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

4.7
stars
1,146 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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51 - 75 of 452 Reviews for Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

By Karly G

Jan 15, 2017

I loved the way our awesome, fun prof. Kearney spoke animatedly but slowly enough to keep students both entertained and on pace. This course was a wonderful balance of ease and challenge, and I am leaving it with a few good poems, a better understanding of techniques and tools, new skills, and a reinvigorated love and interest in poetry. Much thanks to Douglas, CalArts and Coursera.

By Jesús C L

May 21, 2020

Incredibly useful introductory poetry course. The pace is great, allowing to start slow and then pushing you a little harder towards the middle-end. Doug is an excellent video tutor, his performance really adds depth to what you're learning on at every turn. Thanks! I now feel a lot more confident to carry on learning and writing. Ah, and the shared tools, websites, etc. are ace.

By Barun K S

Jul 01, 2017

This six weeks of exciting journey is a must for anyone interested in poetry. Here, I learned about the intricate details of poems, such as sounds, forms, and rhythms. However, the real reward was the feedback from mentors and other fellow poets, which helped me look at my writings from a new angle. Besides, hardly anyone delivers lectures as passionately as Prof. Kearney!

By Vincent F A G

Sep 18, 2017

The course offered a wonderful chance to concentrate on the nuts and bolts basic to the art of poetry, such as rhythm and rhyme. Beyond that I found the chance to gain some feedback and interact with other writers a real boon. The professor is clever and provides graphic lectures and assignments that make the class something to which I looked with anticipation each week.

By Danielle P

Dec 21, 2017

I really enjoyed this course. Prof. Kearney is great. He is extremely knowledgeable and explains things in such a clear, entertaining way. I also enjoyed the poems he chose to illustrate different topics. The course was very accessible and not too difficult or time-consuming, but I still learned a lot and found the writing prompts helpful. Thank you, Professor Kearney!

By Cheryl L

Aug 28, 2020

This was an excellent course. I enjoyed the videos and the assignments. The course was well paced and easy to follow. Thank you so much Prof. Kearney, for giving me the opportunity to learn from your expertise. I'm going to try writing different forms of poetry and not be satisfied that my poem is finished until I have REVISED it. Thank you again.

Cheryl Licata

By Jessu J

Aug 07, 2016

I found this course helpful especially because I'm in the process of revising my manuscript. I found the lessons on revision strategies were great reminders to take the time with my work, have patience with myself, maintain objectivity with my own work just as much as with that of others, and remain receptive to feedback at every stage of my poetry writing journey.

By james h

Oct 01, 2017

Superb introduction to poetry. Throws you right in, dangles the history and language of it in front of you, up to you whether you bite. The assignments are designed to make you think, make you create, but some of the options such as write a lipogram, or use a formal structure are actually very challenging.

I thought it was very immersive and it made me feel good.

By Randy P O

Aug 12, 2016

Prof. Douglas Kearney is an excellent and entertaining instructor with a lot of wisdom to impart. He engages the subject matter with attention grabbing vitality and spirit. I appreciated the both modern and historic use of poetry to illustrate his points. The workshop revitalized my poetry skills, which were more than a bit rusty previous to taking the class.

By Lisa J D

Jul 24, 2020

Excellent beginners poetry class. The instructor Doug Kearney was entertaining and gave lots of information in a way that was easy to understand.’His prompts were creative and inspiring and his selection of poems as examples were really great. I would recommend this to anyone interested in writing poetry and in learning to read poetry with more understanding.

By Nneoma I

Aug 26, 2015

Seriously, every person needs to take this course! I gained such a deeper appreciation and understanding of the art of poetry and have even submitted the two poems I workshopped here, 'Old Ghosts' and 'The Toenail and the Horn-Bowl' for publication. No matter the outcome, I know I will continue to write, as I have fallen in love with the art. Great work Doug!

By Isabelle J

Sep 08, 2015

Loved this course. It was really informational and Douglas Kearney did a WONDERFUL job in teaching!!! :) I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read and write poetry and to people who want to learn and get new skills and ideas in the art of poetry writing. :) Because you will get all of that, if you are willing to put your best foot forward and try. :)

By Sinisa R

Jan 22, 2017

Writing according to a prompt is not something my colleague poets like. Yet this course could teach them and you how great and new-approach poems you can be "forced" to create by that.

It will also show you how inspiring and experienced reviews you can get by a community, to push your work toward possibilities you wouldn't know about, without this synergy.

By Jia

Mar 24, 2017

I am very new to poetry and found the video lessons in this course very educational, as well as interesting and very light-hearted. I'm not interested in writing my own poetry at the moment but feel like I've broadened my education, and am now better able to assess what works and doesn't work in other people's poems. I'm very glad I watched the lessons.

By David P

Aug 14, 2020

I enjoyed this course. The teacher's presentations were lively and informative. The peer grading doesn't work very well. Two times my grade was reduced because the grader made an error. There is a problem in the design of the assignments and grading system. Well, the grade doesn't matter to me. I wouldn't pay extra for the certificate, though.

By Elizabeth T

Jul 22, 2020

This was an exceptional course! The instructor had a great sense of humor and dramatic flair which made the class very enjoyable. There was a lot of useful information that was presented in a clear fashion. The assignments were useful and I found myself giving the prompts a lot of thought. I would love to take another course with this instructor.

By Genna-Marie K

Jun 06, 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 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 06, 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 14, 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 Glenn M

Nov 08, 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 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! :)