For the past four years, I’ve had the deep joy of teaching Creative Writing to high school seniors; during that time, I’ve developed a poetry unit for the class that includes a journaling component.  Because poetry often seems mysterious & inaccessible, I approach the genre by having students read and consider poems in a safe, low-stakes way– via their personal journals.

Along the way, students apply the techniques of poets–keen observation, mental stillness, the search for beauty in the ordinary and every day.  The poetry/journal challenge has quickly become one of my students’ favorite parts of the class.  Over the years, friends and acquaintances have asked to “come along for the ride,” so to speak, submitting their emails to be included on my journal challenge distribution list.  I have loved hearing about their experiences with the prompts and poems, and am gratified to know that it had sparked many people’s memories and sense of creative play.

This year, because of the way Hurricane Harvey has impacted our school schedule, I’m not teaching my poetry unit until second semester.  Still, I wanted to offer a way for folks outside of my classroom to enjoy and appreciate poetry and personal writing this fall.  Hence, I am offering my first (hopefully of many!) journal challenge course, specifically tailored for folks outside my classroom.  It’s called Be Here Now: Gratitude, Poetry, & Presence, and it will run from November 10-24, 2017.  The cost is $15.00- you can learn more about the course and purchase it here.

I am really excited about developing and offering this course–it is designed specifically for people who want to fit some thoughtfulness and creativity into their busy days.  I hope you’ll join me!

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