A Year with the Moon: Creation, Workshop, Chapbook
Looking toward our moon (and other moons) anew, this class begins generatively (slanting to poetry, open to any genre) with eclectic writing experiments inspired by scientific, esoteric, and mythological moons to jump-start our creativity and playfully upend clichés. Readings include Neruda, Ruefle, Cheng, and Lorca. Most prompts begin in class, plus moon observation homework. By the second quarter, we'll start to workshop and revise our new moon drafts, and by the last quarter, we will build our own moon-infused chapbook collections with celebratory reading.
Payment plans are available for this class. Please email email@example.com to get a payment plan started.
Guest speakers: Three professional published writers will visit our class over the course of our time together, to inspire us with their own moon-infused writing and creative process, as well as offering their insights into editing and chapbook-making.
Syllabus: Available by request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No class dates: 12/18/2023, 12/25/2023, 1/1/2024, 1/8/2024, 1/15/2024, 2/19/2024, 4/8/2024, 5/27/2024
August 7: Scholarship Donation Day
August 8: Member registration opens at 10:30 am
August 15: General registration opens at 10:30 am
August 21: Last day of Early Bird pricing
CLASS FAQS WITH INSTRUCTOR SIERRA NELSON
Who is this class best suited for? How much writing experience do I need to take this class?
This class is well suited for writers at all levels of previous experience interested in generating new work, from new writers or writers returning to their practice after a break looking for some encouragement and structure to get started in their creative process, to well established writers looking for community and some fresh approaches to creating new work. Our focus will be on writing new work, building toward a small chapbook collection. For those already working on longer manuscripts, our moon-work could either be an independent smaller manuscript, or potentially woven into your larger collection.
What will I learn over the course of this yearlong?
We will approach our own creative process (from writing new work to revision) and the world around us (with the moon as our guide) with curiosity and wonder. The first quarter will be generative: focused on creating lots of pieces and beginnings inspired by provided prompts and readings, sharing out loud in class from in-progress work. In winter, we'll weave in revision, with rotating workshops for peer and instructor feedback on select pieces inspiring our editing process. In spring, we will learn about chapbooks and each build and share a moon-infused small collection, with a final celebratory reading.
What's the balance of in-class generative writing, lecture, and workshop?
Fall quarter will focus on generating new work. Classes include short lectures and/or readings and brief discussion to get our ideas sparking, and then provided prompts and time to begin drafting, ending with a little time to share in class from in-progress works as we go. In winter, we’ll continue creative momentum with short in-class readings and prompt writing, alternating with short revision lectures, and workshops will take roughly half of each class. In spring, we’ll continue creative moon engagement especially toward revision plus lectures on chapbook structure; in-class revision time and small group feedback taking the other half.
How much time outside of class will I need for this class each week?
In the fall when our focus is primarily generative, most writing prompts begin in class (sometimes spilling into homework), plus short daily moon observations. Key readings will also be shared in class, with optional additional reading. In the winter, some additional time will be needed outside of class to read and give feedback on peer writing for workshop, and for your own revising. In the spring, time outside of class will be needed to revise and compile your chapbook and offering chapbook feedback to at least 2 peers.
How much feedback will I receive on my work, peer, or instructor?
You will receive feedback from class peers and the instructor. In the first all-generative quarter, feedback will primarily be out loud and in the moment as we share from our in-progress drafts. As we move into more workshops in the second quarter, feedback will be written responses on hard copies, with one "first reader" providing more in-depth response and discussion guidance, in addition to instructor feedback and group discussion. In the last quarter, as we build our chapbooks, there will be small group feedback and troubleshooting opportunities, and we will write final letters to one another.
Who will we be reading?
There are so many writers who have been inspired by the moon through the centuries who can help illuminate our way! Some of the writers we’ll read together include Pablo Neruda, Mary Ruefle, Jennifer S. Cheng, Federico García Lorca, Franny Choi, Denise Levertov, Elizabeth Bishop, and Dorianne Laux. We will also look at scientific writing about our moon and other planets’ moons, as well as moon myths, moon art, and other moon-inspired materials.
Sierra Nelson is a poet, president of Seattle’s Cephalopod Appreciation Society, and co-founder of literary performance art groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. Her poetry books include The Lachrymose Report (PoetryNW Editions, 2018), lyrical adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake made with visual artist Loren Erdrich (Rose Metal Press), and forthcoming Vis-à-Vis Society collaboration 100 Rooms: A Bridge Motel Project (Entre Rios Books). Recently Nelson’s poems accompanying ichthyologist Adam Summer’s fish skeleton photographs were exhibited at the Ljubljana Natural History Museum and Piran Aquarium in Slovenia.