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.
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.
By Dewa A D D S•
I realised I never took a chance in learning poetry beyond just a hobby and I wanted something light as well as practical after an intense first year in university. This workshop was very enjoyable and so feasibly structured out for an online workshop, that I was hooked from the start of the course. Douglas made the course light with his jokes, eye-opening in his selection of poetry samples, and encouraging in writing beyond our comfort zone. As a workshop, we exchanged works with peers in the course and shared feedback to each other. The assignments gave me a chance to really experiment and how to continuously improve my writing. And as Douglas said, the richest writing comes after the first draft.
By K R•
There really should be two opportunities to review, one for the content and one for the platform.
Regarding the content, the instructor is excellent and exceeded my expectations. Both beginners and experienced writers could benefit from this class. All of the reading material was relevant and interesting,. The only content suggestion I might have is that the Revision module might benefit from a before-and-after example.
Coursera, however, has some unaddressed issues which are causing frustration for the learners. These issues are not so bad that they prevent people from completing the class. On the other hand I wonder to what extend Coursera is being proactive to remove these obstacles.
By Timothy V•
This class WAY exceeded my expectations. The instructor is the BOMB! The only thing I would voice as a "complaint" is I wish we, as students, could be more interactive through the course in providing feedback. Nothing a poet hates worse than submitting a poem and no one really looking at it and/or providing no feedback. There must be a way to get the course more interactive for students to review and help edit one another's works. I know there are the peer assignments but so far I don't think my poems have fallen into that category from a student, though I may be wrong. But class wise, A++++
- Timothy Verret
By Dominique S•
The teacher truly makes this course a 5 star learning experience. He's funny and entertaining while presenting course materials. I have a major difficulty with school-- I dropped out of high school and college. I love this class. He kept my interest and helped build my understanding on poetry. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to improve their poetry or learn about poetry! The assignments were fantastic. There's always two choices for the homework and you can pick one (or both if you want) but one is graded. So if you aren't into one of the assignments, there's always something for you here.
By chris a•
Excellent lecturing skills by Doug, thank you - to the point that the manner and mood of delivery which Doug uses feels like he is talking to you, the Student, on an individual basis. Doug made me laugh, understand nuances, which I generally struggle with and gain new skills. I would like to know if Doug has anymore Online courses available please. Great, great, great. I wish my schoolteachers had been like Doug, making learning and acquiring knowledge, doing assignments etc., into a fun and stimulating experience, where the new information is so easily retained by the Student.
By Kris J•
I loved the Sharpened Visions course. Professor Doug Kearney has a fun, playful presentation style in the videos teaching the background concepts, but most of your work is done offline, writing your own poems. The workshop happens via randomly-assigned peer review, which can be a little impersonal, and the helpfulness of peer comments varies. But there is also a course forum to present your work for feedback from a wider audience of students and class mentors.
I'd recommend this class to anyone who wants to gain more background and practice in different forms of poetry.
By Ann E D•
Excellent! This course was all that the curriculum laid out, and more! It was well organized, totally engaging, and the peer review process very helpful. I am new to writing poetry, and I feel as if I have "moved u" a level! The two best sections: 1) Rhythm and 2) Revision. There is so much to learn about the complex realtionship between poetry and music... and going towards a better appreciation of Spoken Word poetry and the beautiful poery in the deaf community. That would be a great course: poetry meant to be recited and poeetry only meant to be read ....
By Sean L•
I am not yet finished this course, but so far it is sizing up to be great. Of the courses I have tested on this site, which are many, this is one of the better conceived ones, and you can tell the teacher is very committed to his work. He takes advantage of video lecturing as a medium, using various techniques to make his videos more engaging but without sacrificing didactic content. Otherwise it is what you would expect an online writing workshop to be: provided are writing prompts for practicing your skills, and near the end are sessions for sharing your work.
Doug a most engaging, informative and inspiring teacher. I would definitely take another course by him and I applaud him for managing to pack a lot of thought-provoking ideas into just six weeks. He’s introduced me to new poets and help me explore my poetry in a way I never would have otherwise. I’ve also become part of a poetry study group with other course participants and we have already had our first online meeting and shared some really useful insights into each other’s work. This will continue after the course.Thank you to Doug and Coursera!
By Ga H•
Thank you so much for an interesting and enlightening course.
I never had much connection to poetry and won't be a poet, but I wanted to learn more about it. The course taught me a lot, made me appreciate poetry more and admire poets for the work and skill that is behind each poem.
The vivid and fun lectures made me remember why listening to a lecture is so much better for learning than reading from a tutorial. The way the material was presented made all the difference. It was clear, funny and made me want to know more.
Overall, a wonderful course.
By Maureen W•
Doug is so funny. And he parses out the information is easy, manageable, usable chucks with excellent examples. I love his kinetic force. It seems to make everything so much more understandable and even though I a far from being a kid, the screen glossary intros, then sample poems, it has impact. For a 15 year old but easily for us latter day saints too. I love everything about poetry. I'm volunteering at Ottawa VersFest soon. All I need to do now is to try to write but there could not be a more approachable course than this one. Thank you!!
By Vatsala S•
The instructor is so hilarious, thought-provoking, and mindful of how much we can assimilate and digest in a single sitting. I never took the course for granted and struggled for a day or two with some of the poems but still completed it way ahead of time and came out with a renewed sense of interest in poetry. I would say this course is perfect for both budding (though you'll need to put in a little homework on the side!) and seasoned poets. Thanks to the CalArts staff and my fellow peers who gave me so much motivation and inspiration.
By JoAnna S•
In short presentations, Doug manages to give insightful tools to crafting a fine-tuned poem. He makes learning about rhyme, metaphor and scansion uncomplicated while he hones your focus, so your writing can surprise you. The class exercises and community feedback help create a classroom of learners. I was inspired. For the first time I understood iambic pentameter, trochees and scansion. The best tool was learning how to revise, how to look for the turn in the poem and expand that turn into something unforeseen.
I have learned new things in this course and have thoroughly enjoyed the process.I have also written some poems in the process and I am glad that I got to know where I was wrong and where I was right.I also had the opportunity to know how to improve my poems which is wonderful.
I would like to thank my instructor in this course for making learning exciting.I would also like all my classmates for patiently giving reviews and waiting for one at the same time.
Thank you CALARTS and thank you Coursera!!
By Valerie F•
I loved this course. I've been wanting to learn about how to write poetry and I thought a college course would be too much and overwhelming to take on, but this professor made the subject very accessible and even after the first lesson I learned something that I could apply. I think my poetry writing has improved from this course. The professor is also very entertaining and highly engaging during his videos. It is obvious that he is passionate about the subject and prepares for the videos.
By Liz B•
What an ENGAGING class. Doug (Dr. Kearney) was fun, and managed to not only get the basics of poetry well defined in short periods of time, but also brought in more complicated assignments that pushed me as a writer to another level. He also prioritized poets of color, which I appreciated. I know my poetry will grow and develop because of this class. I also looked up the writer's poetry - I'm fascinated by his form. Poetry experimentation to the next level. I'm going to dive further into this.
By Vani K R•
I loved this! It was such a beautiful course, the structure and the weekly lessons were awesome. What attracted me was the teaching style of Sir Doug. He was funny when needed and attentive while reading poems. I always wanted to attend poetry classes where we would analyse the poems and this class was so effective. I was very much excited for the lessons and completed the course in less than 12 days and learned a lot. This is what learning with joy looks like. Loved the course!
By Anne M•
I see in some reviews that people find Mr Kearney's dramatics a bit annoying... I do concur with that in some ways, the pretend avoidance of words coming in, the vocal intonations, and playing around... but I also think that his way of teaching is engaging, rich and effective. I have learned things without effort because the examples were well chosen and well analysed and I have added a few new tools to my poetry toolbox. I’m happy with that return on my time on a free course.
By Roxanne C•
hi there, was interesting and nice to be able to put some poetry down for people to see . also seeing how much talent people and lecturers possess.thankyou for that and showing us how to narrow our poetry and for us to really look at it properly and by doing that look at our selves inside more deeply. reallyto good. it gives us a sense of confidence and a sense of belonging and warmth in these trying times. so thankyou to the lecturer god bless and hope for another session
By M K•
Great instructions. Very interesting method(s) of learning. Reviewing peers assignment was quite hard at first but was in itself a good learning experience.
Loved the entire course. Hope you have a follow up course. Appreciated the humours approach by the Prof.
Only thing I found that could change or improve is the posting poems or questions for discussion where exactly we post them. Instructions to that would have been helpful,
All in all great course. Thank you
By Carolyn S•
This course has broad appeal for both beginners and those wanted to jump back into a creative process after a block or the damn pandemic and its many obstacles to creative relaxation. I applaud the professor's ability to be both fun and also academic, depending on what he wants to talk about and how he approaches it. Great diversity in the works he chose to parse. All in all I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would and it broke a three year block for me.
By Nicole M•
This course introduced me to a few aspects of poetry I was not familiar with. It also has inspired me to continue the pursuit of writing poetry. I find that I have one main style of writing poetry, but sometimes I drift to others. This course helped me to know that is perfectly fine to do so. I do not have a lot of time to go off on discussion boards so I am grateful that wasn't a big requirement. I did enjoy the interaction of peer review on submitted works.
By Geoffrey G•
I am but four weeks into this course and I love it, What appears to be simple guidance turns out to be quite powerful, and the Professor is excellent in general, and very, very good with this medium. The prompts are fabulous and surprising - not just simple phrases, but based in building capabilities with poetic forms. Even metaphors and similes, for example, mean more in the context he creates for the learner. I will revisit this review when I am done.
By Kelli L R•
Especially enjoyed the part that stressed revision, in which Mr. Kearney talked about the importance of letting the poem take you where it wants to go and the value of freeing yourself from the constraints of where you think the poem should go. He also gave some techniques for listening to and looking at where your poem is heading.
I enjoyed the readings as well, especially the poem by Harryette Mullen. The prompts were helpful in backup up the lessons.
By Patrick C•
Great experience. The course was very well done from a technical and systems perspective. The online experience and tools worked really well, easy to understand and use. The instructions for using the tools were clear, especially the workshop and assignments portion. The instructor, Doug Kearney, was effective, funny and very on-point. Overall, five starts. I look forward to doing another one. Oh yeah, my poetry improved as a result!