Life of a Poet Workshop

JUNE 11, 18, 25
JULY 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
$50 – 4 sessions.


Cost: $50. Contact: Leonard Gontarek 215.808.9507.

The purpose of the workshop is twofold:
1. The workshop will include discussions of contemporary poetry, translation, and the poems of the workshop participants. What makes a poem last? Students will gain a fuller understanding of poetry in our world and improve their poetic skills. The ABC’s (assonance, blank verse, caesura) of poetry will be addressed, as well as discussion of contemporary American and International poets from Kim Addonizio to Adam Zagajewski. Student work will be analyzed with a focus on subject matter and the nomenclature particular to each poet. Political poetry as an effective tool for change, as well as persona, historical and homage poems will be considered. There will be weekly assignments. The workshop is designed to accommodate poets at any level of accomplishment.
2. The workshop will also act as a support for poets, addressing the issues of how one finds time to write, how one writes with continuity, how one deals with rejection – and acceptance, how one finds an effective strategy for sending out work to magazines and publishers, for example. Keeping our spirits up is essential in our everyday lives and in our lives as poets. The workshop will help you find balance.

“Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Any English bookshop
2. At La Petite Perigourdine, 39 rue des Ecoles, Paris — eating those potatoes fried in duck fat **drool**
3. In a workshop with Leonard Gontarek
4. In Pursky Muska, planting pine saplings”
–Arlene Ang, Poet

“He’s a poet’s poet.” –C.E. Chaffin in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Leonard Gontarek is the author of St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris, Van Morrison Can’t Find His Feet, Zen For Beginners and Deja Vu Diner (Autumn House Press, 2006). He is the editor of This Is Forever The Room, The Balloonists Are Coming Back From The Clouds, and Rain Of The Haunted Trees, anthologies of children’s poetry. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, New England Review, Field, Volt, Fence, Mudfish, Many Mountains Moving, Exquisite Corpse, New Zoo Review, Rattle, Painted Bride Quarterly, XConnect, The Quarterly, The Best American Poetry 2005, among others. He was twice nominated for Pushcart Prizes and twice received poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His poetry has been awarded prizes by the Atlanta Review, Poet’s Attic, Mad Poets Review, Mudfish magazine. He was guest editor of The American Poetry Review – Philly Edition, 1999, And has been a contributing editor at APR since 2000. He coordinated the City Book Shop Reading Series, 1992-1995; The Voice At HMV, 1995-2000; The Philadelphia Poetry Festival, 2002-2003; The Philadelphia Reading Series, 2002-2005. He taught for five years in the Vermont Poets-in-the-Schools Program and The Annual Writers’ Conference at the University of Pennsylvania, 1997-1998. Independent workshops and manuscript editing available.

Independent workshops and manuscript editing available.

“With Deja Vu Diner, he has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, capable of synthesizing diverse styles effectively and dynamically. The release of this collection should alert readers to an engaging new voice in American verse.” — Rain Taxi

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