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

4.8
stars
1,309 ratings
527 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 11, 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 22, 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 524 Reviews for Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

By Genna-Marie K

Jun 6, 2020

Despite dabbling in writing poems for more than ten years, I found the prompt extremely engaging and enlightening! This course is wonderful for beginners who have never written a poem in their life or for people who have spent decades playing with words. I feel a refreshed appreciation of what I can do with my poetry. Thanks for the experience!

By Angeliki T

Feb 23, 2021

I enjoyed this course to the fullest! From learning theory on poetry to reviewing my peers' assignments. It helped me evolve as a poet and writer and I will certainly keep on writing and helping others as well, with reviewing each other's works! Doug is a very comprehensing tutor and I enjoyed each one of the lectures! I wish I could re-do it!

By Pamela

Mar 12, 2020

I loved this course! I thought the videos were funny and engaging. I'm new to the formal study of poetry, though I have written a number of bad poems over the years. This course gave me a solid foundation on which to build, and some good prompts to use for future poems. The peer-reviewed workshops were helpful and I got some relevant feedback.

By Parv S

May 25, 2018

This course is really helpful in the terms as it dissects a good amount of poetry and its techniques and is presented in a real fun way. Also the poetry prompts given are really amazing and the poetry that you get to read of other peers is also just an add on. Really a beautiful course. I just wish it was more longer and had more to it.

By Merlynna H

Oct 6, 2015

Course was very informative. I gain added insight. I am so much more knowledgeable now. Poems, Rhyme, Meters, and Revision. I am glad that I took this course. What I have gained insight into, I will use. Thanks to a good instructor. for all the poetic Information and I enjoyed the workshop. I completed on today, 10-05-2015.

"Thank you"

By Nicole H

May 13, 2018

A great set of courses for beginners or just people who would like to polish their writing with the community of writers here. Doug is a great teacher, both entertaining and efficient in teaching. I will be entering college this fall and wanted to have a stepping stone, and I believe it worked fairly well. Amazing and useful course.

By C. N K

Aug 22, 2017

This is a generous, enlightening, and entertaining poetry course taught by one of the most engaging and skilled instructors you will find online. Whether you are an old hand or just finding your feet, this workshop will help you write with a deeper understanding of what a poet can do and with greater awareness of what a poem can be.

By Bibek A

Mar 16, 2020

This is an extremely helpful course for beginners. Anyone who wants to learn the craft of writing poetry and get to the bones should definitely enroll. I've had so much fun and had time to learn plenty of new ideas. Above all, Douglas is such an energetic and vivacious instructor. Kudos to him and the makers of this course module!

By Cristian E

Oct 27, 2020

It's really a great course for anybody who wants to get started in poetry. And even for people who have experience writing poems, Douglas' videos are fun and many concepts are explained well. Also, there are good resources and the peer revision system is key to know things about the writers' poems they may not have discovered.

By Glenn M

Nov 7, 2018

I am just over half way though this course and it is amazing. The content is great. Doug's video lectures are enjoyable, enthralling and thought provoking. I continue to amaze myself as to what i do and don't know.

I am learning more than i anticipated with a short course. Keen to see where my new found knowledge leads me...

By roseanne l

Feb 1, 2021

This was my first introduction to Coursera. The instructor, Douglas Kearney is interesting, inspiring and intelligent. His approach towards his passion for poetry is engaging and infectious with curiosity for his subject matter. Bravo!!! I more than highly recommend this course and wish there were many more offered by him.

By Cat M

Mar 13, 2018

This course was very enjoyable! It made me love poetry even more. The prompts were interesting and I looked forward to them every week. As a shy person, I was a bit worried about the peer reviews, but everyone was friendly and helpful! The only thing I can think of to make it even better would be more course material! :)

By Stéphanie P R

Dec 3, 2020

I absolutely LOVED the course and the teacher. It really opened my eyes and sensibility, besides giving me lots of tolls I can use for a more aware composition proceess. Thank you very much! And thanks again to my mates, who really helped me finding the blind spots in my poems and finding better ways of finishing them!

By Akbar K

Dec 4, 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 1, 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 9, 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 Tariq Y

May 27, 2021

It may have felt daunting at first, but the comedic character of Douglas Kearney made it a fun experience. My advice would be to try and stay one step ahead, as poetry is one of those things where it is difficult to flick that inspirational switch, especially where a submission is looming over your head.

By Alain M

Mar 23, 2021

Doug is not only a teacher, but an actor! Wonderful videos. And poetry obliges a little poem to thank him!

Demanding, tricky poetry is many times.

Often we struggle, in rage, with rhythm, feet and rhymes.

Upraise your skills, your art within this course, you'll do

Gladly, gaily by virtue of a great guru!

By Renata P

Jan 18, 2021

Absolutely loved the course! I don't have any formal education in literature or poetry, and joined the course hoping to learn some basics of the art. I received much more than I'd expected. Professor Doug is an exceptional teacher, and I hope to use these new learnings in the poetry I write henceforth.

By Tarun S K

May 13, 2021

A very structured and comprehensive course covering the fundamentals of poetry. I would highly recommend this MOOC to anyone serious about writing poetry. A well designed syllabus taught by the Prof Douglas K in his inimitable style. The mentors are extremely helpful and the peer group is engaging.

By Julia R

Sep 3, 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 2, 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.