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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop by California Institute of the Arts

1,148 ratings
456 reviews

About the Course

Why just write poems when you can write better ones? This course is built on the notion that the most exciting writing begins after the first draft. It is specifically for folks who believe that writing poems just to express oneself is like using the Internet just for email. After all, poetry can change the way you and your readers think of the world and its inhabitants; it can break new ground for language; turn a blank sheet of paper into a teeming concert of voices and music. Though any of us may have the potential to make that happen, having an understanding of how several tools of poetic composition can be used (and audaciously “mis-used”) gives you more ways to try (and if we do this right, we might surprise ourselves most of all). We'll cover key poetic terms and devices by studying poems by a handful of modern and contemporary poets and then get a chance to try our own hand at writing new poem drafts from a select number of prompts. Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to workshop your poem drafts and get feedback on your work, working towards a more polished poem....

Top reviews


Jun 23, 2020

This was a superb workshop. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and learned a lot that came in my way. Grasping poetry devices taught in such an fun way was really awesome. The mentors were very supportive.


Jun 12, 2020

Loved the course. Douglas Kearney is amazing as an instructor. I love poetry and this workshop has made me happy during the times of COVID 19. I thank CalArts for the encouragement and appreciation.

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251 - 275 of 453 Reviews for Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

By Kamila Ś

Aug 30, 2017

Nice, easy and informative. Enjoyed it very much. Now I'm starting work on my own little book of poetry.

By Deepika S

Jul 11, 2017

Learning a lot of things relevant for this course; I think the peer graded workshop is very helpful too.

By Erin

Mar 07, 2018

This was an entry level course to poetry and I feel like by taking it I have become a much better poet.

By Charlie

Jan 03, 2018

Amazing! An engaging, pleasing, and intelligible (as well as intelligent) instructor—I fully recommend.

By E. S S

Dec 22, 2015

fun and informative class, with interesting exercises, instructor grabs your attention in short videos.

By Usraat

Jun 11, 2020

Beautifully taught. The professor is one of the most enthusiastic educator I have ever come across!

By H K

May 22, 2020

An amazing experience, learned a great deal and I now feel slightly more confident about my poetry.

By bluesnow

Mar 16, 2017

Excellent theory and practise. Entertaining but skilled videos. Good team feeling. Useful feedback.

By Amanda M

Dec 02, 2016

Great course! The videos are fun, and I received a lot of great feedback from my fellow classmates.

By Carmen G

Oct 24, 2015

The classes were interesting and dynamic, very motivating. I learned a lot. Thank you very much !!!

By Alan B

Oct 13, 2015

Great course that is well paced and engagingly taught by someone who loves poetry. Take this class!

By Pooja R

Nov 04, 2019

Doug is so good with poetry and makes each poem come alive, This is such an enriching experience.

By Rula H

Sep 29, 2015


Very useful. The presener has absolutely a way with his way of teaching.

Thank you!!

By Sarah N &

Jun 26, 2018

As a teen writer, I've always had difficulty finding a free but substantial poetry class online.

By 戴美涛

Oct 04, 2015

the teacher used a fun way to share the knowledge of poetry. I like the course very much ,thank!

By Alyssa T

May 21, 2020

Amazing! Totally changed my style and made it more readable, added new styles to my repertoire.

By Todd H

May 14, 2016

The videos are well done, and the instructor makes them enjoyable while also being informative.

By maya j

Dec 14, 2015

A very engaging instructor! Loving every video, learning new poems, and improving my own style.

By L F

Aug 16, 2020

fabulous course - charming instructor. I learned so much and had a great deal of fun doing it.

By Abigail S

Jun 22, 2016

Loved this! Great for beginnner poets. The professor's energy really made this course for me.

By Jessica R

Jun 01, 2020

Very good! It helped me so much and most important, it motivated me to keep writing poetry.

By Kutsal K B

Nov 07, 2018

Exremely inspiring, informative and encouraging. Pace is just right too. Thank you so much.

By Lynn R

Feb 23, 2019

Wonderful workshop. Very well presented and jump charged my writing. Thank you Cal Arts.

By Omar A

Feb 01, 2016

An amazing course. The way of teaching is wonderful. Enjoying each moment of this course.

By Birgit P

Jun 05, 2020

Loved Douglas Kearney's presentation! A lot of info packed into easily digestible bites.