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

4.7
stars
1,145 ratings
455 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

SM

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.

VS

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.

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76 - 100 of 451 Reviews for Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

By Akbar K

Dec 04, 2016

Have been writing poetry for many years, This course has given me ways to see the poetry, examine it, improve it . . . truly sharpened my vision in the workshop. The course and the guide were technically sound with excellent communication, Thank you Douglas & CalArts.

Loved it. . . do go for it if you are still deciding.

By Sandra O

May 01, 2016

At first I thought this course was going to be rather simplistic but it was anything but that. I loved the exercises we had to do. I really got into them and it was the first time I felt inspired to try my hand at writing poetry. The teaching was great--he has a great future ahead of him in entertainment I would say!

By Aaliya T

Sep 25, 2017

I would recommend this impeccable course to all those who aspire to write poetry and who are already great poets too! This course helped me to learn a lot of techniques and hacks to writing a good poem. Overall, I had a great experience writing for the weekly prompts and enjoyed the lecture videos a lot. Cheers!

By Domingo M

Sep 15, 2015

I learned a lot at a demanding level. I enjoyed, in particular, reviewing peers and getting feedback. It is very different from my old school days back in Germany. I will continue to write poems and now I have more tools in my tool-box from which to choose to make it happen -- with a vengeance.

Thanks!

Domingo

By Jenifer S

Aug 09, 2015

An entertaining and instructive course on the basics of poetry, with strong invitations for experimenting with different elements of writing poetry, relevant and current. As a former English teacher I highly recommend this for introduction, review, or refinement, to accompany a poetry unit ages 16 and up.

By Julia R

Sep 03, 2015

I am presently taking this course for fun, I love writing, specially creating poetry. I find the instructor very engaging, interesting, and motivating. He also seems to know his subject very well. He makes the time I spend in class worthwhile. He is just plain fun! Love this class.

Julia

Boulder, CO

By Afua A

Sep 02, 2020

Instructor was great - knowledgeable, inspiring, made the work seem doable. I really appreciated his style of teaching. Of the three courses I was signed up for, this was the one I completed. Assignments were manageable., as was the format of the course. Thank you for offering this workshop!

By Maria B

Aug 15, 2020

This is the second time I've done this workshop. I found new things to explore this second time around and will probably do it again in the future. The variety of prompts and fun instruction make it a go-to for poetry inspiration. It's a great experience that can be enjoyed again and again.

By Courtney E M

Feb 10, 2020

Doug was terrific and presented every week's information with clarity and humor. This was a fabulous course for me, as I try to build a poetry practice as it lays a solid foundation of ideas and techniques. I will likely revisit this course in the future to keep all of these concepts fresh.

By Jyotsna G

Jan 17, 2018

This workshop is anything but boring. I had so much fun going through the videos, learning the basics, and workshopping my poems. I couldn't have asked for a greater start to this journey! Special credit to the instructor for infusing all his lectures with genuine enthusiasm and vigour!

By Mary C D

Jun 12, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. The instructor and accompanying videos and assignments were clever and innovative. All kept my interest and enthusiasm for understanding and learning. It was especially motivating and a distraction during the "covid" period. I recommend this course to all!

By Kayanna

Nov 10, 2015

Excellent overview with bite-size explanations that really puts into context some of that fiddly terminology. The lectures are accessible and makes the theory less daunting. Thanks to Douglas Kearney & crew for helping me to see where I can improve to produce better works of poetry.

By Hala C

Oct 27, 2018

Amazing course. The instructor was great and had a really fun teaching style that kept me interested, and the mentors were very helpful. I learned a lot about poetry through this course and would recommend it to anyone wanting to challenge themselves and become better poets.

By Laura M

Oct 04, 2020

Amazing workshop!! I really enjoyed the prompts and how we had to review other people's poems, it made it more enriching and you have the opportunity to read the comments about your work in the eyes of another person. Lots of fun and different from other courses I've taken.

By Gouthami

Jul 28, 2020

Thank you very much - I enjoyed learning more about poetry and being introduced to so many poets from the USA. Module 6 was especially useful - understanding the difference between revising and editing. I had the most fun with the lipogram. All the best for future courses!

By Lawrence D

Sep 06, 2020

The Cool Maker.

Sometimes you shovel some.

You real cool. You

Real school. You

Love bate. You

Toot straight. You

Sing some. You

Thin hair. You

Boogie too. See

You soon.

By Jen G

Jan 24, 2020

What a great presenter who really brought poetry to life for his students! I found peer review difficult given I am such a novice but enjoyed the standard of submissions from others - some great poets in the making. Material and references were excellent. Thankyou.

By James G

Oct 14, 2017

Great intro to poetry. The analysis of the poems was great, and I really enjoyed the poems covered in the course.

The writing prompts are the hardest and most time consuming part of the course. I write for fun and the practice I got from this course was very useful.

By Carroll L

Sep 02, 2020

Great course with an excellent, charismatic and funny instructor. The lessons were fun & interesting; the assignments were as well. I got excellent feedback from peers--respectful, thoughtful and helpful. Wish there was another segment that built on this one.

By Danila G

Oct 19, 2015

I really loved this poetry course! It was taught with a different style compared to similar courses that I have taken in the past. He teaches the it with a different flair for poetry! Because of that I not only enjoyed the course but also learned a great deal!

By Jhonatan J A E

May 08, 2016

The course is just great! All the contents are presented in a pretty pleasant way and concepts are clearly explained shortly and exemplified. Participants are supposed to learn through practice, resulting in very challenging and encouraging experiences.

By Polyxeni

May 11, 2020

This is the first course I managed to complete online. I was very enthusiastic about it and I absolutely enjoyed every part of it. Sometimes I felt like I was watching educational stand up comedy! It was a good introduction to poetry as a hobby for me.

By Maryann L

May 26, 2020

An excellent course. This is a great introduction to writing poetry. Easy to follow. Lots of assignments, interesting presentation. This course gave me an opportunity to explore the basic elements of poetry in a way I have not done before. Recommend.

By Pamela O

Aug 08, 2016

This is a great course. I learned so many new things about writing poetry both from the professor and the peer reviews. In the revision section I learned the difference between editing and revision. This one thing cleared up a great mystery for me.

By stephanie r

Oct 20, 2015

It gives an easily digestible engaging and inspirational overview of the craft of writing poetry using interesting contemporary poems. I got a lot more out of the course than i thought I would; i think the course is like a great poem in that way.