The Life of The Poet Workshop with Leonard Gontarek – Fall 2017
Thursdays, 5:30 – 7 PM. $72 for four classes. The Fall Workshop will meet four times: September 28, October 5, 12, 19. Note – New Location: 4221 Osage Avenue, Philadelphia.
Discussion of contemporary and international poetry, and participants’
work. Weekly assignments. Improve your poetic skills. Gain a fuller
understanding of poetry in our world. Find balance, support and time
to write. Keep your spirit up. For poets at any level.
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.
Philadelphia Weekly, Nicole Finkbiner
Have taken several sessions of The Self and Place in Poetry and leave each class in a good place. Leonard is patient and direct. With deft skill and compassionate humor he helps us find the purest parts of our poems.
Leonard Gontarek is the author of six books of poems, including, Take Your Hand
Out of My Pocket, Shiva and He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs.
He coordinates Poetry In Common, Peace/Works, Philly Poetry Day, The
Philadelphia Poetry Festival, and hosts The Green Line Reading & Interview Series.
Since 2006, he has conducted 1000 poetry workshops in venues including,
Musehouse, The Kelly Writers House, The Moonstone Arts Center,
Free Library of Philadelphia, University City Arts League, Philadelphia
Arts in Education Partnership, and a weekly Saturday workshop from his
home in West Philadelphia. He has been Mad Poet-in-Residence since 2008.
He has received Poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts,
the Mudfish Poetry Prize, the Philadelphia Writers Conference Community Service
Award, was a Literary Death Match Champion. His poem, 37 Photos From The Bridge,
a Poetry winner for the Big Bridges MotionPoems project in 2015, was the basis
for the award-winning film by Lori Ersolmaz.
“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