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  • Truth to Power: Poetry for Our Times With Poets Laureate // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Truth to Power: Poetry for Our Times With Poets Laureate // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

  • 01 Jan 2018
  • Online



This self-paced poetry class combines innovative writing prompts, inspiring essays and videos on the craft and passion of writing powerful poetry, and written discussions on the history and possibilities of poetry that speaks to social transformation.

Each unit highlights both state poet laureate past or present, and a historic poet dedicated to changing the world, including a writing prompt and writing craft or writing life discussion from that poet, some of the poets laureate's poems with writing prompts, a discussion of a poet from the past or present who crafts poetry for social transformation, and exciting links to interviews, essays, and videos.

By the end of this 12-unit class, you will have written 24-36 new poems, learned more about poetry as a craft and way of life, and interacted with the writing and poetics of at least 24 past and present American poets.

Recommended supplementary text: An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the United Poets Laureate of America, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Denise Low, Walter Bargen, and Marilyn L. Taylor. Ice Cube Press.

Week by Week

Each unit includes:

  • Writing prompts

  • 2-3 poems by visiting poet laureate

  • A short discussion on a historic or cultural poet (from Emma Lazarus to Yusef Komunyakaa) who wrote about social transformation, plus some of their poems.

  • Handout on craft or other consideration by visiting poet laureate

  • Handout on one U.S. or U.S. Tribal poet laureate each week, including a sample of his/her poems and links

  • Links to articles, interviews, websites, etc. featuring visiting poet laureate

Who Should Take This Class

This class is appropriate for those with any amount of experience writing poetry, from those who are interested in learning more and might be a bit nervous about it, to writers with years of experience who want to generate new work and brush up on elements of craft and be exposed to new contemporary writers.


This is a self-paced online class. By self-paced, we mean that you do this class on your own without interacting with the teacher or a cohort group, and according to your own schedule, allowing you to engage with the the material on your own timeline. Each unit is full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per unit perusing resources and readings and engaging in several writing prompts.

About the Editor

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including the recent Miriam's Well, a novel; Following the Curve, poetry; and Everyday Magic, a collection of beloved blog posts and personal essays. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

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