This four-week class will focus on writing about journeys. With writing exercises and guided prompts for generating new work, we will explore a variety of ways to approach this classic and contemporary topic in poetry. We will discuss published work and explore issues of line, image, form, and craft. We will consider these questions and more: How does the means by which we travel—car, ferry, bicycle, foot, train—influence the stories we tell? Why does the road continue to inspire? How are our journeys similar to and different from travels of the past? What new ways might we imagine our paths? What do we do when we’re stuck, waylaid, or momentarily directionless? Where do we want to go and why do we want to go there? How do we invite inspiration along our journey? How do we make meaning of our experiences and how do we present those experiences in form? What ways might we organize our poems in sequence—chronologically, geographically, spatially, others? This is a generative and supportive class designed to push ourselves to think deeply about the topic, to create new work, and to be inspired by the rich and varied tradition of journey writing.
Laura Madeline Wiseman’s recent books are An Apparently Impossible Adventure (BlazeVOX [books], 2016) and Leaves of Absence: An Illustrated Guide to Common Garden Affection (Red Dashboard, 2016). She is the author of nine chapbooks, including Branding Girls (Finishing Line Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the 2009 Cervena Barva Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her collaborative book Intimates and Fools is an Honor Book for the 2015 Nebraska Book Award. She teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.