You are truly wonderful, and I feel particularly blessed to get to hang out with all of you.
take care,
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