POETRY WORKSHOP WITH LEONARD GONTAREK
*Students will gain a fuller understanding of poetry in our world and improve
their poetic skills.
*International and American Poetry will be discussed, with a focus
on what makes a poet’s voice original, what makes the voice their own,
and the ways in which the poet speaks directly to the reader.
Students will learn to identify, and trust, the same qualities in their poems,
and establish voice as a working principle in their poetry.
*The workshop is designed to identify and develop the sense of place
in the poet’s work. The aim is to firmly root the poem where it takes place,
so the subject matter and concerns of the poem will unfold around it.
*Specific direction and assignments will be given, with attention
to the basic elements and forms of poetry. Through invention,
students will build more accurate and textured work.
*The workshop is structured to accommodate poets at any level of accomplishment.
While there’s no guarantee you’ll become the next Robert Frost, with the guidance of award-winning, prolific poet Leonard Gontarek, it’s at least a possibility. Encouraging students to explore as many avenues as possible and remove themselves from their work, he’ll help you find—then strengthen—your style and voice.
He’s a poet’s poet. The Philadelphia Inquirer
(Please Note: There will be a required text for this session:
Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, Gary Snyder.)
The workshop will be presented in five 90-minute classes,
All Tuesdays, 11:30 — 1 PM: July 3, 10, 24, 31, August 7.
There will NOT be a workshop on July 17.
The cost is 18 dollars per class – 90 dollars for all five classes.
You may pay as you go. Sign up in advance.
Please contact Leonard Gontarek with interest: firstname.lastname@example.org,
215.808.9507 – Independent workshops and manuscript editing available.
Location: 4221 Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, PA.
Leonard Poem here:
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Leonard reading Promise:
Leonard Gontarek is the author of six books of poems:
St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris, Van Morrison Can’t Find His Feet,
Zen For Beginners, Déjà Vu Diner, He Looked Beyond My Faults
and Saw My Needs, and Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Shiva
(Hanging Loose Press, 2016) – Available from Small Press Distribution & Amazon.
His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Field, Poet Lore,
Verse, Handsome, Fence, Blackbird, The Awl, Poetry Northwest,
and in the anthologies, The Best American Poetry, The Working Poet,
and Joyful Noise: American Spiritual Poetry. He has received five
Pushcart Prize nominations and twice received poetry fellowships
from the Pennsylvania Council On The Arts.
He was the 2011 Philadelphia Literary Death Match Champion.
He coordinates The Philadelphia Poetry Festival, Peace/Works: Poetry Readings
for Peace, and the Green Line Café Reading and Interview Series.
Since 2006 he has conducted 1000 poetry workshops in venues including,
The Moonstone Arts Center, Musehouse, The Kelly Writers House,
University City Arts League, Free Library of Philadelphia,
Mad Poets Society, Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership,
and a weekly workshop from his home in West Philadelphia.
In 2014 he created the first Philly Poetry Day. He was recipient of
the Philadelphia Writers Conference Community Service Award in 2014.
In 2015, his poem, 37 Photos From The Bridge, was a Poetry winner for the Big Bridges
MotionPoems project and the basis for the winning film from the Big Bridges poetry
film contest sponsored by MotionPoems and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.
Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket, Shiva, by Leonard Gontarek.
Small Press Distribution
Hanging Loose Press
“This is a book of human hungers so exact in its recognitions it leaves a reader stricken with a sense not just of how detailed our desires are, but how rare it is to have them articulated in ways yet unspoken. 'In my poor country, we poured sugar/ on everything to not notice our hunger,' Leonard Gontarek writes, but where that coat of sweetening fails, this poet stays to record what is still needed, what is still hungry, what is still so very, and beautifully, human.”
—Katie Ford, author of Blood Lyrics and Colosseum
“With its spare language, dry wit, and unnerving honesty, Gontarek's latest book delivers a sucker punch of solitude and desire. Here is a voice that offers no simple solutions to the whirl of the universe, but instead stands next to you and points out the small essential thing you forgot to notice. Deliberate, bare, and infused with a searing humor, these poems hiss and bloom at the same time.”
—Ada Limón, author of Bright Dead Things and Sharks in the River