Chevron Left
Back to Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

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

4.7
stars
1,113 ratings
438 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

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.

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.

Filter by:

351 - 375 of 434 Reviews for Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop

By Ojasvi G

Aug 06, 2020

I learnt so much

By Debanjon M

Feb 07, 2016

Simply Splendid!

By Gaurav K

Mar 04, 2019

A lot to learn.

By Momo N

Sep 10, 2015

GREAT COURSE!!!

By Myra F T

Sep 15, 2017

Great class!

By LUIS O R G

Mar 08, 2016

Gran curso.

By George S

Nov 11, 2016

Inspiring!

By MUHAMMED M K

Aug 20, 2020

Excellent

By RobertBoucher

Dec 29, 2017

great fun

By Diego S

Sep 27, 2018

awesome!

By Silvana A

Oct 21, 2015

¡Genial!

By Luis C P D l R

Oct 20, 2015

Great!

By Mario R P

Jan 17, 2016

S

By Halimah A S

Jan 03, 2016

I

By Randall S S

Aug 18, 2020

Really great introduction to poetry and its construction. Inspired me in a way that I did not anticipate. Douglas Kearney is both entertaining and knowledgeable. The exercises were well thought out and provided a challenge that led me to develop new skills. A couple downsides are in need of mention:

1) The expectations were fairly minimal. This suited me when I had a busy week, but left me wanting more instruction and more exercises during an average week. The expectations should be enough to require near daily writing, not a once a week process.

2) The peer review process is broken. Many of my peers did not take their reviews seriously. Instead they provided minimal, meaningless reviews or no review at all ("good" is not a review!). The course organizers should be monitoring this and asking these students to terminate.

Despite these real problems, I truly enjoyed the content and the exercises, and learned from the comments of other serious students.

By Alden B

Mar 05, 2018

I found the course both interesting and helpful. I had always shied away from formal poetic forms, preferring free verse, but I really enjoyed writing the crown cinquain. In fact, after I wrote in that form, I also wrote a sestina (though not as part of the course). I used to be involved in theatre, and I recall how structural limitations often stimulated creative solutions; I made the same discovery when working within poetic limitations. I found most of the suggestions from other readers quite helpful and believe that they enabled me improve the poems that I submitted. The course was structured well, and the video lectures were clear. I thought the prompts were good. The only thing the course lacked was feedback from a professional poet (the teacher), but I understand that the volume of work and the finances would militate against personal attention. Thanks for the course.

By Meher A

Oct 25, 2017

The revision process was the most frustrating and challenging part of this course. I felt that more instruction could have been provided on this process such as providing extra readings, especially on how to tell when your work is done/revised. The rhythm section was also very confusing and attempted to cram together a lot of information in one section so the course could do with being more evenly paced, rather than introducing us to complex concepts all at once. Overall though, for a course that is available for free, this was a great resource for someone interested in writing poetry. It was engaging, especially yhe videos, and inspiring, especially the poems that were used. It also made me more aware of the tools that a poet can use to make their poems better. Thank you so much!

By E.m. T

Jun 11, 2016

The course itself is amazing. I learned so much. I used to only write prose poetry and thanks to this course I was able to write different forms. Besides the mentors' give such great comments and they are always eager to help. Also the professor is funny and choose really good poems to analyse.

The only thing that was a pity is that people post their work, but few people want to actively comment on other people's poetry. It is not as participative as it could be. However, some workshops to comment to get comments.

All in all, truly amazing course!

By Raj K B

Nov 21, 2016

Very interesting course; the only issue I had was with the students grading each other's poems. I would have preferred the teacher or the mentors to be grading them since they are presumably well versed with the art of poetry and the various techniques involved in their creation. While the grading process might enhance the learning of the students, it should not come at the cost of one's grades due to the obvious limitations or biases of the student graders.

By Magdalene C

Mar 13, 2020

It is a very condensed course and I think it works better for students who already have some experience writing poems. I'm new to poetry and it took me some time to catch on the various technicalities which were zoomed by very quickly. Certainly feels more like a revision course. Nevertheless, the course has been fun and enjoyable. I learned a lot about poetry writing. The course makes me want to know more about poetry writing. Thank you for this opportunity.

By Clare M

Jun 04, 2020

I throughly enjoyed the Sharpened Visions Poetry course with Douglas, he has a lovely engaging approach and delivery. I learned a lot.

The only area that I felt was lacking was regards feedback on submissions. Which I could not find at all and I never knew how other students felt about reviews I had submitted. I felt this was at the heart of the course for learning and missed that link..

Thank-you

By Fred P

Oct 25, 2015

A fun and engaging experience, excellent writing prompts. The kind of on-line educational experience I appreciate- encouraging and supportive, yet completely unwilling to take itself too seriously. The on-line poetry workshop experience with peers can be hit or miss, but even so, I gained some unexpected insights into my writing. Well worth enrolling and completing.

By Anshika S

Aug 31, 2020

The course is amazing. Got to learn so many new things and there was a definite improvement in my writing skill. However, i wish the content was more culture neutral. the poems picked, the examples used were mostly centered USA and as an Asian it was a bit difficult to catch on. Nevertheless one should definitely go for this course. the mentor is amazing as well.

By Shashank D

May 13, 2020

I really liked this course as I got what I was looking for. This course gives a very creative and nice way of learning poetry and also the tools to make them better. The content provided here was very relevant and knowledge boosting. Only thing that could have been better was the explanation of few topics. Overall it's a great course if you want to learn poetry.

By Ian B

Aug 02, 2017

Great course to learn the fundamentals of poetry writing. I wish I was held to more of a deadline, as most prompts didn't need to be turned in, and thus I wasn't able to benefit from feedback or criticism, but on the whole this is a great class and worth the time if you're looking to learn how to put a poem together effectively.